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Sometimes, failures between people don't happen necessarily because of what one or the other did, but rather because of a fundamental difference, or misunderstanding, between them. It's easy to reduce things to a matter of actions, simple cause and effect, but that approach leaves something to be desired. Watching the same mistake happen over and over again is easy to do, each time attributing what happened to a certain event occurring and a certain event following. However, the important part is why that event is occurring in the first place. It's pointless to try and stop the event from occurring, when it is only destined to happen again unless the fundamental flaw in the system is corrected.

In this case, the fundamental flaw is that she isn't capable of being fully in love. She isn't capable of having an undivided interest in someone, as her actions time and time again show. She isn't capable of being who it is I want her to be, and I can try over and over to make her change her actions, but the underlying problem is who she is.

It used to bother me that she claimed to be in love with him, but couldn't stop herself from sleeping with me. Whatever it is that love means to her, I don't think I want any of. I wouldn't want her loving me like that. Maybe it is best to let a thing, not necessarily a good thing, but just a thing, be. I'm being used, I'm using her, but we all have a purpose in this life. I don't want her to be mine anymore, because I now see that that isn't something she is capable of being. If I push too hard, I might break her.

I'm trying to treat the symptoms here, and not the problem. A cat is a cat, an apple is an apple, and Laura is Laura, as broken as anyone else. I can't change that. It took a lot of really, really good blotter acid to finally understand her. Maybe that's how fucked up we both are.

I write these words so they may be set free, perhaps by freeing them they will become reality.

A cool salt breeze blows across my face, and I know somehow that her train has just arrived. I am drying the dishes when I hear her key in the door. I close my eyes and see her as she always dresses for these stolen visits; she is practically swimming in her ridiculous beige trench coat, which always brings to mind the image of a sloppily made tamale. I’ve taken to teasing her about this, saying only I know how best to remove the plain corn-husk wrapper; only I know how best to savor her spicy interior. A pair of oversized dark glasses hides her almond-shaped green eyes, obscuring her high delicate cheekbones and the splash of freckles that she hates and I have memorized. A single red curl has escaped from the large black bucket hat that completes the getup. I know by now that it is useless to try to convince her that she would be far less conspicuous without the disguise; her bullheadedness is one of the faults I find most endearing. I also know that the only things she’ll have brought are a comb and a fold-up travel toothbrush. I bought her a suitcase once, but I’m certain she’s never used it.

I swear to god I'm cursed.

I was walking home the long way from the train, the dangerous way, at 2am in the rain - my normal train isn't running on weekends this month and, while I'm sure it doesn't inconvenience the nine-to-fivers much at all, it sucks just a bit for the less traditional of us.

I stop and get fried chicken because it's my Friday, damnit, and broke or not, a dude needs chicken every once in awhile. Chicken and fries. Poor man's Thanksgiving, one step up from a turkey sandwich.

I'm carrying my chicken and my bag and I'm trying to look like trouble because I don't want any, when I'm scared half to death by the long, drawn-out sound of a mewing kitten. Badass 0, kitten 1 - I was scared because he didn't say anything until I was right on top of him or, more accurately, under him.

He kept mewing, and it took me a second to find him.

Cats, kittens in particular, get themselves into the most ridiculous places. This one was perched on top of the wrought-iron security gate that barred the door to an anonymous little working class club, closed for the night. He was sandwiched between the gate (which wasn't more than an inch thick) and an air conditioner, seven feet in the air. He was filthy, and thin, and scared to death.

And I couldn't do anything for him. I apologized and walked away, and he, with a target now, began howling his little head off. I got half a block away, stopped, turned around and went back.

He wasn't stuck; that made things easier. But he was terrified. I worked him free and held him to my chest and tried, if even for a little, to calm him down. Hugs wouldn't calm him, I knew that. Food and warmth and a bath would, but see...I have two cats already, both rescued from the street, both in the rain, both cold and wet and miserable and sick and abandoned.

I left him under an awning on the way home, in a corner where hopefully he'll ride out the rain. He followed me to my front door with his eyes; if he'd actually followed me, I don't know WHAT I'd've done.

I'm sorry, Peach. S'the best I could do.

(yeah. I named him. Stupid move on my part.)

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