Jerry had named the cat Nancy, and when Lily asked why Nancy, he shrugged and said, why not, it’s a name.
Her parents were dead, her husband slept with a cat, and she lay on her back, looking at a window behind a curtain and thinking thoughts that came to her randomly. She didn’t pick them, she didn’t invite them, they just came.
As in every contemporary home, things hummed and beeped in Lily’s kitchen, and she, responsive by nature, would murmur, Yes, dear, I know, I will get to it in a minute. Every time something beeped in her house, she compared the beep to Jerry, her husband, but not favorably; too often, she felt, he was abusive toward her, if not physically, then mouthly, if not deliberately, then indifferently. The beeps, on the other hand, were always delicate, non-pressing, just gentle reminders to take this or that out of the oven, the microwave, and each time, without fail, her heart opened with a tenderness toward them, just beeping machines, true, but machines that were programmed to care and be on her side.
No, she and …