In The Midnight Of His Heart
By AL BRUNO III
February 26, 1993
The tile floor of the kitchen was cool against John’s bare skin as he sat with his back against one of the cabinet doors. There were three empty boxes of animal crackers between his legs, there were twelve more in the open cabinet beside him. He pulled one of the boxes out of the cabinet and tore open the top and began to eat the cookies one by one.
Taking to Angie had given him an idea, a crazy idea. He had room to spare here, he could invite Angie to come and live with him. She could live in the master bedroom, he never used it. The acoustics of it made him feel insecure.
Phil of course would blow a gasket but when didn’t Phil blow a gasket? Besides he wasn’t the one who’d spent every night for over a quarter century living alone in an empty house. Phil would have to get used to the idea.
Chewing mechanically, the sounds of his jaw working filling his head, John wondered if she would take the offer. It wasn’t like she knew him as anything more than a passing acquaintance but she might be desperate enough. At worst all he was to her was a harmless old man.
That’s all I am now. He thought bitterly, A harmless old man.
Another empty box dropped between his legs, he opened another.
If she did move in he would have to make some changes. Brushing crumbs off his thighs he realized he’d have to start wearing clothes around the house.
And furniture, he’d have to buy furniture. Zara always did his meager laundry, for Angie would have to get a washing machine. There’d be no more pacing the house at all hours, he’d have to go to bed and stay there.
She’s got a cat, don’t forget that. He frowned at the thought of living under the same roof as one of those conniving balls of fur. That would be the hardest. Over the decades he’d learned to sate his more unpleasant urges by pouncing on the felines as they rummaged through his trash.
I’ll adjust. John told himself, Victor’s training will come back to me. It’s not so hard to pass for human, especially not these days.