We snuck into the apartment, something I had rehearsed, only as of late the reason was not to wake up Catherine. I turned on the lights and let Glory walk in first. A gentleman, I tell you. I could never tire of watching her walk, I could swoon watching her do anything, a smile formed. Her fucking limbs were cute. The way I felt couldn’t be natural or normal. I felt foolish. I don’t know how to act properly and everything is strange to me. It was an exhausting process, my keen self awareness, and analysis of each minute detail. The one constant was that I was always a tad bit out of sorts. The way she looked in her jeans made me feel a little bit better.
“Is that a fucking coffin?” she asked, smiling at me.
“My best friend Sonny and I made matching coffins years back.”
“I make stakes,” she said, intensely. “I hunt vampires. And you have a fucking coffin in your bedroom. Do you not see how great this is?”
“I see it. We are both fucked up.”
She laughed, “This is Pangur.” Glory sat down on the unmade bed, next to the cat and softly petted her frail frame. “You are so pretty for such an old lady. Pangur Ban? What the fuck is that?”
“Pangur Ban,” I said, fumbling to open fresh beers. “Is the title of a really old poem about a dude’s cat. The ninth or tenth century. It’s weird Irish shit.”
I played some Chelsea Wolfe low, as I thought how unromantic it is to click a button instead of dropping a needle onto a record.
“How old is she?”
“As ancient as the poem.”
“Oh, no,” Glory said, as Pangur walked the length of the bed hunched over, almost like a stretch and emptied her bladder. Glory rose slowly, unaffected by the amount of piss but concerned for the cat. Life is so undignified.
“I’m sorry. Should I be embarrassed? I kind of am but she is really sick. She is losing control of her bodily functions. I don’t think she has too many lives left.”
“No need to be embarrassed. I’m sorry.” Glory rubbed my back as if I was the one pissed in the bed and I hadn’t done that in months.
“It’s really an obscene amount of urine, no? She is so little.”
“She barely even drinks the water I leave for her. I don’t get it.”
I removed the comforter and the sheets and placed them in the laundry to clean at another time. “There are blankets in the coffin. I’m sorry but we will have to sleep on the floor tonight.”
“I don’t care where we sleep. It’s not the end of the world,” she said and kissed me.
When I returned with disinfectant sprays for the bed, Glory was not in the room. There was a cozy set up on the floor. “Glory?” I had stain remover and the smell of the piss was overpowering, I was going to need something stronger. I looked at the coffin and knew exactly where my little weirdo love interest was hiding. I lifted the lid of the coffin, “hi.You fit? Cool. I have not fit in there since I was sixteen.”
“It’s snug. Pretend I’m dead and deliver my eulogy.”
“I don’t know what to say. I don’t like public speaking.”
“Just do it and say something nice.”
“Fine. but don’t look at me.” I closed the lid and sat on it. She clawed the inside of the coffin like Abraham Lincoln. “I don’t even know your last name.”
“It’s Mayberry, Gloria Mayberry,” she said, muffled from inside the casket.
“How did you die?”
“Witch hunt. I was hanged. The year is 1692. Let’s go. I’m running out of air.”
“I am deeply saddened by the sudden execution of the beautiful Glory Mayberry. I didn’t know her that well. From the moment I saw her at Anne Bonny’s I couldn’t stop thinking about her. It was excruciating to look away in her company. I was smitten. I loved her hair and how some days it was straight and on others it was a bit wild and I wanted to smell it. I don’t know much about her which is why her recent demise is so upsetting. It’s sad to think I won’t have the opportunity to learn more about her, and possibly become part of her life. I know she is weird. But I like that. And had I known she would become a victim of mass hysteria I would have tried to talk to her sooner.
It’s my fault really, you see, I am at a place in my life where I’m uncertain about the existence of love. I believe in aliens but not so sure about love. Is it real? I was seeking isolation and stumbled upon the dearly departed. I thought it best to admire from afar, in order to save her and protect myself from certain heartache. Maybe had she not been hanged from a tree until dead we could have been something intrinsic, something irrefutable. She could have been the one to give me sustenance and correct this recurring feeling of disorientation. She could have been my compass and with at my side I’d never feel lost again.”
She scratched the lid, and I sat up and lifted it a little to peek in. “I think you could stop there.” Glory climbed out, sat on the floor, and pulled me down to her by the bottom of my shirt.