The lazy cat eyed the lasagna. It had been licking its lips for the past hour as the smell of melted cheddar had wafted through the kitchen.  

“My dinner.” I said, as I carefully lifted the dish from the oven, “but of course I will give you some.”

The phone rang, and I shoved it into the crook of my neck cradling my ear.

“Yes, I am making dinner, Addison,” I said pulling the oven mitts away from the cookware as I set it on the stove. 

“What kind of cheese?”


“How much cheddar?”

“As much cheddar as I could possibly cram into lasagna. It’s a family recipe.”

“How would you like more cheese?”

“With how many layers of lasagna?”

“It’s all about cheese.”

“That’s not how you used to make cheese.”

I sighed, closing the refrigerator door and returning to the stove. 

“Sitting at home with my plump cat, watching reruns of old television shows, and sipping Arnold Palmers,” I said, poking the top layer of crust over my lasagna, silently enjoying the way it turned out.

“I don’t make deliveries anymore.”

“It’s too bad. I could use some lasagna tonight.”

“Order takeout.” I hung up the receiver. Addison was an old friend from a different era when life was a lot faster. There were a lot more acquisitions. But, it all catches up to you after a while. Your bones get brittle, and everything starts to hurt. It’s harder getting in and out of places, you used to get into. I never lost my acquisitions, and Addison knew that. My Persian meowed. He was curled up on the dinner table, sprawled out on his side, waiting on his human. I petted his fur. The soft texture of his fur soothed my mind. 

“What are we having side salad?” I said peeking into the fridge. “Definitely romaine lettuce” which followed my statement onto the table. “Tomato, I don’t really care for it, but I still want to add something. Croûtons.” I would have to fry bread if I didn’t have any in the fridge. Fortunately, there were some from a drive-through I had last week. Dressing or Vinaigrette? I decided to go with the vinaigrette. The acidity would balance out the richness of the cheese. I placed it in a bowl and threw a sheet of plastic wrap over the top. I placed it back on the shelf and poured myself some tea, collected my cat, and we sat down in the living room to watch television. 

The remote was under a couch pillow. I stroked my cat’s fur and began channel surfing. Cooking shows. There was a rerun of high noon on one of the channels. I stopped to watch the sheriff standing tall in the middle of the street. Risking all for the sake of his townsfolk. Prepare to secure his town from the bad guys. They didn’t make them like that anymore. 

 Jaws were playing on the next channel.

“You’re going to need a bigger boat.” Said, sheriff Roy. On the next channel, Rick was standing in a foggy airport, preparing to bid Ilsa goodbye.

“A hill of beans in this crazy world…”

I smiled at Rick’s decision. In a few minutes, she’d be on a plane, and he and Louie would be starting a beautiful friendship. I kept flipping through channels waiting on Addison’s next message. I didn’t feel like going out tonight. I sat my cat next to me on the couch and started doing push-ups, to avoid boredom setting in. I began counting feet around the living room. It was 300 feet, by 300 feet wide, with a living room fifty feet high. It took me approximately 40 steps to make it from one area of the living room to the next. I used to be good at rooms and alarm systems. 

“Ok, let’s eat boy,” I said. My lazy cat plopped off the couch with a slight thud. We walked into the kitchen and I pulled a plate from the cupboard. I cut a medium slice out of the lasagna, and spooned a small bit into a small dish for him.

“Complements for the chef?” I said, “Well he’s going to find out in a couple minutes.”

I scooped the slice onto my plate and took the salad out of the fridge. I opened the plastic tongs out of the dishwasher putting salad on the plate, as a tomato rolled to the edge of the plate but not over it. 

I poured the Vinaigrette over my salad and sat down at my dinner table. I was impressed. The gooey lasagna hit just the right spot. Just the right amount of cheese. When I had finished dinner, the plate went into the sink. I knew my phone would ring again. This isn’t going to be about dinner, It’s going to be about takeout. Addison is going to see if I want to go out to dinner with her. And I’m going to tell her I already ate. She’s going to say she has a special order with a lot of cheese, and wait for me to find out the details. I rub the tomato sauce into the suds and rinse the plate into the sink. Into the dishwasher the plates go. It’s redundant, but I’m a character of habit. I always count the number of steps from the couch to the kitchen -- it’s about eighty by the way. I leave the dishes in the dishwater and let the water out of the sink. The sink empties silently and I rinse the last suds down the drain. We had an understanding. I started thinking about my suit in the closet, and wondered if the belt still fit. I hadn’t used it in a while. It was a special tailor-made suit that kept me comfortable as possible on cold nights when my services were needed. I had a special calling card that lit up the sky in the middle of the night. I miss that card. It sent just the right message to everyone who saw it. 

March 02, 2023 00:39

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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