• Dzama


You first showed up here, at this intersection. It was raining- soggy grey hunks of paper on the sidewalk, grit washing down in purplish streams. At the time, I saw you as the answer to all my prayers. I moved mountains, I pulled off outrageous stunts to get us together. You were just that little girl in a purple raincoat and I was actually a cross between a badger and a ferret back then. Bulky, with a sleek ferret pelt, black, tarry blood always stuck around my lips and small, sharp snaggleteeth.

If I remember right, it was in the brownstone that your aunt owned that you pulled a jeweled collar tight around my neck and we spent hours lounging in the sun. You’d play the piano with your long, skinny fingers and I would chew on things. Sometimes just the tassels on a Persian rug.

I don’t know how many times the nanny came in and went after me with a fireplace poker. I always hid under something long enough for her to give up and then you’d lure me back out with some raw meat from the kitchen.

The transition from ferret-badger to human happened in a movie theater- we were watching one of those New York movies and my ferret fur kind of smoothed out into human skin. That’s when you grabbed me by the diamond collar and kissed me straight on the lips. We kissed the rest of the movie, which annoyed people, but not as much as when we started making out.

We were asked to leave by this jittery teenage usher. I still had the rows of little sharp teeth and I tore a big hole that sprayed blood in circles as he tried to wrestle me away from you. In the end he died and I left with you.

We stepped out into the city lights, under the flashing marquis, and ended up in a cheap hotel, clothes still drenched in blood, making love in the shower with the water streaming over us.

Wrapped in bed sheets, we watched late night TV, our dripping clothes hanging over the shower curtain rod.

The banging at the door began around 4am. When they broke it down we had to go our separate ways. In the end, you weren’t a killer but I was, and always will be. Which is why the safest place for me to be is behind bars. That’s why I’m here now.

And I’d stay here too, if I hadn’t gotten that dirty, blood-stained letter written in magic marker on a piece of plastic that you’d cut from your purple raincoat. When I got that I realized my killing spree wasn’t over yet. In fact, my whole life was just beginning.

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