Today was one of those lousy walking days. I was functionally alert in my head all day but the rest of me never woke up. I knew coming home there would be a happy yellow dog looking to play but sadly I'd have to bail on him, exhausted from the day. So, walking in the door, I get the usual enthusiastic loops in and out of my legs and I hook him up to his long lead so that I can sit on the ground while he can go to the bathroom nearest to the parking lot. Then, we both go back up to the apartment, he eats his food and patiently crawls up to join me on the couch for an evening of reading. I couldn't ask to a better end to a challenging day. I couldn't ask for a better best friend to pal around with on a low walking kind of day.
I walk in the door and peek around the corner. I am doing a rapid and quick assessment. Labradors are bouncing at my feet. One yellow one is wiggling his way between my legs while a black one is spinning in circles glancing around for something, anything to put in his mouth to carry over to me. I pat black dog. Yellow dog barks in indignation. I pat yellow dog and give him a kiss on his cheek. So far the kitchen is in tack. My glance in the living room reveals two jars of spagetti sauce I know I put in the recycling the night before, one squished empty can of lentil soup (also in the recycling last night) with a half missing label, and lots and lots of dog fur. I stand up straighter.
"Good job boys!!" I praise.
One can never be sure.
The black lab is stealthy at finding his way into my bed no matter what traps I lay as a deterrents. We're talking two chairs, a fan and a sideways walker (folded up). Stumped. A curtain, a card table, fan, two chairs, walker and couch cushion seems to have prevailed this time so my sheets may make it another few nights.
One day I came home to my bike lock on my bed, slightly frayed but overall in tack. Yay bike lock! Labrador teeth couldn't break you!
As I move into the living room I notice they must have had a pillow fight. Lab 1 verses Lab 2. It is unclear who won but the couch certainly lost. The cushion is half on, half off. Blankets are tangled. Pillows tossed.
The dogs have found a toy and are dragging each other this way and that as they now have an audience to watch.
"Yes, hello boys, aren't you too cute?" I say and flip a cushion up to watch as I relax into my afternoon. Doggie day care, Orion Timothy/Oliver Jackson style. All is good.
It occurred to me recently that the boy is turning four just around the corner. Four years old. Not a big deal to most but my, does that sound old to me. I thought about this as I lay curled up on the couch with my arm around him this morning. Four years old.
"Would you like me to tell you a story about when you were a little boy puppy dog?" I ask him. "When you were little," I begin and flash through all these images of his chubby belly, his antics, legs slipping out from under him as he learned to walk on the wood floor. "I bought this bell for you to ring when you needed to go out..." We snuggle and I tell him stories. "Can you believe you're going to be FOUR in December?" I say. I probably should start planning his birthday party.
Today I was driving home from work and it was one of those days where I just could not snap out of being exhausted and grumpy. All day long. I just wanted to stay in bed with Orion today. Skip school. As I am driving though I think about his happy self greeting me when I come home. I smile. I think about snuggling on the couch as the night rolls in and how we have scheduled only one walk and then we're free to be nice and quiet hanging out with just each other and it is a good thing, and while I hold on to that thought, I forget to be grumpy and tired.
I told him I kept this day free for him because I've been so busy we haven't had good hang out time. He agreed, cleaned the pizza dough off my hands, then fell asleep on my feet on the couch. It was a good night for the two of us. I reminded him he was the best thing I ever did for myself.
I love it now I can come home after school and lay on the couch with my dog and he will actually want to snuggle. I think this is part of him turning three. Every now and then I still wonder if he sick because he is so still and so at ease I don't recognize them as the Labrador I've raised up until three.
But really even more than after school, I love waking up in the morning and taking the time, the extra hour, where I hit the sleep button to just relax with him.
This is Orion and his new thunder shirt. It is our last chance attempt and dealing with the barking in the car. I figured I would return it after two weeks if I saw no improvement. I figured this right up until he ate the box.
"Did you know that I missed you today? I do very much enjoy our summer time where I spend time with you and we lay on this couch and snuggle and go for walks and snuggle and just basically snuggle."
Orion continues to listen astutely while resting his head on my leg at the foot of the couch.
