Conditionals

My mom was depressed and wasn’t able to make use of her amazing insurance to get proper help. She had her faith and her quotes. She needed someone to talk to and it wasn’t me.

My mother was hurting and I didn’t understand however I felt it. I grew up hiding within myself dealing with my own confusion of adolescence and believed that my sister would be enough for support since they were so alike. My mother and sister looked alike. When we would go out , people would automatically understand they were mother and daughter regardless of the skin tone difference. When people saw me they would say, “You don’t look like your mother, is she your mother?” They would ask this as if a man is not needed to make a child. This sentence would trigger me so I would say I was adopted so they would walk away feeling satisfied in their ignorance. If I engaged in this conversation it would end with the person no longer speaking to me .

I was hurt every time someone verbalised this separation between my mother and I. It was if they were manifesting our separation. I was sullen and secretive of my feelings because like my mother and her mother before her and so on… no one spoke about their feelings, you just prayed them away.

I was distant with my mother for issues that she wasn’t aware of or she wasn’t sure how to address them in me. She would have my sister as her representative and I would feel agitated when she did that. I became protective of my intimacy and held everyone at two arms length although I only wanted their closeness.

We had a confounding relationship and yet I would destroy anyone for her and my sister. I didn’t know everything yet I tried to protect her with my distance and I also hurt her with my distance . I wanted to speak to my mother about everything that was troubling me yet she was working her main job and building her company while going through a divorce. I was in school. Our time never seemed to matched up. My sister was able to bond and I couldn’t and it bothered me.

When I was little , my mother was my best friend; I truly didn’t need anyone else. I don’t think I have ever advanced past this stage and have felt a betrayal because we grew up and life happened and she kept me out in order to keep me safe. I grew up wanting that quality to continue however her life changed and I could see it yet she never shared with me. So I hid within myself in my own home in plain sight. I hid with for my emotional safety and have left it on auto-pilot ever since .

Later in life she had told me she didn’t think we needed to know out of fear of hurting our wellbeing She grew up in a lovely home that was filled with trauma. I know parents think kids don’t see , but they do; I did. Telling ” white lies” is still a lie. I felt the energy of trauma yet I wasn’t sure of the details and no one would tell me outside of me ease dropping in adult conversations in passing and I would hear some of my relatives saying the worst things about my mother. In those moments I would plot my revenge as her protector and cause them hurt later with my words. I feel for my sister, trapped in the middle of this with her own developmental concerns while absorbing this energy of discontent. I wanted to save my family.

My mother was hurting , she cried often and in private. I have inherited this. She was a shy extrovert and her life propelled her into a fearful reclusive person. I became a risky introvert just to feel alive. We loved each other but I wish I could have done better. Death makes you time travel. I go through her books filled with her penmanship, with her loops and elegant P’s and Q’s. I learned her signature as a child mainly because I thought it was beautiful. I have her book of thoughts. I read her words and remember seeing her writing them. . All I have now is her handwritten thoughts. I think about the stories she had told us about her childhood and about bits of her life that she kept inside while raising her children. I remember all I saw with my overly observant eyes . We missed opportunities to repair and nourish our family of three.

My mother lived the majority of her life hurting and without proper support. My sister lives guarding her new little family in a reclusive way. I live a life going back to the past to have a future.

I feel like I am living a third conditional life.

impasse in the morning

He’s staring at me then looks away. He saw me walking to the café and watched me walk in . I made my order, ” Un cappuccino senza schiuma, cornetto semplice e un succo di frutta( albioccia ) – a tavolo, grazie”. I paid and left to choose a seat. He was watching me again. Why do I feel awkward? I mentally wanted distance between me and him despite him being 10 feet away.

I sat and began to open my book. I was re-reading the same paragraph and feeling his gaze every now and then. Does he want to speak to me? I realized his gaze shifted a bit to the left of me . She was also avoiding his connection . He looks left and right , only at us and us at him and quickly at each other . We are doing this exchange with no malicious intent just indifference; we’re at an impasse.

The three of us are acculturating the breakfast culture knowingly. It is not the breakfast we would be having in our home countries. In fact, our meals would have been similar yet different and overall comforting to us all. Are they thinking like me or is it just the body language we share? The woman and I possible consciously or unconsciously are trying not to see him. He makes us know that he sees us. The guy who is watching is African. He’s dressed in a beige light jacket, polo and jeans . He placed his backpack along a tree as he leaned on a car in front of the entrance way of the bar , speaking softly into his earphones; waiting for change from passerby and people leaving the bar. He’s chill and his presence somehow changes things.

