Sanity as Currency (fiction)

She seemed happy, more than I would be after having stabbed a motherfucker. It was contagious. Through all of it we were happy and enjoying each other’s company. Unbelievable.

So, how it goes is, when I opened the door of my apartment, my cat ran in covered in this man’s blood. The police interviewed a whole bunch of people who acted like they forgot how to speak English. Later I found out it was a man who broke in and assaulted a woman outside of her apartment, and she was able to kill him by stabbing him.

I met her and she admitted to me she did it. And her secret was safe with me. Except I told one other person and word got back to her. She was not upset. After some soul searching she decided she was going to turn herself in. She thanked me for “opening her eyes.” I had gotten to know her in her ramshackle apartment where I sat on a couch as if was being pulled back into the earth after a long battle with gravity. Figures in the shadows were grabbing at every reachable object and pulling it down in.

Like someone’s unfinished basement during a war, it smelled of mold, like someone was gonna start playing Bee Gees 8 Tracks. Yet it was more of a room in which music had been staved off, to which only a washer and dryer were to be put in—to break down over time and be forgotten about. No sane person would survive this occupancy. It was practically falling off the back of the building.

Her friend, this woman, came over and they both spoke Spanish in a blur. And she seemed happy. It was contagious.

I stared at the couch some more.

How much time would you get for admitting you killed someone with a knife? It was in self-defense! Wouldn’t they let her go? Latino. Probably hold that against her. Motherfuckers.

1 year. She went and they said, come back in 1 year. Before she went she told me she loved me. I told her this, too, and meant it. After one day it had happened. Funny how in one moment you’re lonely, and in the next you feel so much excitement in your bones you feel like you’re on fire. A non-dancing man wants to jump around. Hurrah!

Oh, hola! I’ve learned to say hello in another language. I’m starting with the small words and moving on from there. No. That means no in Spanish. This is going to be a blast. 1 year to go. You can learn a lot in one year. Funny, that.

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