"You do know you're my best friend dog? I mean pretty much you are my best friend period. You hang out with me you spend all day listening to me... We go on hikes together, hang out with me all the time, you move with me, you're very easy to get along with and you don't drive me crazy, you don't mind so much when I am moody and just want to be quiet. I tell you all my life experiences and I asked for your advice a lot of times when I'm stressed out about things... You make me smile a lot and laugh and generally you have a very uplifting personality. You're an excellent conversationalist and you let me pet you constantly when I'm feeling stressed or just when I feel like petting you constantly. You also are great subject to paint and probably because I love you so much I do good job at it. And I love coming home and seeing your smiling face and tell you all these great things about you because really you're the best thing I ever did for myself."
My best friend dog has played everyday with his dog buddies since last Thursday. His favorite past time now is sleeping while we hang out. It is really rather charming, especially since he can't even muster up the energy to chase bike riders or motorcycles.
This week Orion and I have just been having a fun time hanging out together. Saturday night I opted to have a cook-a-thon because I don't eat a well balanced diet if food is not readily available, and so I set to work. Chop, chop, chop the peppers.
"Have you ever had peppers?" I toss one to Orion. "Try one."
Peel, peel, nearly cut my finger off, peel. "Have you ever had eggplant skin? It's purple. I think you should like it." I toss a slice his way. He snags it mid air, takes a chew, spits it out. "No? Ok, well try a piece of eggplant." Same result.
"Mental note log: Orion does not like eggplant." I pause in my slicing party, "That's a shame buddy because it's one of my favorite things. Especially on pizza."
I pop open a can of spaghetti sauce, pour it along the bottom of my pan. Pass the empty jar off to Orion. "Do not bring that to my couch." He marches in the other room to the couch. I stick my head around the corner. "Off the couch!" He drops the jar to the floor. I go back to laying down my noodles, and peek a minute later. "Off my couch!" This process is repeated three times with the remaining spaghetti jar, and the ricotta cheese container.
Satisfied everything is prepared, I throw the lasagna and the squash meal in the oven to cook then start the stove-top squash dish. By the time all was said and done we had 7 separated containers of lasagna that I could take out and reheat, three squash meals, and had eaten enough in the prep to call it a night. Orion worked on tidying up the remaining dishes and we both flopped on the couch to discuss our victorious cook-a-thon.
It's closing on midnight. I just finished a softball game where we were short two players and somehow I ended up leaving the safety of my right field to play shortstop for the game. My ankles hurt. I'm thankful to be horizontal, only to realize I am the parent in what quickly has become a labrador sleepover party.
My friends Mary Kate & Becky have left for a handful of days to visit family. Their five year old black lab, Oliver, has become the housesitting addition. So, yellow lab and black lab have played constantly, all day, shredding all but a single toy so that the living room appears to be an explosion of fluffy white clouds. Orion's toys thus far have held up--being well versed with tuck, chew, pull and tear. But here we are at the end of the day, piled into the peaceful meditation room at my friend's house, myself, Orion, and Oliver are anticipating settling down to sleep.
I quickly scan the room and opt to lift the meditation alter with tiny purple crystals up on to the bureau. I can see Orion deciding these crystals are really rock candy laid out just for him, and the peacefulness of my friend maybe not appreciating his thoughtfulness in cleaning up the leftover rocks. Next, I lift the book off the floor, so that we are now left with only a nyla bone, carpet and some magazines--I feel aptly safe in that if the magazines get "read" tonight, we will still have friends come Monday...
"Come on up!" I say, tucking my legs under the sheet. Up comes the black lab, stretching out along my body like a soft snuggle toy. I roll over and throw my arm over him. I'm teaching him what it's like to be able to cheat and go to sleep in bed with humans. Yellow dog is not such a fan of being replaced. Up he half hops and thinks, "What a great time to wrestle! It's dark, maybe Oliver won't see me..." (insert obvious issue with Oliver being camouflaged perfectly in black and my bright yellow dog sticking out like a sore thumb in the darkened room.)
Suddenly my snuggle toy is moving all over. I'm getting paws in my legs, hot dog breath on my calves. The air chomping as one dog tries to chew the other over takes the peaceful white noise of the fan.
