“Sanitation” by Kevin Wilson, page 2

        “Daddy dropped me off early,” the girl said. “He’s going fishing with Uncle Jay for the rest of the week.”
        “You’re not supposed to be here,” the woman said.
        “Boo-hoo,” the girl said, “Sorry.”
        “I’ll just leave,” I said, but the woman didn’t even look at me and I realized that I had no car and so I just shut up, watched the rabbit’s nose do that thing they do, pulsating almost.
        “Where did you get that?” the woman asked Candace.
        “Daddy bought it for me,” the girl responded.
        “I bet he did, that fucker. You can’t keep it, honey.”
        “Yes I can,” the girl said, her face darkening.
        “Your daddy didn’t even buy a cage or food or anything. And there’s bunny shit on the floor.”
        “He’s mine and I’m keeping him.” The girl looked like she’d stab somebody if she could get away with it. She had crazy eyes.
        “Rabbits are easy to care for,” I said, wishing I hadn’t.
        “Hey, Mr. Animal Man, you go into the bedroom and just wait for me,” the woman said, and I did just what she said, left her standing over her daughter and the rabbit. In the bedroom, in the drawer of the nightstand, I found a box of condoms and decided that, yes, the whole point of this was sex, feeling focused for the first time all night. I stripped out of my jumpsuit and took a shower and when I came out of the bathroom, she was waiting on the bed, totally naked. “Where’s Candace?” I asked, which was creepier than I’d intended. “Asleep,” she said, “Now, come here.”
        I walked right into her, our heads bumped, and then we were fucking. She adjusted my position about ten times before she got what she wanted and she made noise and I kept thinking, “Be good at this, be good at this, be good at this,” and she said, “Keep doing that,” and I said, “I’ll keep doing it,” and then she started trembling and she came and that seemed like a good cue that I could finally come, so I did, and then I lay on top of her, kissing her neck. After a minute or so had passed, me still inside of her, she said, “Okay, you have to get your dick out of me,” which seemed like the worst thing I’d heard up to that point in my life, and I rolled off of her. “You can stay if you want,” she said, and I said, “I don’t have a car,” and she laughed and said, “I kidnapped you, didn’t I?” I started to make some joke about it but she was already asleep.
        The next morning, I woke up, knowing I had to be at work early, figuring out how I was going to ask this woman to get up and drive me to my car. I opened the door to the bedroom, stepped into the hallway, and felt something wet under my feet. I lifted my foot and there was a piece of meat, the fur still attached, stuck between my toes. It was everywhere, pieces of that poor fucking rabbit, all over the place. I had no idea how the girl had done it, but the rabbit had been turned inside out, ripped into tiny pieces. I wondered where the nose was, the head, the feet, but it was impossible to tell what anything was, it was just pink meat and dark red blood and tufts of black fur. I thought about how, a few weeks ago at the water park, there had been a contest where they tossed a huge watermelon, covered with grease, into the pool and whoever could get the thing to the edge of the pool first would win in. The kids went nuts, scratching each other, nearly drowning, the watermelon bobbing in the water. Finally, this group of black kids teamed up, formed a circle around one boy, and got the watermelon to the edge. The boy held it in his arms like it was a trophy. And a few hours later, I went to get the trash out of the boys’ bathroom and the fucking watermelon was busted wide open, all over the floor. The meat of it was whitish pink, not yet ripe, and I had to pick up every little piece and put it in the trash, black seeds sticking to my hands and arms. And I had to resist the urge, however stupid it was, to eat even the smallest piece of the watermelon because I knew it was ruined.
        I went back into the bedroom, got into my garbage and sweat soaked jumpsuit, put on my shoes, and walked out of the apartment, pieces of the rabbit squishing under my sneakers. I walked down the road, knowing I wasn’t going to make it to work on time, if I ever made it, and wished that rabbit, when the woman and I had opened the door to the apartment, had wised up, trusted its instincts, and taken off like a shot into the wild and never stopped running.
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