Dog Vs. Human

She takes me to the park. Again. She picks up a stick. Again. She throws it. Again. She is shouting something at me, bending down, slapping her knees, shaking her head, smiling, pursing her lips. I think she’s encouraging me to do something. When I do briefly look at the stick, I think she might die of excitement. I look back at her and then there’s a hint of disappointment. She points to the stick. Surely she doesn’t want me to bring that back to her. Whenever I take sticks, rocks, dead bugs into the house, I get into trouble. I know better. I keep walking.

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*

“Come out with us,” they plead. I ask if I can bring my book and all four of them start laughing from deep in their belly. “It’s a bar, Alicia. You can’t bring a book.” I’m not interested in bars, overpriced drinks, awkward conversations with boys that don’t listen when I tell them I have a boyfriend. I tell them I’ll probably just stay in tonight. Maybe another time. (Probably not.) “Why can’t you just do normal college things? It will be fun.” I apologise and promise to meet them for lunch tomorrow. I sit in the living room reading with the lamp on until 11:30pm on a Saturday night.

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*

It’s Wednesday night which means puppy training classes. I hate these things. We walk around in circles like prisoners. It’s embarrassing. At least she usually brings me treats. Not the boring ones that taste like wood but the pink thin ones that smell fresh and meaty. She sometimes puts them in her own sandwhiches; that’s how I know they’re good. When we get there, the dogs are all off lead in an gym that smells of old shoes. Except worse. All the dogs run up to me, barking, licking, sniffing. I hold my head high and walk past them. They part ways. There’s only one dog here that I like: Teddy. Although his name is cliché, he’s the best one to be around because he doesn’t pant when he sees me, just nods. He also doesn’t like these classes. We have lots in common.

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*

The girls have dragged me to a new restaurant in the East part of our town. No one ever comes over here unless you are either a) rich, b) edging on being a socialite or c) crazy. I don’t complain because I know I’ll never win. I put on lipstick and a thick scarf and join them. They are sitting with half a dozen girls I’ve never met before. They introduce me: “Alicia, this is Brandi and Coral and Ray and Indigo and Eden and Skye. We met them last night at the bar.” I wonder what their parents must be like to give them names such as these. If my name was Eden, I’d definitely change it. And if my name was Brandi, I’d be the epitome of irony. I wave and I can feel in the flick of my wrist that I’ve done it strangely. They give me a small smile and go back to their conversations with my real friends. I don’t know what to say to these girls. They all look like they’ve had some kind of face metamorphosis with their big lips and perfect noses. I try and make a joke but no one laughs so I obsessively read the menu and sigh every now and then. Meeting new people is exhausting.

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*

When she comes home tonight, she lays on the floor (where I’m already laying, might I add) and wraps her arms around me. Her hands are cold and she smells weird, like flowers and… soap? I sometimes see her pick up a bottle and spray mist all over herself. I always leave the room because it makes me sneeze. I inch away from her but she pulls me in, sliding my whole body across the floor. I’ve had a good day and now this? She starts rubbing under my chin (which I sometimes like) but stops when she feels the wet hairs. Then she puts her lips between my eyes and makes a high pitched smacking sound with her mouth which makes me flinch. I don’t know why she has to be all over me like this when she comes home. Eventually, I jump up and leave the room, abandoning her as she lies on the floor in a weird baby-like position. I think she’s crying. Oh well, there’s food in my bowl.

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*

My boyfriend comes over tonight because I asked him to. We didn’t have plans; it’s Sunday night which I usually reserve as my private pamper time. I don’t tell anyone this because it’s so embarrassing. I have a bath (I even exfoliate) and wash my hair. I do my nails. I shave my legs. I pluck my eyebrows. I get ready for the week ahead. I’ve been doing it ever since I can remember, it gears me up for whatever torture I’ll have to deal with this week. When Lewis comes over, he brings flowers and a kiss. He leans in and I give him my cheek. He looks hurt but I ignore it and put the tulips in a large mason jar. He asks why I called him over, don’t I have a spin class on Sunday nights? I’ve been lying about the spin class to him since we met. If people knew I blew them off for a bath bombs and nail varnish, I wouldn’t have any friends. I tell him about the weird girls from lunch and ask him if I’m normal. We’re sitting on the couch and he reassures me with words which is enough for me. I think he can go home now but instead he puts his hand on my thigh and kisses my neck. I let him indulge for a few seconds and then stand up. “I’m tired,” I lie. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I usher him out the door and run a bath.

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All art found on Pinterest.
Song of the day: White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Floxes.

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