Sinistrella, Part 4

Our revelation of Sinistrella's snitch-status during the Moscow Cat Circus performance seemed to have cast a spell over all who had witnessed the events of the sawdust ring: The whole tent full of people maintained a lengthy, tense silence as their gazes remained locked upon the dewigged Sinistrella.

I felt my cell phone vibrate. I had a text message: Quisiera dormir como un gato / con todos los pelos del tiempo / con la lengua del pedernal / con el sexo seco del fuego.*

"Evangelina has sent me a passage from Neruda's 'Sueno del Gato,'" I whispered to young Ikey. "That's 'Cat's Dream,'" I added, seeing the puzzled look on my tiny protege's face. "Evangelina! Mi amor! I must go to her at once!"

As my companero and I made to depart, I turned for a last look at the crowd, which seemed to be advancing on Sinistrella much as the sideshow clan encircles the blonde villainess who has brought them so much trouble in the final scene of Tod Browning's Freaks. I paused and shook my head sadly before continuing my departure. Ikey opened his mouth and his tail formed a question mark, but before he could speak, I whispered, "You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?"

At my young protege's further befuddlement, I offered, "That's from Neruda's I'm Explaining a Few Things, or, Explico algunas cosas in the original. Written 70 years ago, under another fascist regime."

"Master Rocky," wee Ikey said to me, "I could not help but notice the intriguing change that came over your noble countenance as you recited those poetical lines. I, too, must learn Spanish!"

I patted him on the shoulder. "Young fellow, you are an accomplished strategist and fighter; when you are able to read Neruda in the original, then I will say: Now you are a cat of taste and refinement."

We exited the circus tent and went our separate ways.


* I should like to sleep like a cat,

with all the fur of time

with a tongue rough as flint

with the dry sex of fire


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