it is coney island. the boardwalk. a little kitten on a pink leash and a girl smoking cigarettes, following the orange tabby. the girl is wearing too much lipstick and speaking on her cell phone, obviously an important conversation. she is crying and her makeup is smeared.
“but you can’t, you just can’t.” the caller says something and the girl crouches, presses her hands to her face, nearly dropping her phone. the cat leash is wrapped around her wrist twice. “i can’t take this, i need it to just work.”
two men were following the girl. they said nothing, except once, the guy with the red hat said, “cute cat.”
she hung up the phone. “oh marbles,” she said, grabbing the squirming cat to her chest. she suffocated her sobs into the cat’s fur. they were on the sand now. she let the cat free of her tight clasp and watched it scratch the sand, go to the bathroom, and bury it. they walked on.