It happened so quickly. Me, staring at the crack in left window pane. Me, feeling the buzz of a fly or gnat or something fly by. A mosquito on my wrist and absentmindely scratching at it. Me, walking up, me peering down. Noticing the blood on my wrist. Then me holding him, him wrapping his hands around my waist swaying like we were on a ship. He exclaimed, “Shit!” as I vomited but he didn’t push me away. No, he pulled me closer and led me to the car.   Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him flag her down while I was still bent over. I remember wanting to lie down on the pavement but being feeling pulled back up by him.
“This taxi has no taxi sign,” I murmured.
My legs felt asleep. Tingly, or like the muscle had stopped working. Like they didn’t work properly. My debit card, which had been clutched between my index and middle finger, dropped on the grass and I heard him say jesus but then it was back in my hand.
“Put it in your pocket,” and I felt him dig in my shorts
My meek whispers of ok but still swatted at his hand slightly. Reflex. I remember everything in color. Staring at the yellow house with the crack in the white window pane and the verdant grass, glistening, still dewy. I think I wanted to sit on it, touch it with my tips and remember school days. Early morning walks like this always make me think of going to the bus stop. Paused, recalling three places now; the van rides, the bus rides, the plane ride here. The flight at 7:17 am and the fortune from the fortune cookie I found at baggage claim: Luck! You are on an adventure!
When I crawled into the car, my debit card fell on the carpeted bottom and I watched it. As the door slammed, I set my eyes on it: black with silver indention, numbers, meaningless, put together somehow linked to currency. Somehow linked to me. I should pick this up.
“I should pick this up,” I murmured.
It was 6:45 am, eighty degrees and rising and I had to yet to drink or eat anything.  I had brought the card to buy water if needed. I remember declaring out loud that I was going to the house to get help that’s why he caught me in the driveway. Sheepish in infirmary, I felt the need to explain myself. WhyI needed a hand or why I had been sick. Blamed it on food. Why I had paused to talk to that caterpillar. Why I ate a whole box of crackers four nights ago. Why the smell of vomit sometimes cradles me.
“Quiet, lay down,” he said through the open window.
I thought we had already left. I was on my knees on the seats reaching for the card but in vain and then turning.  On my back, it felt worse. The vinyl stuck to perspiring thighs. The car undulated. Felt like I was floating atop a sea of waves coming in. Above me a piece of the spongy brown foam ceiling was hanging;  slit like someone had taken a razor and sliced it.
“That always happens in old cars,” I muttered.
“Are you ok, honey? You gonna make it?” she shouted from the front.
She had big brown curly hair. That’s what I could see. And one of those Yankee Candle air fresheners. Pineapple. I remember saying something like Oh God and sitting up and her screeching a bit and telling me to hold on. I remember grabbing my torso and letting my head rest against the closed window. Closer to her, I could hear her gum snap as she drove, loud. The sensation overtook me. Remember saying I may have caught a stomach bug from my roommate. Remember lying back down the opposite way so I could see the side of her face: slightly wrinkled, her jaw moving effortlessly, plain, white, in her fifties. Remember telling them the house number o n e f i v e o  n e   t  w e e e l v e. Slow like that. Remember a brown Hyundai with vinyl seats. Wasn’t a taxi. At some point, I looked down and saw my forearm covered with yellow spit. I’ve always been lucky. My debit card was laying by my shoe. I was sitting up again.  I’ve always been like this: tainted.  She helped me up the driveway. Said I was “dead weight.” I remember her saying that. I’ve always been lucky.
“Girl, you are dead weight.”
It felt like being dragged. She waited til I hit the code to the door, which I did remember and began to say it out loud z e r o f o u r no no honey don’t tell me, just get in. Felt  like falling asleep. Like I was falling asleep as I began to walk through the door. I don’t remember how I got upstairs but in an hour someone was shaking me lightly.
Cat.
I heard a whisper.
Catarina.
“Mmm.”
Cat.
I felt something poke me in my back. Catarina.
“Ok, I’ll drink the water.”
I pushed my body up so I could reach the nightstand. There it sat: the half glass from last night and just a little ways past, the oak in morning light. Even though my whole body felt stiff, I turned my head anyway. There was no one in the bed. It was just her repugnant smile.  I could see her out the window in her white billowing dress and dirty blonde hair, Catarina
scratching at the pane with a branch
Catarina
tapping on the pane with a branch.
Catarina
that dead stare
Cat
that dead stare.

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