I begin to think about my privilege, I’m struggling inside. Why do I feel an unrest of his presence? It’s stupid. The waiter arrives with my sweet simple breakfast and I take a sip of water. I look at it. I say to myself -this is not a breakfast. A real breakfast would be ackee and saltfish with a side of fried dumplings ,freshly kneaded, with boiled banana. I like my idea of breakfast however I live here.

I wonder about his origins. What would his breakfast be if he was home? Does he ever make or have that breakfast here? I know he had an Italian breakfast before waiting for change. He also does as the Romans do. I began to wonder if he got bamboozled into believing he would be better in Europe or came on a dream. Since the gate keeper is Italy he probably got stuck here. Most , if not all are trying to go north to other countries. There are fewer migrants now in Italy -barely in fact. The possibility of a balanced life here as a migrate requires pure blessings and beauty.

She was maneuvering her phone, not for a selfie, but for a way to block her connection with him. I wondered about her breakfast too. Would it have more substance and heartiness? Does he make her think about home? It’s like he reminds her that she is a foreigner too. She’s North African. She is dressed conservatively modern with a cream blush hijab. She’s lighter than the guy and I. He just glances at us from time to time and talks nonchalantly on his phone and it’s powerful. Is he unbothered or is this happening? At one point she held her phone closer to her face and then decided to lay it down bending her neck with all her might . I think she feels as I do, her body language screams it . We see each other and avoid each other at the same time. Why are we dissociating ?

This is not the only time I have seen a person of ethnicity and looked away or stared at them with great anticipation here. The disassociation I learned from growing up Caribbean and living in the States has molded this doctrine into my upbringing. Many Jamaicans disassociate from Africans and African Americans and vice versa. In the last few years the division has started to lose some of its foundation. It is so engrained in us , mainly from colonization, to stay disconnected from each other . The disconnection reduces our abilities to create healthy economical, sociological and community bonds with the African diaspora . We are the latents in Octavia Butler novel Mind of Mind. The book is about telepathic people that were repulsed and magnetically attracted to each other. The father of them all had never tried to improve their relations thus they had to find a way to unite and be at peace with each other. I had to unlearn much prejudices taught to me and had adopted a way similar to Mind of Mind. I was free.

I remember my first year in Rome, when all thing were’ Bella Vita”. An Italian colleague at the time and I were chatting at a bar, similar to this one. A charismatic African guy was waiting for change. I asked him his name and what brought him to Italy. I wanted to know his story. My Italian was basic so I was relieved that he knew English. My colleague scolded me for speaking to him, ” Don’t do that , it will encourage them to interact more” and in a second breathe expressed that he was a volunteer for Red Cross for over 4 years and he felt so fulfilled with his work.

The experience was discomforting . I saw it over and over again and eventually I disassociated again. I had believed I was immune to such behaviour. I felt discomfort every time I did it. I wanted them to have what I had or more yet I mentally pushed them away. The inner fights of disowning their blackness from mine plagued me for the latter years here. I had an Italian partner, was adopting Italian ways with my Westernized friends and Italian family. I didn’t take the time to understand the impairment I had built separating me from my openness. I had lost some of me.

The Italian breakfast is a fleeting experience and so I was left with my thoughts , at this table , with this man and woman in a telepathic gaze standoff. I collected my things and gave him a couple euros. He smiled , ”Have a nice day, miss”. I smiled back. I turned to our other counterpart at the table and smiled , she smiled back. We had a chance and didn’t take it. If the circumstances were different we could have chatted together….possible , maybe.

Take a look

Of all places to take a rest in a plastic white chair

We had nothing to really do while waiting for the laptop to complete 1100 updates on Windows. Living on the edge of city and country can led to places like this.

It was once a mining area for a particular type of stone that I , non geologist , have forgotten the name .

beauty of rusted metal in nature
CONTOUR MODELLING

Maybe it’s the countless years of cloud watching or possible a cognitive displacement of feeling but I see a face in the rocks.

Have I failed you or you me?

