Dog Day Afternoon
I HAD HEARD THAT IF I PUT YOU at the middle of my life my life would improve and it was true. It seemed you had a strong need to go to the country, the ocean, to live in the woods a little while. After all you really needed a car. And every time I opened the door you were so happy to jump in and see where the wonderful expedition was taking you. When you were old you had your own furniture, step-ups and soft benches so you could make the old leap into the truck still and off we’d go. You had soft bowls, and hard ones, short cups, and you would even drink right out of my hands. I had to remember to take care of you. If it was hot you needed water and I realized then that I needed water too.
With you everything got better. It got close. Or we could sit outside and look into the distance. Or I could just sit there, inside or out, and gaze at the parts of you. Your paws. So soft I’d rub my fingers against them, your hard round living mittens. Your pads, the underneath of your feet, were like delicate sneakers, hardy from walking barefoot all the time, but I had to also notice that I was wearing flip-›¢flops now because the tar was so hot and you were alive and felt things too. Ouch. I loved how you loved snow. You’d bounce and smile and go crazy. You learned to swim so very old. Water made you young again, light. The green illumination went on in your eyes and you had everything back again. You liked the city, the garbage, the stink, the sidewalks covered in chicken bones, and French fries and an opera of smelly stuff and the country was so wild, and you just liked to run.
I don’t think you were a friend, you were more like dating life itself, meeting it head-on so every time I went into it with you, or if I was in my apartment, home alone or with someone else, you always threw us back on what we were doing and how we were doing because you needed us, and your stuff, your toys, your water, your food, your in and out and that was it and why was I ever suffering, why did I think life was so complicated when it was simply this. Us here now.