In which, through Anise, our hero acquires a companion.
The first text came while he was lying in bed watching TV on his laptop at around 10:15 in the morning. He didn’t notice it.
— Can you come over?
A second one followed a few minutes later:
Then 2 missed calls and another two texts:
—Pick up your fucking phoooonnnne.
And finally, at around noon:
—Just come over as soon as you get this.
Laura answered the door when he got there. She had a black eye and very red nose.
“You can tell her that I’ve had it. I’m seriously at my limit . I mean, Jesus, I need some peace in my life. If I can’t get it in my own apartment, where the hell am I supposed to get it!”
Laura stormed back to her room. While in the doorway she turned to look at him as he approached Anise’s door,
“Do you know how many guys she’s sleeping with besides you?”
She slams the door shut.
“I’m seeing 3 other guys.”
Laying on the pillow beside the closet, curled up into himself, was a little dog. He was very thin and sickly looking, with only a few patches of white hair and a few scars on his pink body. He raised his head to take in the scene and his eyes, which were huge and almost tearful looking, stared up questioningly at Anise. She bent down and pet his head gently. Satisfied after a minute or so, he dropped his head back on to his feet and watched the scene with a cautious expression.
“I don’t really know if he’s got a name or anything. I’ve just been calling him Igor.”
“Where’d that come from?”
“I dunno. The bug eyes. He kinda looks like that creepy guy from Frankenstein.”
“That’s not very endearing.”
“Well there’s not too much about him that’s all that endearing.”
Ainse was chain smoking without making any pretense, as she usually did, to fan the smoke out the window. With her other hand she absent mindly pet the dog.
“I was coming home from the grocery store on Thursday when I heard this crazy sounding high-pitched laughter coming from an alleyway nearby. Well I wanted to check it out so I looked around the corner and I saw these three fucking kids, a girl and two boys, all like age 9, throwing rocks at this little guy and trapping him in the ally every time he tried to get out. It was fucking awful. Like, you always expect adults to be pieces of shit, but for some reason, I don’t know, you expect kids to be good or something. These kids didn’t even look all that fucked up. Like, they were wearing fucking private school uniforms. How fucked up could they have been?
“So I ran into the alley and yelled at them and told them to cut it out or I’d call the cops. The two boys turned pale white but the girl just spit on me and called me a bitch. Then all three of them ran off shrieking with laughter and screeched ‘bitch, bitch’ as they ran off down the street.
“What was I supposed to do? This poor little guy was fucking limping around the alleyway and he looked scared as shit and I couldn’t just like leave him there. I mean what if those kids were waiting for me to leave so they could come back and throw more rocks at him? I thought about calling animal control or something, but I figured that’d be just as bad since they’d put him down in an instant. I mean look at him. Who the fuck would adopt him from the pound?
“So I gave him some bread and then got him to follow me home. I was only going to keep him here until I figured out what to do with him. I wasn’t even gonna tell Laura, but, surprise, surprise, it turns out she’s also very allergic to dogs so she fucking stormed in her and like demanded that I get rid of Igor or she was going to have me evicted and I told her to fuck off and so she came over and smacked me and I smacked her back and she lost balance or something and hit her eye on the wall. It was— a fucking mess.”
When he gets home he sets up Igor on the couch and then runs out to the pet store to grab some things. He gets the name of the vet from a bulletin and speaks to one of the employees about taking care of dogs. When he comes home there is a mess all over the floor.
You’re the only person I know who’s at a place in life where they can actually seriously take care of something.
He sets up the doggy bed in his room and goes back to watching the TV show he’d been binge watching earlier in the day. Every so often he’d stop to check on the dog fearing, for some reason, that if he looked away for too long the dog would die. Each time he did this Igor would stare back it him with a cautious curiosity before they both sank back into their laziness.
This, anyway, was how he got a dog.
Image Source: Francisco Goya via Wikimedia Commons