I used to play with Legos as a child, but I never built a prison. I had the colors for it. For this one, at least. Sometimes I played with them in the dirt, or in the sweet cedar ash in front of the fireplace. This cell has a grey, rusted concrete floor. I could’ve grinded down the burnt sienna pastel and smeared it over the little ashen Lego knobs. My cell also has a cat, but I never had a cat Lego. The bottom half of the walls are green, and a sickly pale yellow over top, like a bowl of split pea soup sitting stagnant, separated. My Legos had all the colors of split pea soup, because I used to make all of my mother’s food with them. We used to cook together, she at the stove and I with a plastic cauldron, until the accident. That was the first fire, when she died, and it was an accident.
The priest visited some time ago, maybe a few weeks or a month, to drop off the cat. This cat was being issued to me, as I understand it, for comfort. The priest said it would give me purpose for the remaining time, though the cat doesn’t seem to need me. The guards feed him, and he’s trained to use the toilet in my cell. I spend a lot of time watching him. He’ll chase bugs around, his wild nails clicking madly across the concrete. Sometimes I’ll lay on my side and watch him lick the pea soup walls for hours, and I can almost taste how cold it must be. I think about cooking it, but then I remember the awful taste of melted Legos.
When I lay down to sleep, the cat leaps up on my chest. He circles once before settling with all of his feet hidden beneath his plump body. I can feel the weight of him, the heat breathing in and out, swelling and shrinking. When I wake, he is sitting in the center of the cell. His eyes meet mine. His tail ticks back and forth, swaying like a drunken metronome. The rusted concrete casts a fiery glow around his shadow that bursts frantically as the light flickers.