An eight-story French bulldog stares blankly at me from across the street. Not even at me, but in my direction. I can never tell what those crosseyed motherfuckers are looking at. “This is quite the gamble you’ve taken.” That’s my inner monologue talking, not the dog. I don’t hear the dog, I’m not insane. I just talk to myself a lot —what else is there to do. Also, I suspect the dog doesn’t truly give a shit I’ve committed the very last of my life’s savings to this sinking ship.
No, the dog just sits there, waiting. One motionless eye on me, the other one looking off into the sunset, into a deadpan future. It seems to already know the ending, which makes for very dispassionate viewing. Yes, the dog is not invested in my story, I can tell. And who could blame it. I mean, what is this, my fifth attempt at life? We really seem to be circling last-ditch territory this time around, too.
The notion that this dog will likely watch me die and remain just as expressionless as it is right now is unsettling. Why bother, dog. Life is too short to just sit and go through the motions. Get invested, dog! Just don’t bark at me, I can’t stand it, I’m a cat person for a reason —many reasons, in fact, but that is a big one. Actually no, life is long as fuck. I myself have lived and died several times in 35 years. So who am I to tell you shit. Do whatever you want, dog. Just, again, no barking.
“This is quite the gamble you’ve taken.” Ugh, shut up, part of myself. Do you have that, too? That one refraction of your psyche that is so mouthy? There’s always that one. No matter the interface it passes through, however obliquely, the intensity of that one bitch is always off the charts. They just love to run their mouth.
So goddamn preachy and self-righteous, too. Hey asshole, if you’ve got all the answers, how come I keep fucking up! You only show up after the fact, to lecture me on things I already learned the hard way. Get the fuck out of here with that Hermione attitude. At least she had the knowledge to back it up, you ain’t shit. You think you can come all calm and collected and talk down to me in your TV dad voice after I’ve shot my shit to hell? Fuck that.
You know who I really like? Drunk me. That bitch doesn’t give A SHIT. She’s just having a blast, loving everyone and everything. Although I suppose she’s sort of unhealthy. She is a horrible binger. Cannot control her urges. She’s invariably horny and hungry. Will end the night at either Burger King or Grindr without fail. Or both! —unless she bottoms, but that’s been a rare occurrence in the last handful of years. We’ve agreed I’ve gotten too lazy to prep in my old age.
I can tell the dog is bored with us. Still there it sits and watches. It never occurred to me that I might be its penance. The dog might be serving some kind of sentence, unable to look away from the boring, mildly psychotic gay guy’s apartment. Wow. We really are so entitled. I’m sorry, dog. I don’t know what the Powers That Be are lording over you that you have to endure this. Or what you’ve done to deserve it. We’ve all done some shit.
We might just get along now, dog. Bark a little, if you must.
But do try to keep it down. I’m barely holding it together over here.