It’s 1.49 am and I cannot sleep. I hear him drawn in air deeply while my mind is racing with images of people in ICU, hooked up to machines. I begin to have flashbacks to my time at Grady the experience had left a great impression on me. Healthcare is key.

I think of my mommy unable to speak or even acknowledge me, hooked up to many machines and being told it is time. Do I want it to be time? She hasn’t told me her final words yet. She didn’t get to make eye contact with me once more or say ” Mommy loves You .

I miss my mommy. She is/was all that I had and have in this life. I lost my home in 2018 August. She cannot come back only in a memory treasure chest. I can hear her ever so slightly. What if I forget her? Is she looking at me now ? God I hope yes and no. I feel as if I missed my potential in the last few years. I stop writing because I was getting lovin’. I thought I was achieving a particular aspect of my life that didn’t require sad writing which has been my best writing.

I have never learned to harness the power of feeling into creating only in sorrow. I began to wonder is artistry is only truly beautiful when in pain.

It can be done without. I have refused to know probably out of fear of not having my anxiety of anxiety with me . It is my oldest comrade. I have to end our relationship. I know how just not sure of the why. I must give my anxiety closure so it cannot return. So it doesn’t follow my social media under an allies , stalk my daily routine or sabotage me to get revenge.

Dear Anxiety,

You have been a close relation of mine since I was a child. I remember you being there when I wanted a father. When I felt invisible to my mom because my younger sister required more attention. When we moved every few years, never having roots outside of Jamaica. When I had my first infatuation and planned our life together, as well as my 2nd, 3rd all the way to the one laying near me now. He is blissfully sleeping . He is blissfully not our last. Better I say he is our last . I am leaving you with him or you can be free.

I cannot take you with me anymore ; you stunt my judgement. You scare me from risk and push me into solitude of another kind. I need space to know me without you. The virus is making me think of what needs to be corrected in me. Who I need and who I cannot be with anymore…. I am breaking up with you. For my sake of growth. For the possibility my mother is watching me . I believe she is watching me. She is always saying my smart girl always doing crazy things. She laughs showing her big pearly whites. She had the best laugh. I can see her now doing it. – I miss her.

So I got to let you go.

You have taught me much. You have pushed me against my natural instincts. You have shown me what damage you can do to a body and a soul- you are strong .

Good bye.

Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.

Anaïs Nin

I’m Alice

I fell down a rabbit hole a year and a half ago. All that I thought would be a constant for many more years was taken away . I decided to travel and have adventures because my mom was a shy traveller . My relatives have always been superstitious and restricting. They were kill joy types, pushing church and obeah in one breathe. They manipulated their version of love to obtain control. My mother was raised in this environment with a mother and a father and many siblings. She was in some ways a Cinderella .

About 7 years ago , she had a health scare . She was in the UK for holiday and fell ill . When she spoke to her sister, who is suppose to be able to see the future, she told my mom it was witchcraft. She told her that being far from them had brought on the respiratory problems. She didnt express loving concern about my mom just DOOM. After these words of damanation, my mom went to hospital. The doctors discovered she was highly allergic to the pollen. Case Closed.

I think about this moment because it’s when arrived my Fuck all attitude on who makes a family and how I want to live. I had been cleaning up my house and discovered a very old journal of a 10yrs old me. She wrote with big loopy cursive letters, stylish capitals “T, S, F and Z.” ….( she loved making the Z’s). This little person was a part of a reading club; Book IT.

BookIT was a program that encouraged reading with a reward system. Lil me was already an accomplished reader so it was super easy. I surpassed the amount each month earning stuff and food. Being a Caribbean child in “foreign” USA; we didn’t trust nor eat fast food. If it wasn’t cooked in an island home of association then it wasn’t good. Anyway, I earned a pizza at PizzaHut. I had convinced my mom that we should try it. I had never tasted a pizza before so I was impressed( I was 10! , it seemed good at the time).

I took a bite , liked it and asked the guy who worked there , where did this come from? “Italy”, he said smiling. I ate my pizza looked at my mom and told her I will one day go to the land of the people who make pizza. She smiled showing her big pearly whites. Never did I think I would be living in that land of Regina Margherita for almost 5 years now.

I remember buying the ticket for an European tour after being pissed at my boss. My mom and I spoke a bit about me leaving to do life abroad since all the future held for us was DOOM. She was scared for me and yet was proud that I did it. I wanted to break this mentality of what we can and cannot do.

