24. The Parable of the Kitten on the Road

I was driving down the road one day. It was the kind of day where the drizzle comes intermittently, just enough to keep you damp but not enough to soak you unless you stay out for hours. At the moment, the air was mostly drizzle-free so I had my wipers turned off. My car swooped down the road at terrible speeds, a harbinger of evil. I was driving through a pine forest, and the road and my car upon it were the only signs of civilization.

Suddenly, what should appear by the side of the road but a small mammal lying motionless. I decided to stop to investigate. I slammed on the brakes as hard as I could, drying strips of road with the friction of my tires. The momentum of my body pressed me against the seat belt as the car decelerated amid shrieking wheels. It was like how you picture dying.

I got out of the car and slammed the door. All the windows exploded with the force of it. (I lose more car windows that way.) I walked back to where I’d seen the small mammal. My feet crunched on the wet grit of the shoulder. Crunch, crunch, crunch. When I got close to the crumpled, rain-soaked small mammal, I knelt down and inspected it.

It was a kitten. A very adorable, bedraggled kitten. Weak from hunger, its fur matted and soaked, it lay in a pathetic heap on the side of the road and struggled for breath. I got down on my hands and knees and put my face close to it.

“Fuck you, kitten,” I whispered. “You’re a lousy, rotten, no-good piece of shit. I flushed better turds than you down the toilet this morning.”

The kitten mewed pitifully. “Shut the fuck up, kitten,” I screamed in its tiny ears. Jumping to my feet, I wound up and kicked it. It flew up in the air a foot or two and went sailing about fifteen feet. It landed and rolled another few feet before coming to a stop.

I walked over and discovered it was still alive. Its very existence was an affront to all things wholesome. A wave of revulsion swept over me, and I soaked it in torrents of vomit.

Later, on the road again, the wind and drizzle freezing my face through the broken windshield, the sour tang of vomit in my mouth, I reflected on the kitten. I realized that we are all of us kittens on the road, waiting for some fuck-head to beat the shit out of us and drown us in their own puke.

Fuck you, kitten.

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