Portland, ME II

The Woman has closely cropped salt and pepper hair. Her dress is frumpy an ill-fitting black sports t-shirt, sweatpants, and pastel flip-flops. She repeats "come on, Thompson! Come on!" This does not make her insane—Thompson is, in fact, not coming on. Instead, he is putting his small pink nose up to a drainage pipe and wincing in disgust. She calls again and Thompson responds, trotting down the street after her. He is gray and black striped, thin, inquisitive. He is not on a leash. He gets sidetracked by a few scraggly weeds pushing through a crack in the sidewalk, a fixture of Portland's landscaping. "Come on, Thompson! Come on!" The Woman repeats this phrase every thirty seconds or so and the modulation of her voice is identical every time, like a message repeated from an airport loudspeaker. She stops and looks around as Thompson trots up to her and smears his facial pheromones on her ankle. She stares down at him blankly before resuming her slow walk down the street. Her call to Thompson is audible long after she rounds the corner, a monastic incantation between footsteps. Thompson is a very patient cat.