She was the reason I really left. I wanted to live for her when she was unable to because of work. She was getting ready to retire two yrs ago. She made the transition from Head Nurse to Retired Mom when she got sick. We did what could be done. It was strong, it was mysterious and doctors were baffled. It wasn’t until the end they figured it out. Cancer stole her retirement. Cancer stole my Home. Cancer took my mom away .

I miss her.

I am currently climbing out of the rabbit hole. I pause at times to grasp the reality that life is continuing regardless. When I say the word home, it feels hollow. I feel truly nomadic now. I am from the West Indies, I have the DNA of a stolen people, the soul of night women , a heritage rich in color, food, music, sexuality , supersition and pride…..and some how I feel homeless.

Now who will say things like ” Who will be Diego?, We’re both ladies”.

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”~Frida Kahlo

The noisy man

He wakes always before the dawn yet never tries to embrace it. He keeps his home dark, shutters closed, blinds drawn, it’s a bit musky even. On rare  summer days flickers of light find their way in through the cracks. He wakes  up early yet doesn’t move. Instead he listens for the first sound of life with in the building.

He lives in a 11 story building on the fourth floor in a up and coming area. His mother, God rest her soul lived on the third floor. He used to check on her at time, regardless if her caregiver was running late or not , it was his mother; he missed her. He  had retired ten years ago and yet he still woke up  before the dawn. He would lay there with no where to go , at least in his opinion.

Once he heard the first patter of feet from the floor above he would begin his grumble  and rants of  porca miseria . His voice was quite deep, attention grabbing even, yet he barely spoke about anything substantial. At times , he could be heard by the couple upstairs cursing about random things they did like mop the floor to breathing. He had sonic ears they thought.

Soon there was the sound of the dog’s paws tapping on the floor above , probably following its owner around the house.  Shortly after began the cry of a baby, not loud just enough to get it’s mothers attention. He wondered if it was a boy or a girl then thought who cares it’s noisy. He hated the sounds of the living -even his own.

He was a Roman, in Rome yet he had no family. He was a product of a one child household, with limited cousins  and now ,in some ways, he was  an orphan on pension , who grumbled  about everything. He didn’t do much with his freedom,  he felt he was too old to go anywhere.  ZZZRRRRRRR went the blender,  the family upstairs is having breakfast, he could hear the sounds of an active kitchen. He could picture them , at the table -together.

He wondered if he had ever  married  or had a girlfriend  would  life be okay. She  would bring me a caffè in bed, he thought, one less activity for me to do . Then he thought about all the noise she would make all the time, the activities she would want to do, the time he would have to spend being with another and realised he was better off alone.

After a few  minutes he could hear the buses passing on the street below and cars making their way to and fro.  He got ready for the day. He put on the outfit he had been wearing for most of the month ; black pants , white undershirt, long shelve grey shirt with a collar, his jacket and his cap. It was still clean, he barely did anything to cause a sweat. Even in the heat of summer he wore a jacket -still no sweat.

He was off to begin his day.  As he waited for the elevator he wondered ,why does the elevator have to make noise. He sees the  family walking down the stairs , “Buon Giorno,” they say, he  would responded back  just  a bit under his breathe. No one really holds conversation with me , he thought.

In fact no one did. All he ever did was explain how dark and dismal the world was. He complained about his first world problem of being tired. When people recommended spending time by the sea or going on a holiday he rebuffed them. He would explain how traumatic it would turn out by the sea or on a holiday-  to empathise his plight he was only lacking violins in the background.

Once downstairs he spoke a bit to the doorman, a fella around his age yet still working, still traveling and indulging in hobbies. The doorman  was also an odd man,  had a  hot and cold  personality as if he menstruated daily ( he’s a story for another day) . Once out the building into the hustle and bustle , he turned right and walked less than  10 meters (32 steps) to  the bar, where he would get his breakfast of a cornetto and second caffè and would spend his entire day talking with the other elderly guys until lunch time about the crisis in Italy.

After lunch he  would return to the bar and have a drink , begin again a discussion about the same subject that they have been discussing for the past 10 years ;the crisis. As the night engulfs the day he would head back upstairs.  Enter his home, turn on the light in the corridor and sigh. He  had a tough day.