"Guys, we are trying to SLEEP here." I say.
No avail. Yellow one is giving a wookie soundtrack to this WWF. I pull their collars. "SLEEP. You've been playing ALL day!"
Round two bell must've rung because they're going strong. I feel an elbow to my ribs.
"I AM NOT A PARTICIPANT!" I call out. "I AM TRYING TO SLEEP!"
Round three starts up after both lay down and then the quiet black lab starts subtly rotating closer and closer to the yellow labs neck.
"Oliver," I say, "You're suppose to be the well behaved one. Don't egg him on. He will not stop."
I sigh. So much for training. So much for my two dog snuggle party.
Somehow I feel all of this was started because the yellow dog was jealous of an arm around a black dog.
Orion has had a pretty stellar morning complete with a morning walk from me, a near miss with Charlie the attack cat, a swim, then he was called to go to the dog park with Becky (she has a black lab named Oliver), Sarah & Kris (Watson, his usual playmate) and made new friends there too... I took the camera along, snapped some great pics, but to share a few and then the aftermath of this great morning is the best sequence...
"You were suppose to make an adorable first impression you know?" I say, driving home. "Barking constantly was not a good strategy."
He is quiet in the back seat.
"I even gave you all those bones and took you on two nice hikes."
"You are usually sweet."
Head lowers to seat.
"I'm just saying, you weren't on your best behavior today. I'd like you to work on that. Yeah, I know, sleep all the way home but we weren't driving on highways today so you had to bark..."
I think he quit listening and fell asleep.
"I still love you though."
He stayed passed out the whole ride home and is now out cold on my bed. Go figure.
"Did you have a good day today? You got to play with Steve and King? I'm so glad for you."
"I would have liked to have been here but I got caught in a fire alarm and decided not to drive for awhile after. Sorry buddy."
"We're laying low tonight. I'm super worn out and moody over the stupid alarm."
Whine. Eye gesture to the top of the fridge.
"Look I already gave you a bone. If I give you another that's the last one, deal?"
"Come here and shake on it."
He moves forward.
He gives me his paw.
I get up and get him a bone.
"Hey," a scruffy looking guy calls to me as I'm walking Orion down the sidewalk.
"We've got some puppies in here, you want to take a look? Are you interested?"
"Me?" I laugh. "Oh no, I've got my hands full with him already. We made it to three and that's an accomplishment! But thanks..."
I continue on, round the corner, and pray my shoulder stays attached as a gray cat darts in front of us...
Got home from school, snagged the boy and chilled in AJ/Cherry's backyard. I love watching the two of them smile and sprint around that yard...
It's closing in on dusk as I take the boy and Chloe out for their evening walk. I was gone most of the day, came in, ran to the bathroom, they milled around, Orion dipping under my legs (making the bathroom part a wee bit challenging) and barking, Chloe rubbing her itchy nose on my legs, me laughing and riling them up. But out we were, our usual parade of Orion on the long line leading in front, me in the middle, Chloe trailing behind.
I'm singing, talking to the dogs. Feeling happy. It was a perfect kind of day, had coffee with one friend after school, great chiropractor visit, fun softball practice and here I was home, still feeling energized.
"Oh what a perfect kind of day today," I say, pausing with the dogs as they sniff the fence line. "Coffee with Brett after school in the sunshine, great chiropractic visit with Brenna, softball practice with the sun setting..." Orion is walking ahead, taking full advantage of having the long line. I slowly let my eyes follow to where he is headed and promptly clamp down on the leash. He hasn't noticed yet, but there is a grey cat resting right at the foot of the stairs for which he's about to approach. I smile, watching to see when he'll notice, his nose still contentedly sniffing the grass (likely tracking the smell of the cat in front of him). Suddenly he notices. He leaps a good foot in the air in excitement. Myself, a good ten feet away, lean back, like I'm reeling in a big fish. Orion flops, he hops, he dances with enthusiasm.
The cat just sits there and looks at him.
