There are dead whales in the basement and they’re starting to smell. We know, the neighbor knows, even the neighbor’s cousin from Galveston knows. Everyone knows and no one will do a goddamn thing about it.
The cat’s the only one who hasn’t noticed. We envy the cat.
Keeping talk radio on 24 hours a day seems to make the whales smell less. Sometimes we even forget about the dead whales and on days when we feel particularly awesome and horny, we like to host barbeques.
We begin to smoke cigarettes and this helps too.
Four years later the radio station begins to lose money. They keep asking for donations. We listen to their phones ringing. We listen to pledges. We are tired of how much the radio station needs us. We are tired of feeling inadequate because we can’t provide them with what they need. We are tired of the radio station’s deepening dependency. We look to each other for comfort and we only find that we are tired from the stench of dead whales. We light each other’s cigarettes and carry on with our days.
When we have disagreements they usually begin with the Internet. We know the status of things that we don’t need to know. We are overfed images of our friends’ visits to the Capital and things they have cooked. I know that you like her because I saw how you looked at her at Joe’s birthday party. There you are in the beautifully framed zoom in photo viewer – smiling at her, dancing with her, leaning on her, touching her.
That mouse was our undoing.
When it ends, I get the cat. It was, after all, my idea to get it in the first place. He agrees and then we remember that the cat carrier is in the basement with the dead whales. Neither of us want to get it, so I find a large cardboard box and cut holes into it.
The house has depreciated in value. We rankled the neighbors with our whales. I will find an apartment in the meantime, something with lots of storage, because, no doubt, I’ll be taking the whales with me. I figure it is my responsibility, since I’m part of the reason they got there in the first place.
The cat gets one paw out of a hole with the bottom facing up like it is asking for alms. I stand up to turn on the radio, which, miraculously, seems to have raised enough money to continue its programming for at least another week.