Michael Hathaway


Some call him handicapped, some call him special,
some call him mentally disabled. I imagine he's been
called worse in his 59 years. I just call him Slim.
I work for him midnight to eight a. m., clean his house,
see to it he has safe, peaceful sleep. Around seven he
hobbles out of bed, appears in his living room
doorway, what little hair he has standing at-attention.
With his near-toothless grin he says, "HI!!!...I'm
hu-u-u-n-n-n-n-ngy!" While I fix his cereal, he
shuffles around his bedroom donning t-shirt and
overalls. He pats my shoulder, sits down to eat, says,
"Thank you, Man." He shovels frosted flakes in his
mouth, too fast, milk dribbling down his chin. He
approaches me at the sink, so earnestly, nose-to-nose.
He wants to tell me he's finished eating through a
mouthful of unchewed cereal, but coughs
unexpectedly. There I stand laughing at shift's end
my face a puddle of milk and soggy frosted flakes.

Michael Hathaway lives with 20+ cats in St. John, Kansas, and works as curator of Stafford County Museum. He published Chiron Review literary magazine from 1982-2005. His book Cosmic Children: Collected Kittens and Cats is available from PublishAmerica.com. Other books are available at Amazon.com.