I take a step closer. Orion jumps some more. I start veering out into the road, noting the car that has pulled into the street seems instead to be parking. Hanging onto my giant fish, I try to make a big circle around the cat. Orion is still leaping about. Chloe, bless her, is keeping up with me, three feet behind me, oblivious to the cat, happy to be in the street. Finally, the cat gets up. The car door opens to the car in the street and "Bill" walks over and says, "Aww, who's the big guy after--Juno? You don't want to go up against Juno, Big Guy, Juno will kick the crap out of you..." I'm laughing, still reeling in my dog, who has now turned to leap around the house where the grey cat has disappeared.
Bill, out in the street now, throws his hands in the air, "Come here big guy!" Orion changes his interest and leaps after Bill, licking his face and acting like they haven't just met two seconds ago, but rather are the very best of long lost friends. I begin telling Bill about Bubba the cat in Indiana who has forever spoiled Orion as he loved dogs and would play with Orion only in the way Orion dreamed cats would. I then get to learn of Bill's life story and his bit of wisdom regarding how one should live their life.
The sun has definitely disappeared now beyond the horizon, and as Bill is telling me about the two rules of life, I notice Orion sniffing around the cat door on the house that had the cat just hanging out in front of it. I glance briefly, noting the cat perch is empty so figure this porch too is empty. I've never actually seen the cat use the door. I go back to listening to Bill.
"Yup, you have to find something you're passionate about--like art! Or like in my case..."
And then there's a screaching. A hissing. And a yellow lab falling down three steps, rapidly backing his little pink nose as far from that cat door as he could. I look up and see whiskers poking out of the tiny dark hole and can't help but start laughing.
"Are you okay buddy?" I say, snuggling his face, checking for flesh wounds. "I guess there was a second cat?"
I'm lying in bed, attempting to sleep to see if my body's nervous system will reset itself. I just got a ride home from school from my friend Sarah and my neighbor Steve thoughtfully took out Orion for me so I luckily didn't have to do so when I got home. Orion was rather bored with the idea of me sleeping however, so he wasn't up for a snuggle.
Dozing in and out, I hear Orion working on the can of beans that had been empty since last week but which I put a smidge of peanut butter inside to keep him company. Slosh, slosh, slosh. Tongue licking sounds populate near my feet. I move my feet so he quits bumping them and irritating my system more.
Slosh, slosh, slosh; he moves the can of beans closer again. I move my feet.
Eventually I seem to doze partway out, then I wake to hearing him in the kitchen. What could possibly interest him in the kitchen, I think...
And then I realize. I set my school bag down when I came home today. My lunch satchel was in it. I wonder for a moment if there's really anything even worth getting? An orange? An apple? Clearly, I'm not going to try to move out there to get the bag so I just resolve not to sweat the small stuff and keep chilling out in bed.
He sticks his head around the corner. He has something in his mouth. I peer over. It's two of my string cheese sticks, still in the wrappers. I laugh, then open one and give it to him. Least this way he's not eating the plastic (like the two dead tupperware containers I later noticed) and I won't have to deal with hot cheese lost to the abyss of my bedroom...
Orion and I are walking in from an hour walk in the rain. I'm thrilled to be home and able to quit walking, though impressed that I made the whole thing, especially after a day of work and without my cellphone to fish us out of a potentially bad situation. Orion, as usual, sprints up the stairs, then continues sprinting down the hallway, butt tucked, in his crazy dog run. I'm chuckling as I slowly walk up the stairs, and then I hear his paws heading back down towards me in a rapid sprint. I can hear him put on the brakes, but his wet little feet couldn't stop in time and he came flying right down towards me, three steps cleared in the air. I happily scooped him up and he turned around and flew back down the hallway.
I'm out on the porch talking to Steve, who wanders out of his apartment with a cup of coffee in hand. He's hardly awake. He's mumbling and dropping to low tones so that I'm straining to hear what he's saying and he tells me it takes him awhile to wake up in the morning. Orion's loving this extra visitor, as I obliged him to be out in the fresh air but since my legs haven't kicked in 100% stable, I wasn't exactly "playing" with him. So there's Steve, wrestling around with the yellow dog and he says, "Hey, I'm going to go in and get another cup of coffee to try and wake up, then I'll take him for a walk." "Great!" I say, knowing Orion can use some adventures on what is likely to be a low key day.
