From the bathroom comes rabid howling followed by a fit of giggles. Whenever Meeko giggles too much, she descends into spasms of crude snorting, and sure enough, it comes thick and fast as does the dog’s salivating bark. His tail is hitting the shower curtain again. Speaking to him in Japanese, she calms him down enough so that he quits, but when she breaks out into more giggles, he resumes his wagging. Wiggling my fingers, I go to type a line but stop when I don’t know what the line is. Gulping down a mouthful of beer, I wipe the sweat from my face with the back of my right hand. Eying up the scratched surface of the desk, I spy Meeko’s name engraved into the wood where my bottle of beer sits. She did it with a small pair of scissors she uses to trim her nose hairs. She doesn’t have many nose hairs, but she’s conscious of them because of her pale skin and thick, coarse locks. She says they stand out, and that if she doesn’t trim them, they’ll carry boogers around. Bats in the cave, she calls it. Running my finger over her carved signature, I visualise the lips of her pussy, and it makes me shiver.
To my left, on the edge of the desk next to the wall, sits a framed photo of one of her dead hamsters. It’s been a good few years since the little thing died—not long after we moved here, as a matter of fact. She believed it was the stress of the move, but I’m not sure whether hamsters get stressed when it comes to moving house. Perhaps they do, I genuinely have no idea. In the photo, she has the thing on her shoulder and is standing in the back yard of where she used to live beneath an orange sun. I remember the moment well. I remember most moments well, well, when it suits me, that is. Searching her smile and the tiny whiskers of her fluffy friend who’s snuggling up to her so adoringly, I remember digging his tiny grave beneath the apple tree out back of this place. She cried for days, and while I had dug away the earth with a small shovel, in a fit of hysteria, she had used both her bare hands. They were soon filthy, as was her face, which was stained with tears and dirt. Clinging onto me for dear life, she had sobbed as I removed the hamster from a shoebox. He had been wrapped in one of my old socks—freshly cleaned, mind—and when I lowered him into the ground, her tears brought the rain. It rained for two weeks straight.