• Pat. Pat. Pitter. Pat.

    The rain sang to me in that bittersweet voice that it always does. My tiny apartment was filled with both the sound of this singing and the purr of my cat. Being in his autumn years, Stanley was more than content to sit on my lap and listen to the rain with me. He remained calm during the thunderclaps, and I found them both exciting and relaxing. Yes, this was the perfect day. I had a cat on my lap, a good book in my hand, and a thunderstorm around me. Have you ever sat at window during a thunderstorm and read? The daylight is peppered with these beautiful little shadows that dance on the pages. Even though this small wonder is there, it never proves to distract me. It enhances the atmosphere that one is reading in, but it does not keep you from being engulfed by the story one's enjoying. I experienced this phenomenon that day, as I had on countless others.

    Not wanting to disturb Stanley, I used the remote to turn on my CD player. Earlier I had put in a special mix just for weather like this, and I made sure that the volume was at that perfect level. The level where I could still hear the rain and it would combine with my music to satisfy May aural needs.

    I don’t know how long I sat there, but at least four songs had passed before my phone began to ring. It sat charging across this room that served as both a living room and a dining room. I had no choice but to set Stanley on the floor and hoist myself out of my increasingly comfortable armchair.

    The LCD screen displayed a number I did not recognize, but when I flipped open the phone I heard a voice that I definitely did. Donovan Went, my best friend since middle school, was on the other end.

    “Hey Camron, guess what?” I knew this question was rhetorical and didn’t even attempt to answer. “Suncoast was having a sale, so I decided give in and buy Buffy season four.”

    “Did you change your phone number?”

    "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Did you hear what I said?"

    "Yes, Donovan." I was mildly interested, but still did not think that this conversation was going to be worth interrupting my book for. “Does that mean you have all the seasons now?”

    “Yeah, and I’m on a total kick to watch them. I especially want to watch the season I just bought.”

    “That makes sense. Wanna watch them together?”

    “That’s why I called. Your place or mine?”

    “Well, when were you thinking of doing this? I’m kind of on a date with Stanley.” This simple joke made Donovan laugh a little, and we began making plans for a mini Buffy marathon. We decided that he would come over in a couple of hours, I would order Chinese food and we would rekindle our middle school love affair with Buffy Summers. As our conversation drew to a close I noticed that Stanley was glaring at me from the comfort of my reading chair. I recognized the hint he was trying to give me and wrapped up the telephone call.

    “One last thing,” Donovan interjected. “Could I borrow some money?”

    “What? What for?”

    “To buy season four with,” he said meekly.

    “What the hell, Donnie? I thought you said that you already bought it.”

    “I just said that to get you excited for tonight. It’s just twenty bucks, but I didn’t have the cash on me.”

    “Ug. You owe me.”

    “I know.”

    “And you’re going to pay me back.”

    “Is that a yes?”

    “You know it is.” I could never say no to Donovan. I had often tried to say no, and never succeeded. My mind drifted to that one night we had gotten drunk at a party and hadn’t said no... but I quickly let go of that thought. We never talked about that, and we really shouldn’t. After saying our good byes I hung up the phone and sat down at the small dining room table. I picked up my small pipe, which had been sitting next to an antique vase with a few flowers in it and took a hit.

    “Today is beautiful, isn’t it Stanley?” The only reply I got was a few blinks. He finally got up and strode over to my table. Ever since Stanley got kitty arthritis he liked to sit with me when I smoked. I always assumed that this was for the same reason that my aunt smoked pot as she grew older: pain relief. He set himself on the table, very close to me. As I breathed the smoke out he leaned in closer to me. Half of the reason why I smoked as much as I did was to help Stanley. A poor college student like me can’t really afford kitty medication, but she can afford something that will alter her own state.

    The bowl was ash and Tegan and Sara’s Hype started playing. “It’s our song, Stanley.” The cat looked at me as if I were crazy. “No, not our song. Donovan’s and my song. Is that even crazier? I guess it is…” I was already ranting, a side effect of hanging out with Mary Jane. “I just want him so bad. In the back of my mind I always have. And now that I’m single… well, I guess it doesn’t matter because he isn’t.” Stanley continued to doubt me, so I ended my rant and we sat there: stoned and listening to the thunderclaps between verses.

    I stood up far too fast. My vision blurred and I felt extremely dizzy. The room began to swirl around me, and I felt myself losing my balance. I panicked, not wanting to swoon and hit my head on the floor. I dove for the pile of large pillows that I kept next to my armchair. The music became too loud for my tastes, but I was too dizzy and disorientated to get up and turn it off. I pushed the pillows hard against my ears. “Stanley,” I half mumbled to myself. “I think we smoked a little too much.”

    After what felt like forever but was probably five minutes my headache decided to leave me, and I was able to continue on with my life. When I loosened my grip on the pillows and lifted my head I noticed that I had ripped my vintage dress under the sleeve. I said a mild explicative and dreaded the sewing that I knew I would have to do. My mood shifted when I realized that Stanley had decided to nap next to me. Agreeing that this was a good idea drifted in to a nap of my own.