My friend tunes in the radio while we are driving with my girlfriend’s Father. We ride in a large black SUV. It is nighttime in the country. There is just electric light from the dashboard. My friend finds a cult station he knows well. It broadcasts a mantra over and over again for hours on end. It’s called a “chanting station”. He does not understand the mantra. He says that every once in a while they slip in some soap commercials. I find this to be sacrilege. There is no reaction from my girlfriend’s Father.

I explain to everyone about how recently I saw people coming out of the emergency animal hospital on my street with a huge cage. I gesture wildly with my arms to show the size of the animal as I tell the story. Inside the cage was a giant cat with stripes. The animal brought me closer instantly as I had never seen anything that fantastic on my street.  The men moving the cat told me it was a Savannah Cat from Africa.  I was immediately humbled by this creature.

When we return to the house, we must act like the party did not happen. We must hide these facts from my girlfriend’s Mother and Father. They seem to like me even though I am a bad person and lie all the time.

X. F. Pine