My Life As A Dog
The time in the upper right corner of my computer screen blinks over to 8:30 a.m. and the dogs are still quiet. But for some reason, whenever I think or type that thought first thing in the morning, Frida immediately whines at my door and then the other two stir in their cages. It happens as soon as I finish typing the sentence, reaffirming my belief that we are tied psychically. She has moved to just outside my door now, her heart broken by the fact that I have not immediately answered her demand to be let into my presence.
I roll out of bed, bemoaning the crick in my back that reminds me I have recently traveled–lugging the heavy cases down from the stoop outside my compound gate myself, knowing that if I let the taxi driver in that he will be rushed by the dogs who are half anxious to see me but even more anxious to escape the confines of their comfortable home to roam the wild mountain above in search of the scent messages left by generations of other dogs.
Now I open the door that leads from the hallway to my room and Frida rushes in to be let out to the lower garden from the sliding glass door in my bedroom. I try to return to my bed, but Morrie moans his distinctive complaint that zooms from high register to low in a message that conveys impatience, heartbreak and demand all in his own particular language.
Diego simply claws at the latch to his cage. I go out to the doggie domain––recently completed after two months of cement dust, sledgehammers, and concrete sponges chewed and distributed in tiny pieces over the entire yard and terrace by the dogs. Peace once again reigns except for the demands of the pups, spread evenly over the day from mealtime to mealtime.
“Let me out to pee,” they say. Then “Feed me.” Later it will be, “Throw my toy one hundred times in a row for me to fetch,” or “Might you forget and give us another dog biscuit even though you gave us one two minutes ago?” or, more loudly–in fact as loudly as three dog voices could possibly declare themselves––”Get those wayfarers out of our street!!! Wayfarers–be off. Get away now. Take your dogs with you!!!”
I carry on, knowing I can get away with a few more moments of blogging before it will be necessary to give them their morning kibble. Diego and Morrie tussle outside my open (but screened) sliding glass doors. Growling, leaping, rolling over in doggie sideways double somersaults, they could go on like this for hours. It irritates Frida, old girl like me, who, although she wants to be no part of it, still resents the extra attention given to the new dog, Morrie, by her former partner Diego.
For years Frida has been bothered by the attentions of the younger and more playful and active Diego, but now that he has a companion with equal if not more energy, she resents it and is permanently crabby towards the newest addition to our family. After seven months, this has not changed. When I arrive home and the garage door opens, There is the loud cacophony of Morrie barking to be noticed, Frida barking to tell him to get away from “her” mistress, Diego’s barking at Frida to tell her to let the smaller dog alone. It is deafening, and I add my louder shouts for them all to be quiet.
Once, when a friend follows me home in his car, he announces that my cries are more disturbing to him and probably the entire neighborhood than the barks and growls of the dogs could ever be, and I realize that in this house of canines, I have probably reverted to my animal nature. I growl. I bark. Do I tear at my food and secretly lust for bones to gnaw upon? Probably not. My behavior as influenced by my housemates is probably more metaphoric than actual.
I pull myself away from my compulsion. As necessary as sealing Morrie’s throw toy away in the metal chest where I also lock away their extra dog food is my closing of the lid of my laptop. It is time to be away to other things. Feeding the dogs. Running errands in town. I could throw sentence after sentence off into cyber space for as many hours as Morrie could fetch his toy, but there is more to life––a life that needs to be lived both for itself and the dogs’ hunger as for the necessity of having something to write about tomorrow, or this afternoon or evening–whenever I can find the time to throw my mind out to see what I will retrieve from my life to bring to you eagerly, seeing what you will throw back to me.
(My apologies to the excellent movie by the same name as this post. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It is in my list of ten favorite movies of all time.)
The Prompt:Write Here, Write Now–Write a post entirely in the present tense. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/write-here-write-now/