He makes his supper , turns on the TV yet it watches him. Instead, he listens to the noises upstairs. The sound of the dog following his owner , the shuffle of feet , the faint sound of voices, laughter, the cry of a baby, the sound of the elevator being called to another floor, the noise of the street as the night life begins, the creaks of the day settling in for the night. He listens, he hates it. Yet without it he is alone.

Rambling IV

The writer who never writes can never  be complete.  I  have no idea if someone has said this but it came to me .  I have been getting opportunities to really be a writer , at least a solid novice writer and  I am scared  so  I  either procrastinate on purpose or  is there  more to my fear of writing ?

I have never learned how to type properly despite it probably being a simple practice yet I find my fingers going all over the qwerty working and some how making the brainwaves that are my words into reality.  Go Brain!

The world is strange and unusual. I find myself lost in a relationship and with friends and yet  I am so happy about these moments I forget to document them the same way I documented my misery.  Thankfully I  have photos yet what is the sense that the emotion that gives me pain I remember yet the simple , chill moments I always wanted -I  ignore or barely give a moment to reflect. I am Twisted !

this ramble is complete …  sort of

Winging It

I have been silent.   I have  been living like an extrovert and it has had a toll on me. Much has happened yet it feels so minuscule in the grand scheme of things. 

I left Italy. So I thought. I quit my job packed my things and came back to America. Only to have remorse. I wasn’t super upset just afraid of how I would manage in a country I haven’t lived and work in 2 years .  I started writing a plan of what my possibilities could be…..however travel is a part of me. 

I decided to work in South Korea. I ordered what documents I needed and apostilled everything. I just needed hand written  reference letters -sounds easy and yet slow. I was ready mentally to take the leap. I passed all the requirements and interviews so far. I started reading up on the lifestyle and culture of the country. I started following bloggers full of experience there. I was ready  just needed the letters from my last employer. 

I received one reference by snail mail, the other two would have to come from Italy.   No problem, I thought . I knew I was returning to Italy for the last of my things..  yet they are now my new starter kit. 

I know that my ex -boss doesn’t move st a useful pace.  I figured I would have to physically pick  up the letters.  I called her and made the arrangements. Everything   seemed on track. 

My ex -boss decided she wouldn’t honor the request for reference at the last minute whether out of sheer laziness or selfishness I cannot say.  She left me hanging which halted the possibility of working in Asia for now. 

All of these events happened literally two days after returning to Italy.   I was nervous about what to do next. Then it happened..friends came to my rescue; people I have met and bonded with over the past two years. They helped me brainstorm, gave me room and board and helped me find employment while I tried to figure out my next course of action. 

I can go back to Usa and create a life and I probably will when the time is right.  I don’t know if its just fate or my selfish desire to be in Europe.   I just know I am here-in Rome Italy , once again. Romeing the streets ,  drinking the vino, fighting with the metro, kissing a Roman, working a stereotypical expat job all while sipping on a caffè macchiato. The only question is where will I grow from here?

I spy

At Termini  station in Rome I just came off the metro and made my way to the ground level when a skinny, tall, lanky, big eyed Italian approached me. This guy -Fabio looked like Ichabod Crane Disney version not Johnny Depp. He asked me if i was a model. I told him nope just a Jamaican.  I continued to walk and he continued to talk to me. He asked me about Jamaica.

Side Note: Many Italians have no clue where Jamaica is. They do know where Dominican Republic , Brasil and Cuba are located , however for other reasons that I will share on another occasion. Anyway this is how the conversation usually goes except in an Italian accent.

Italian person named Fabio: Where are you from?

Me: Jamaica

Fabio: Jamaica! I love Jamaica

Me: Cool!

 Fabio: Where is Jamaica?

Imagine having this same conversation for six months. I decided to have a file saved on my phone and did the quick spread sheet  with a map , showing location, population, food, flag, where I am from exactly , agriculture .etc.

So after I get the routine   out of  the way, he told me he had been to England and saw  the Caribbean carnival  and thought it was wonderful! He was there learning English and asked if I could have a coffee with him.  So I did. We sat up stairs where there is a lovely view of train schedules and Armani ads.  I got a cappuccino and I sat and enjoyed it slowly. Fabio asked me many questions about Jamaica and the Unites States and I gave him answers to the best of my ability.