A few moments later Steve shows up at my door, we hook Orion up, and he says, "We'll be going right by the cats, Ryan." (Orion gets different nicknames from Steve; O'Rielly, Rielly, Ryan) I don't mind.
So then, the 6'5" Steve opens the door and the next thing you see is him rapidly disappearing as Orion lunges forward. I just start laughing. Oh, the ways to wake up...
The lights are out and his head is draped over my calve. His legs make rustling noises as they brush against the blanket in movement. His head rocks a bit, back and forth, twitching in his sleep.
Once, not long ago, this made me uncomfortable. Made me feel like crying. I would put my hand out to still his paws because it reminded me too much of my own motion that I couldn't control, though in my case, very much awake.
Now, I don't mind it as much. I don't mind it because I've been doing so much better for three months that the twitching, the shaking, the tremors, only come once or twice a month. They only stay for an hour tops, unlike the days upon days. The unexpected mornings, afternoons. Hours upon hours.
If I saw my new neurologist I'd give her a hug and tell her she has changed my life, just like Dr. Catherine who still works to get my system back on track (and knows how much I value her healing), and has stuck with me before I went on the migraine medicine.
But for now, I can sit here in the dark and smile as Orion dreams of running in his sleep. I can smile at his little rustling legs and realize how nice it is to notice this doesn't bother me any more.
The hour is quarter to eleven and we settle in for the second start to our morning. Yesterday, feeling under the weather, I fell asleep at six p.m. and slept till 9, back to bed at 10, up at four to let Orion pee, then out again till 7 this morning. When I woke up my stomach felt my own, and my head resumed feeling normal again and Orion was ready for us to do something. My bones were ready to do something as well, sick of being stationary, so after bundling up we headed for the dog park to meet our friends Kris, Sarah and Watson.
The dog park may be one of my favorite places to walk when Orion is behaving himself and I'm not having anxiety issues over him tackling bikers, chasing runners, or humping every dog around. It is a huge plot of land where the old state mental hospital use to be, with rolling hills, big fields, tree lines and a stream that runs through it. Perfect. Every time I go I think, "This is what I am looking for in a place of my own." It is quiet, the dog can run off leash, swim with abandon (which he did much to my it's only 32 degrees out horror) and my soul can settle into the land. I once had a friend who would have felt similar to me in this landscape speaking to her and she phrased it something along the lines of, "Enough land, but tucked against the hills so my eyes have something to rest on." That is this little place. I have found this on the way to The Eric Carle Museum too, driving along the land that makes up much of Hampshire College. It's a special type of setting but I hope someday I can find a little house on such land. In the meantime, I'm content on a Sunday morning with sparse people or dogs out, watching my dog race after his lanky black dog buddy, and chat with my two friends about the various woes of being pregnant (not me) and what we would need to own a communal farm...
Orion, on this walk, happened to find every puddle, crack every ice that was hiding puddles, and swim or drink from them. Needless to say, while much of walking through the park involved skating over the ice covered paths, the other half was mud, and Orion smelled horrible and didn't quite resemble my yellow lab, more a murky grey dog. When we got home, I broke the news to him that we were going to have to give him a bath. He peacefully hopped up into the claw foot tub and let me bath him. This has never happened before. He has never WAITED to be bathed. I've sat on him. I've strattled him. I've been covered in mud and dog fur from pinning him. Never once have I made it out of bath time with dry hair and a clean body.
"It must be because you're three huh buddy?" I asked, leaning over and pouring water down his side.
He looked at me but stayed still. The water turned a murky brown. I unhooked his leash. He stayed still. I told him all done, he hopped out, and proceeded to shake (minor Noah's ark moment in the bathroom) then rub all along the walls, before I could rope him in to being toweled off.
Then off to the living room we went, me, getting dressed a second time. Creative books surrounding us, cup of coffee, and a nest for Orion to stay warm as his light fluffy self dries off. A good morning for a girl and her dog.
