I see you, every day, shifting contents from the cold box into the warm spaces. The ping machine with the circular spinning. The one that makes my ears feel funny. Bread that magically pops into the air from the crumb machine. I can smell it changing every second. Yeast fermenting. Sugar rising in the heat. I want your crumpets. When the butter is spread over it. I can taste it in the oxygen. I’m licking my lips already. Fucking feed me.
It’s easy for you. Choosing exactly what you want to do. The master of your own being. Where we go. Who you’re with. What you eat. It’s 10 minute past when you’re supposed to feed me. I grow in dog years. That’s a hour for me. It’s been 14 hours since you last fed me. You do the math. If we hit triple digits I’m going to bite that pillow you’re Jeremy Kyling in. I’m going to rip it half and eat the contents. Watch me.
I understand the feeding thing to an extent. I see all the other bitches in the park. Waddling under the weight of their owners’ gluttony. Their tiny human eyes locked into tiny LCDs. Their ‘me’s’ barely running. Staring vacantly at squirrels. Not knowing what to do. They barely interact as I run around them. Trying to make them like me. It doesn’t matter how many bums you sniff. Everyone’s shit is the same. They all look under nourished. Over fed.
It lasted a year. That’s seven years for me. It should have been three months. I didn’t like him from the beginning. How he made you feel. Not in the end. I liked those moments. When he left and you were angry. Then sad. When you clung to me as if was permanent. No, I hated the beginning. When he made you feel love. One I could never be. He made you make sounds. Gave you a different heat. A different smell. There was a scent to him I never liked. He tried to take me on walks. I refused the branches he flung me. I didn’t come back when he wanted to. I peed in his shoes. I did it regularly.
You get up from the TV. It’s the second ad break. The images attack me. So many different colors. So little context. Why would anyone need so many things? I keep watching them. Transfixed. Horrified. It’s only when Jeremy’s squidgy 2D features come back on the screen do I begin to see what you’re to. You’re on the bigger phone. The one you put onto your knees and play piano in.
He had a power over you. It wasn’t physical. He wasn’t taller than you. You beat him up the hills. Down the rivers. You ate better food. He had a power over you because you responded every time he called you. He did the opposite. His distance made you feel closer to him. You confused lack of control for falling for him. I tried to tell you. I’d bark at him whenever he came in. You told me to be quiet. You decided to banish me to the front room. I’d wait to let to be out. When you both decided when I could go outside for a shit. If you thought being hungry was bad, try holding in a poo. Every hour feels like prison. That’s why I messed up the carpet that evening. I couldn’t hold it in. I hate having this nose. I can still smell it. The feeling of guilt is permanent. I’m not as sorry as I used to be. Not since he left. Not since he stopped coming.
I loved it when it finally ended. The months after it. Who you became. There was a part of you that was more free than you had ever been. When the new him arrived you were more ready. More recognizable. He didn’t make you stronger. He just made you realize it. You run run further now. I do too. We’re everything.
I like the way he smells. The way he smells around you. Something shifts in him whenever he’s around you. He’s so needy. He holds onto you like you’re made of trees. I’m more than a bark around him. I’ve never peed in his shoes. He feeds me crumpets. Even though he’s not supposed to.
You’re up. I’m hungry. I wag my tail. I smile at you.
I look at your feet. You’re in your run run shoes. The laces you don’t need to tie anymore. The shoes that take us up hills. Into rivers. The one you put on the wall heat every night. The ones that change smells as I sleep. I bark once. Twice. I say hey you. Your my bestest thing. I want to be yours too.
You pop down the food in front of me. I can already taste it. It’s wet and tasty. It’s something new. But I look up to you and wag my tail. He’s in his run run shoes too. I’m ready to run run with you. I’ve forgotten I’m hungry. The food can wait for another dog year. Let’s go explore a new piece of nature’s property. Let’s go be dogs together.