photo(25) Nobody likes teenage boys. They are the demographic I least like to meet when walking alone at night. Rude and aggressive, lack of smarts, lack of concern, driven by biology. I should know, I am the frazzled mother of the breed. Slacks did not come home last night. This is the third time he has gone missing in the wee hours before bed. I walk the blocks, my breath showing each time I call for him, my ears stinging with cold because wearing a hat would prevent me from hearing the jingle of his tags or his odd little cry. Previously he managed to make it home before bed, to my great relief. Last night was different. He was nowhere to be found and I closed my eyes over salty tears. Where could he be, was all I could write in my journal. I dreamt about Bello and woke crying, mourning anew my old dog, mourning the loss of my new little love. It is clear that I am dreadfully vulnerable again. It is scary to love something. This morning I laid in bed well past nine. I don't like to do this as it throws off the rhythm of the day to rise so late. But what was there to find? What could this day offer that would be worth participating in? Only the discovery of his body- my actual thought. And so I dressed like a huntsman and set out to find him one way or another. Damn teenage boys. They torment us all but none more so than their mothers. He shot out of the house across the street, the house occupied by a turning wheel of dudes in black hoodies with not enough body fat. "Oh, is this your cat...He's cool." Yes, it's my fucking cat! Read the fucking tags, and I swooped him into my arms and carried him home, twenty paces. He sleeps now, like he will never wake. I'm sure he was up all night, with the gang he calls his friends. And I curse and kiss him, safe for now, all of us.

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