The man walked through the streets quickly, his thoughts confused, his head in a literal fog. With his ears he could hear the hawkers hawking their wares, but with his eyes he fixated only on the pavement.
“Cymbals,” one yelled. “Get your cymbals. A cymbal for all men.”
He kept walking, trying his best to cut himself off from the rest of mankind. All of the sudden, he ran face-first into a woman.
She had been wearing a box and piece of rope, much like a cigarette girl, but was carrying kittens. As he struck her, the box shattered, and the kittens ran into the throng. She cursed as she stood up.
“My apologies, madam,” he told her. “I fear I am suffering from an illness today.”
“Suffering?” she laughed. “What do you know of suffering? You are a worker at the factories, are you not? You have a job?”
“I am,” he replied. “And I do.”
“I have gone without for years,” she told him. “I can no longer stab pussies, so I am forced to sell my own here on the streets.”
“My apologies,” said the man.
“Can your apologies give me something to eat?” she asked. “No! Not like my pussies can!”
Her rage was beautiful. If he had not been married, he would have taken her away from that place. But he was burdened with a wife, with children. He was so full of frustration and desire than he wanted to scream. But scream he did not.
“I beg your pardon,” he said. “I must continue to try to walk to my home, for I am ill.”
“Your illness is a social disease!” she called after him. “A social disease!”
PAUL LAFARGUE enjoys lazy Sundays sleeping in and snuggling with his own kitten, Laura. He currently resides in Paris, France, where he currently focuses on his writing.