Cal yawned and stretched, accidentally kicking Nelson who was curled up in the faint patch of sunlight falling across the sleeping bag. It must be around noon.
He rolled over and looked at his phone. A few hours until he had to be at the Palace. It was humiliating to return to a position he’d held as a teenager but it was an improvement in his life. That last part pissed him off more than any of it. A couple weeks ago when his inner tirade ran out of steam, he’d been surprised to realize how much he enjoyed cooking. He’d forgotten somewhere along the way. Mateo and Khean were okay too.
His kitchen– which was really just a linoleum patch in the subterranean room– was looking less like a survivalist’s bunker. He’d stocked up on essentials like only a man who’d known hunger could. The necessities covered, he was allowing more whimsical items…like eggs, fresh tomato, feta and cilantro…. He shook his head. How much he’d changed.
“How about I make us an omelette?” Nelson’s ear twitched.
Cal’s phone buzzed. Maybe Mateo needed him early. “Oh, Christ,” he sighed. Why did they tell guys they wanted to keep things casual when they clearly didn’t mean it? “No, I’m busy for the next while.” Nelson flicked his tail. “I don’t know. No.” Cal was losing patience. “Look, don’t call me anymore.” He turned his phone off.
“Stop looking at me like that,” Cal told Nelson who was squinting up at him.
The various features of human life that we consider desirable, are all dependent on kindness.
“That probably wasn’t Lao Tzu,” Cal said.
Nelson purred and his whiskers danced as he laughed at the thought.
“I must be cruel only to be kind.” Cal scratched Nelson’s ear and turned on the hot plate. Shakespeare would have understood. What could I offer her anyway?