“You must be daft! This is the girl who threw away your baseball card collection.”
“Yeah, she did do that.”
“And she was the one who made you get rid of your dog because she didn’t want the fur on her white carpet.”
“True. She did do that.”
“She had to buy her Corvette which is why you that P.O.S. out in the parking lot.”
“Ah, got it. Yeah. She does love that car.”
“And she stabbed you in the back by sleeping with your boss. How can she be the girl of your dreams?”
“Oh, I meant nightmares.”
“Now that I can understand. So tell me, why are you still with her?”
“I may have found the worst possible relationship, but that makes everything else seem so much better. I can look at dropping out of college, working this crappy job, and realizing I’m not going to accomplish any of my childhood dreams and feel some sort of contentment. It’s like I’m telling karma to go fuck off because I got this, so just hold my beer.”
“So let me see if I understand. The sex is that good?”
Jeremy felt a sharp stabbing pain in his big toe. “What the hell!” he exclaimed under his breath. That might have hurt, but his dad mode was turned up to eleven since he had finally gotten the kids to bed. They needed so much coddling and consoling to get them there. He knew he didn’t want to go through that again if he could help it.
He looked down to see what he had jammed his toe into and there was the stainless steel dog bowl.
“Damn it all. I thought I told the kids to pick that up.”
Then the realization hit him. He slumped to the floor next to the bowl and tears threatened to flow. He took out the Milk-Bones box from the cupboard next to him. He grabbed one out and looked at it. The tears were flowing freely, and he now allowed himself to grieve.
“But Mr. Perkins, my dog ate all my homework,” Johnny said as he wiped his nose. The constant sniffle the boy had was almost more annoying than the lie he was trying to tell me.
“That was an extremely old excuse even when my dad went to school,” I said.
“But it’s the truth,” Johnny pleaded. “Honest.”
“Don’t lie to me,” I replied. Johnny was about to say more, but I cut him off. “Go back to your table, or I will send you to the principal’s office.”
Johnny gave up and moped his way back to his assigned spot. I watched him put on the plastic gloves. Like I would believe a dog would want to eat bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers. One bite maybe, but the rest?
“Okay students. Pick up your knives. Today I’m going to show you how to properly clean the skin off a snapper fillet.”
You look at reality as it is set before you. Before your eyes lay all of the possibilities of your life, splayed out in haphazard lines. Those lines representing choices and serendipity all connected by a sauce that is you. As you stare at all this you begin to question your own existence. Is that me, or am I that? Where does life go from here? Is there even a here amongst all those possibilities, or are you just here by your master’s wishes? Oh, then you remember, you are a dog, those are spaghetti scraps, and life is delicious.