Then we came to the occupation part. He asked me what I do, I told him: an educator. I asked him the same : private investigator. Now the conversation became interesting. So I asked what type of cases he gets. Fabio said sometimes criminal and most of the time infidelity. Oh Italia! He told me this is where the big bucks are, watching  cheating spouses and naughty girlfriends and boyfriends. Apparently, money is no object when it’s about following a cheating lover. He told  he once followed a “subject” to this station and boarded a Trenitalia train to Salerno without a ticket. He had to hide most of the trip in the restroom to avoid the train agents.  I asked was it worth it? He told me yes she went to see her lover and spent the weekend.

Then to really get me going he told me he was following a “subject ” who was to arrive at the station for a 1:20 pm train. I said okay , well good luck. Then he went there….do you want to watch me work. I said no. He began to be persistent and pushy.

Why youdon’t want to wait with me ?  You have a boyfriend ?

 I said yes , he is from Napoli.

I learned that mentioning a boyfriend from Campagna region especially  Napoli makes unwanted advances diminish.  My friend’s nonna from Napoli taught me this. She said if a man is a man he will not be afraid of strong man from Naples.

Poor Naples has the worst reputation for no reason. It’s an older city. Some say the first state of Italy. It has it problems but so does NYC; people still live there.  Anyway when I tell people from the north of Italy I am going to Napoli the reaction is something like this…” You be careful there, people die there. Because only bad people live there. et …YES! people do say this.

Back to Fabio. Fabio’s big  eyes got quite bigger then he asked is  he is a very jealous man then?

Yes , I say VERY. You know how they are.

After these words left my lips , Fabio decided to leave me be. I thanked him for the coffee and continued on my way. I did look over my shoulder just in case he was following me…after all he is a detective.

Aero

 

I ‘m dabbling with writing. I made a vision chart before arriving in Italy 2 years ago. My goals are to be a photographer, a painter, a yogi, a lover and a writer.

So this is me writing…

 

Aero woke from his nightmare, sweaty and thirsty. He wanted to pretend that it was not the same nightmare that had been haunting him for months. He shook of the feeling and wanted to quench his thirst with a glass of water that he usually keeps on his bedside table. The glass was not there. He thought his mind was playing tricks on him. He was absent minded; however when your parents were psychoanalysis thought retention was learned before the alphabets. I did put a glass of water here, where did it go, he thought.

 

He slowly sighed, and figured he would go to the bathroom for some water. He swung his feet off the bed only to feel a strong tingle in his feet traveling up his spine and ringing in his head. He didn’t drink that much last night; he was the designated driver. He took baby steps with his hands outstretched heading to the bathroom adjusting his eyes to the darkness  while shaking the sleep off his legs.

 

The bathroom was filthy; he hadn’t done laundry in weeks. He maneuvered to the sink only to realize the faucet wasn’t working. “Great! this moment is really getting annoying. He contemplated going back to bed; however the thirst was overpowering him. His nightmares always drained him. The only consistent memory involved a crow cawing and flying around his head. He needed water; he sighed and headed to the kitchen.

 

The kitchen was downstairs. The steps were very old and wooden that exploded with noise with each toe touch. This house has been in his family for years, every inch reminded him of his parents and Jess; he painfully missed them. He always felt guilt for their death; if only I wasn’t abroad this summer I could have stopped what happened. He saw it in his sleep for weeks. His nightmares were not really nightmares but premonitions; he took them lightly back then. If only he understood then what he did now, if only.

 

The kitchen was very modern; his dad had made many upgrades to it. All his friends said it was pretty cool, in fact there’s an appliance attached to the sink that turned tap water into carbonate water all from an app.  He felt tears filling his eyes when he turned on the lights. The table was still set just the way his mother loved it. He touched the 4 piece setting like fine silk, chasing memories of all of them together in this very room. How Jess would put baby carrots in her nose and scare mom. He wanted his family back. His hangover began to throb in his temples and the cawing became louder, the room began to spin.

He fainted. He felt something gently scraping at his face; it was Pluto their tiger cat meowing. He sat up and pulled Pluto close to him, stroking his head. Aero felt the thirst again, stronger even. He stood up and got a glass of water while holding Pluto. Once he gulped the last drop he realized Pluto shouldn’t be at home but in a cage at the veterinarian since two days ago for quarantine. Then what am I holding; he thought. He slowly looked down.