I am driving home after a Tuesday night jam packed into the Iron Horse, listening to Andrea Gibson read her poetry. Crammed against the wall, sitting on my booster seat of a winter coat, hoping the girl three up from me will lean forward so I can see between the rails, I am still laughing as Andrea's voice reaches up to me as she recites Squash (http://youtu.be/CnSKymRPRY8)
I am thinking about my yellow dog and about being grateful in the way Andrea's Squash is grateful. I give the two dogs, (Chloe is visiting) loads of attention, hugs, snuggles when I come in the door and then switch my shoes to walk them outside.
Walking out the door, I'm still smiling, thinking how much I love my dogs and then the leash is flying out of my hand as Orion sprints down the last four stairs, and around the corner.
"DAMMIT ORION!" I yell and start to go after him. Two steps down, I remember I'm still attached to Chloe who is now on a glorified "fall" down the stairs. Torn, I make sure she's okay in the fluffy grey heap, and stick my head around the doorway to see Orion sprinting over a snowbank.
"Orion, get over here RIGHT NOW!" I yell, still looking over my shoulder at Chloe who just can't climb snowbanks at her age like I can. "ORION QUIT BEING AN ASSHOLE!"
My temper is ticking higher and higher. Breathe.
What is is you're really angry about? A voice echoes in my head.
"YOU'RE GOING TO GET HIT BY A CAR!" I yell out. I watch impatiently as the 14 year old dog pees. I frantically debate just leaving her because she can't move fast so she'll be less likely to get into trouble in the amount of time it will take me to find Orion.
It's dark. I find myself still yelling at Orion. Then I find myself crying, dropping down into frustrated despair. He sprints by and I grab his leash and drag him within an inch of my body, yelling at him.
Soon enough we're back upstairs. I make him sit and stay in the hallway while I take off my coat, my scarf, my shoes. All the while I'm lecturing him on why his behavior was selfish and why it made me so upset. Orion sat with his head partially tucked and listened.
I let him back inside, kissed his head and we all piled into bed.
Then, I just start giggling. Giggling at the whole thing. Giggling at Orion being a dog. Me being an overwhelmed human, and swearing and crying and I just can't stop giggling.
Maybe I'll start the grateful jar tomorrow.
The trouble is Facebook. Facebook is stealing the best of Orion stories and making it so Orion's blog is something of a redundancy. But here we are, back at Orion's blog, initially created to record the comings and goings of my first ever puppy that was all my own... while simultaneously getting me back in the writing groove. This is my recommitment to this blog. Facebook can become secondary, starting NOW.
Me in the dark, tucked in bed: "Dear Orion, I recommit to keeping up your blog."
Me: "Aren't you concerned that you've not been fairly documented these past few months?"
Me: "You're awfully cute you know?"
"Fine. I'll just try to go to sleep and I'll eat breakfast in the morning you know why?"
"I'll probably still be hungry then too."
"Well here's something," I say pulling down a bag of cookie mix. I stood to open the lower cabinet, pulling out a pan, "This is the best thing about being human," I say, "Cookies." As I quickly shove the falling pile of tupperware back into the cabinet, I stand, "Well, actually, I'd say brownies, but these are pretty close."
I open the fridge, stare at the dying pepper, the bag of marshmellows, four containers of butter, some spicy sauce, mayonaise and three eggs. "Lucky for us we have all the supplies!"
Killing the last of the aluminium foil, I prep the cookie sheet. The packet open, I spoon up some nice yummy cookie fluff.
"You could almost just eat this stuff and skip the butter, egg and cooking part," I mumble, mouth full of dusty powder.
I peel the wrapper off the stick of butter, slice it in half to fit in the bowl, throw it in the microwave, all the while talking to Orion, "I know you think this stick of butter is for you but it's not." Orion, "But it could be..." I bend down and hold the butter wrapper. "Here, you can lick this because I'm eating the cookie dough," he starts licking away, "but, you're going to get kisses the whole time," I chuckle and start annoyingly throwing down kisses on his head. Butter in, I have another bite of cookie dough. "Trouble is, once we add the egg we can't really eat any more..."
Cookies on the pan, my hands are covered in the sticky dough. I eat off most of the dough then reach down my hand for Orion.
"Well buddy, if we're going down, we're going down together..."
