Story: Heat Wave

Heat Wave
by Chris Hugh

It was hot today for the tenth day in a row. Hot and dry and I had to walk home from work again. It's still hot now, even though the sun is coming down and shining sideways through the leaves outside and lighting up all the gray dust on my computer screen. I'm glad my room has air conditioning. Electricity's expensive, but I don't care. I've got it going full blast.

I'm sitting at my computer taking what I've started to call my "Are You Crazy" quiz. It's not some silly magazine quiz women like to take, where it tells you which celebrity you're most compatible with or what tree you would be if you were a tree. It's a real test from a real psychology place with a ".org" domain and it tests you for signs of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. I take the test every day.

Let's see..."I have magical powers that no one else has: A) always; B) sometimes; C) never." I answer never. "There are voices in my head that tell me to do things." Again, never. I answer all the questions and click the button. My score is zero: "You have no signs of schizophrenia."

My cat jumps on the desk and stares at the screen. "Good job, Harold," he says.

No. Please, no.

He rubs his head against my hand and I pet him even though I don't want to. I rub him behind the neck and he arches against my hand. "Brrr," he rumbles. That's a good sound for a cat to make. Very normal. "Brrr," he says again. I feel better. There's hope for me, right? He just said, "Brrr." That's all. There's hope.

"Good kitty," I say.

"Brrr," he says. "I'm cold. Let's turn down the air conditioning."
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1 comment:

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