When the sun showed its head the morning of January the twelfth, it promised me nothing more than a mediocre Tuesday. According to my watch it was 6:10 a.m., meaning I was already late for my 366th consecutive day of job hunting. Finding a job those days was deemed by experts as a fruitless labor of wasted time for the common folk. Therefore, it was downright impossible for people who, like me, thought that majoring in literature was an awesome idea. So far, my offers were limited to returning to my old high school as a half-time janitor or becoming a transnational drug mule. I considered the latter only because it could allow me to travel abroad sans most of the expenses, but I had my concerns, especially regarding the “no health care plan” issue.
However, for some contrived reason or another, I had a job interview scheduled at 6:30 that day. It had something to do with using a computer and typing numbers or being some sort of transponster assistant, I really wasn’t paying attention when some random guy from college offered me “the chance of my lifetime” through the phone. I didn’t needed to pay attention, though, I just needed to hear the words “possible” and “job” adjacent in the same sentence to activate the “unemployment reflex” that made me scream “WHATEVER IT IS, I’LL DO IT!” at the top of my lungs.
As usual, I started my daily morning routine by throwing my crumpled blankets to the ground. This revealed the not so surprising fact that, once again, I had fallen asleep while wearing my one and only blue suit. Unfortunately, it was too late to spend any time mending its seven holes or, at least, ironing the cardboary texture of its fabric. If I could deal with it, I knew my interviewers would, too. Once out of bed, I crawled towards the bathroom sink in search of the peppermint candy that would freshen up my morning breath. No time for shaving or combing, though.
If I was planning of actually being part of the interview, I knew I had to spend the last remnants of my life savings on a cab trip that’d traverse all the way to the other side of town in less than 20 minutes. Nevertheless, it was time for my morning cup of coffee, the one thing that would allow me to act like a civilized human being for the rest of the day. My uninterested feet reluctantly directed me towards the kitchen in search of the hot puddle of mud-flavored liquid that would wake up my soul.
While I was waiting for the almost black concoction labeled as “quality Port Rich caffee” to boil, my mind entertained itself rehearsing my “I am, indeed, the best human being available for whatever open position is vacant in this business” speech. In the middle of the key sentence of “I really do not mind working several extra hours perceiving no pay whatsoever”, the coffee pot signaled it was time to indulge my taste buds in the nearest thing to coffee my budget could afford. Mug in hand, I contemplated throwing the thick fluid to my face instead of actually drinking it. It might’ve scarred my face but no one could assure me it would actually wake me up. So, drinking “caffee” it was.
One sip later, I was in need of letting out a terrible shriek of pain, but my tongue and my vocal cords were too busy being seared shut by the thick dark liquid that was leaving a trail of scorching destruction in my mouth.
What happened next is nothing more than a white blur. I have my reasons to believe my unmanned body spent those seven minutes smashing my head against the wall, hoping to overcome the pain with even more pain. When I finally had the chance to regain my half-consciousness, I jettisoned to the freezer in the hopes of filling my blazing mouth with as many ice cubes as possible. The first five cubes I grabbed melted before even approaching the immediacy of my lips. On my sixth try, however, I succeeded in approaching the affected area. However, the cold object I had just grabbed not only managed to cover the entirety of my mouth but also left a decidedly hairy taste behind. Quickly, I yanked whatever was filling my mouth and threw it back to the freezing chamber from whence it came.
And there it was, stacked above four ice trays. Before me was something that could only be called “a cat popsicle”. There frozen body of a black cat I had never seen before laid inside of the freezer. Its blue eyes forever staring into the depths of my eyebrows, his snout open as in the middle of a particularly muted meow and its body stuck in an inverted mid-air Y-shaped stretch. Even my taste buds forgot about their pain to focus their attention on this baffling situation. After what seemed like an endless and one-sided stare duel that left me as the loser, I grabbed the thing by its tail to test its resistance. The body kept its frozen solid rigidness as I swung the carcass in the air.
After a moment of careful thought, instead of acting within the realm of logic and asking myself “how in God’s name did this thing crawled into my mom’s freezer?!” my drowsy morning brain had only one concern at hand: “wouldn’t this make for the greatest garden gnome in existence?” “Yes. Yes, it would”, was how it answered itself. At least I didn’t veer off into the “yes but, will it blend?” territory.