There are some days I'd rather just hang out with my dog.
I'm going on at least three so far.
Really I'm going on seven but that sounds worse so I'll round to three.
There's something about just having my conversations with him, sitting on the floor, with a mug of coffee, while he's curled up on a blanket, seemingly asleep but really astutely listening that beats having to go out and be around all the people for whom I have very little to say things to.
So we hang, dog and I.
I talk with his head on my head, as my sitting with coffee has turned to slouching with coffee.
I ask him if he thinks we'll have to move back in with the parents. If he thinks we should move in general. We discuss the merits of coffee. We discuss being hibernating bears. We discuss sunshine and how someday we'll be splashing in the pond behind our apartment again, provided we don't move. Maybe someday, I'll buy you another big bag of rawhides, I say. When my bank account resumes normalcy. Remember when we could do that? Go to Petsmart and shop for expensive treats and a new toy from the fancy toy shop? I sigh and slouch lower. I pat his head.
You're a good listener, I say. He moves his head to my shoulder. We talk about going to library school. We talk about having to remember I just turned thirty. We talk about how it is nice that I don't own my farmhouse this year because I'd have had to plow or shovel a long driveway. Unless we were bears. Then we'd have been hibernating and wouldn't be bothered by the long untouched snowy driveway.
There are just some days, it's better for me to hang out with just my dog. Zachary, my old neighbor, would say I must be having an artist day--the kind where I'm meant to be alone. He'd have been right, but it's harder to tell adults what my nine-year-old buddy grasped in a moment.
It's morning and I'm sitting on Maggie, my sister, while giving her a back rub. (I got one last night since I'm not a night owl--in exchange for her morning one bc she's NOT a morning person). So I'm rubbing her shoulders and her arm is dangling off the bed.
Orion steps up and puts her hand in his mouth. He starts to move up her arm.
"OW!" She says.
"He's just giving you a massage his style."
I just wanted to let you know I miss you. I know you're running around being chased by Chloe, being spoiled by your Nana, and pestered playfully by your Aunt Maggie. I know you're enjoying the fact they turn on the heat and you don't have to be cold. You're probably also enjoying all the treats and just the general amount of people who are hanging out with you. I didn't turn the heat on in the apartment and I think our bedroom vent is broken. I miss having you as my backup heater just so you know. Plus, I really have no one to talk to now. There are some drunk people singing, "La la la whatever," outside. Cars are driving by splashing up the rain. That's about it around here. I'm in bed early and have all the aluminum cans you kicked around all picked up again and back in their bag.
I guess that's it. I hope you're being good up there and not trying to pull your escape artist skills. It was wicked foggy driving back here and I don't want to hear about you getting hurt. Try not to eat your Nana's knitting. Be good to your Aunt Maggie who will hang out with you tomorrow. She's not pleasant in the morning so you may want to reconsider your tactics for wake up. You may want to stretch em' to 10 o'clock. Learn how to make her expresso and you may find her playful side. Otherwise, stick with your grandpa. He'll pal around with you in the AM. Besides, you need some men in your life.
We're sitting on the couch. It's 6:40 AM. I haven't purchased milk in three days. Breakfasts are getting rough.
Orion is poised perfectly beside me. My leg is tossed up on the movable island. The pop tart wrapper crinkles as I open it.
"These use to be my favorite thing to eat my freshman year of college, did you know that?" I ask. I slide a pop tart out. I start nibbling the edges.
"The edges are my favorite. Would you like to try an edge to see why?" I break off a piece and he gobbles it down.
"What do you think?"
He looks at me expectantly as I eat the jellyed part.
"You're thinking you ought to try the jellied part to be able to compare?" My eyebrows go up as I bob my head in a yes motion for what he must be thinking.
"Well ok," I say, breaking off a jellied and frosted part. "What do you think?" I ask as I pass it to him.
He chews it up.
"I'm thinking you could care less which pieces I give you as long as I keep giving them huh?" I answer for him, and smile.
"You know, I'd rather spend the day with you today, resting on the couch with a good book." I sigh and then just hang for a few more minutes, before kissing his nose and getting up to go to school.