I came home to an empty house. No Seith. No Elvis. No Byron. No Mike. No Gina.
There was note on the counter from Mike:
Gina and I figured you might need some time to yourself, what with ElvisSeith being gone. We're going to spend the night at one of Gina's aunts' house.
You forgot to leave the door unlocked when you left, so Gina and I had to break in through the downstairs window. Don't think we did any damage but let me know if we did. You can call us at xxx-xxxx tomorrow morning. If we don't hear from you then, we'll see you at the show tomorrow night. It was so great the other night that we've decided to go again. Also, Big Gay Tom owes us a drink.
Thanks so much for letting us crash at your house for the past few days. It's been great spending time with you.
See you tomorrow night,
Mike & Gina
I sat at the piano and played for about an hour. It was three-thirty AM. I must have woken up a neighbor or two but nobody complained, which was a rarity in my neighboorhood. When I didn't want to play piano anymore I flipped through the TV stations. Nothing I wanted to watch. I went upstairs.
The carpet was beginning to smell. I went into the bathroom, got some carpet cleaner and powdered it up. Then I went into the bedroom.
This is the part of the story that seems contrived. I know this. It's true, though. When I got into my room I walked over to the chinchilla cage and pulled out Spider. The chichillas looked nearly identical, but could easily be told apart by the fact that Que Mal bleated almost constantly when he wasn't sleeping while Spider was hyper, but quiet. I played with Spider for a couple of minutes, letting him freak out and run around the room, and then decided to let Que Mal out.
Que Mal was asleep inside the little hutch thing that they slept in. I almost turned away to just let him sleep when I noticed the blood. Que Mal was not sleeping.
I've told various stories about how/why Que Mal died. They're all true to an extent. I'm just not sure which is the real truth. A couple of days after we I bought the chinchillas, Seith and I noticed them fighting. I was going to go separate them when I noticed that they weren't fighting at all. They were fucking.
Spider and Que Mal were both boys. We were assured of this when we bought them. After we noticed the fucking, I brought them to the pet store to make absolutely sure I hadn't accidentally purchased a chinchilla farm. They were both boys.
"Awwwww." Seith said, "They take after us."
Que Mal was always the fucker in the relationship. Spider, the fuckee. One of the ways I explain Que Mal's death is that he'd been raping Spider, and then on the night Seith left, Spider decided not to take it anymore, and --
It could be true.
There are other things, though. A day or so before Seith left/Que Mal died, I found the cord to my terrarium heater had been chewed almost all the way through. I figured Seith had been playing with the chinchillas, and one of them had chewed through it. It's possible that little Que Mal fried his brain on electricity and had a slow painful death (or a quick one, neither of us paid much attention to them the last two days), and Spider had either finished him off for reasons known only to him, or else -- I don't know. There was blood, something violent happened.
I really thought the Spider/Que Mal relationship was a metaphor for our own. I just don't know how.
In the sexual sense, I guess I was Que Mal the Fucker and Seith was Spider the Fuckee. Maybe this meant that Seith had succeeded in killing the dominant part of my sex life.
But Que Mal was definitely Seith's chinchilla, bratty, noisy, and pushing Spider (me) to his breaking point. I drove Seith out of my life while Spider put an end to Que Mal's.
I suppose it could be that Seith's playing with my temper/Que Mal chewing the cord did them both in.
I just don't know.
A couple of weeks after Seith left I gave Spider to a friend of mine who worked at an animal shelter. I was getting restless. Aching to move out of the house. Everywhere I went I saw Seith. He was in the bed. In the shower. In the fibers of the carpet. My life was every bad made-for-TV movie where the main character sees The One That Left Them's reflection in every surface. It wasn't until I started classes a few weeks later that I met someone who took the ElvisSeithByronRex weight off my mind.