My Year of New Things is starting out in a supremely lazy manner, but what can I say, it's raining really hard outside right now, and it's not like I'm going to go surfing in this weather, unless I want to kill myself, which would certainly be a New Thing, but then the project would be over, and that wouldn't be very much fun. Also, I'm kind of afraid to go out of the house because, this morning, I saw a tumbleweed rolling across the street, only it wasn't a tumbleweed, it was a Christmas tree. True story.
(Does everyone else, when they hear someone say the words "true story," repeat the phrase in their heads, but in a sing-songy way, mimicking how they say the words "true story" in the opening credits of The Real World? Or is it just me?)
My New Thing for today: I'm dogsitting Jessica's dog Orson. Jessica is one of my closest friends and my writing partner, so we spend a lot of time together, and I see Orson quite a bit, but Orson and I don't get much one-on-one time.
I love this dog. He loves my feet.
I think he loves me too, but that's debatable. His love for my feet, however, is not debatable. He loves them. Loves, loves, loves them. If he could marry them, I think he would. (And if those damn liberals get their way and gay marriage becomes legal all over the gosh darn place, then dogs marrying feet is probably the next logical step, right? Totally the next logical step. So Orson might actually get his wish! I'm crossing my toes. He's crossing his paws. Aren't we cute?)
Honestly, Orson says hello to my feet before he says hello to me. Which is understandable because he's a dachshund. Which means he's close to the ground. Close to my feet. He's licking my left foot right now as I type this.
I grew up with a dachshund--a long-haired, black mini named Coco. My parents wanted a big dog, or at least a butch lesbian dog with a name like Gretchen, but I wanted a weiner dog, and nothing but. When my parents finally succumbed, I was ten-years-old, and a greedy bastard. (My favorite television show was Family Ties, and I thought I wanted to grow up to be exactly like Alex P. Keaton, a money grubbing Republican; in reality, I really just wanted to sleep with Michael J. Fox, but I couldn't articulate that at the time, so instead I emulated his character and was, as I said before, a greedy bastard.)
On Christmas morning, after we had opened all of the presents except for one--this big long gift that looked like it had to be something good--my parents put Coco in the garage (in a makeshift doggy bed), and then told me that I couldn't open my last present, the big long good one, until I threw away all of the trash, in the garage, where I was supposed to find Coco, my dachshund, all tiny and waiting for me. This was the moment, the big surprise, the moment when I would finally get my dog, the dog I'd wanted all of these years. But I was so eager to open the remaining present under the tree (remember: it was big, so it had to be good) that I grabbed a handful of trash (used wrapping paper), ran into the garage, jumped over the box that was in my way (with Coco, and her big brown eyes looking right up at me, in it), threw away the trash, jumped back over Coco, and ran back into the house.
Gimme my present.
"Why don't you throw some more trash away?" my parents asked me, shocked that I had managed to run into the garage without seeing that there was a dog in there, a dog, an honest-to-goodness little dog--not a big dog, not a lesbian dog named Gretchen--but a miniature little dachshund just like I wanted.
But I didn't see her. I ran back into the garage, jumped over Coco again, threw away some more trash, jumped back over Coco, and ran back into the house. I did this a total of three times (which means I jumped over the damn dog six times, back and forth) before my parents finally told me to stop and listen. And that's when I heard her whimpering and looked down at the ground and saw my dachshund.
Coco lived for fifteen years, and she was a great dog. When I go home, sometimes, I still expect her to run up to me when I open the door, her tail wagging, pee indiscriminately dribbling all over my foot because I'm too exciting a sight for her to hold her bladder. (Why don't people do that? If I came to visit you, and you got so excited that you actually PEED the moment you saw me, I would take it as a compliment and would not be in the least bit embarrassed. I'm just saying.)
I miss Coco, and no dog will ever replace her, but still, it's nice to spend the day with a dachshund like Orson, even if he does love my feet more than he loves me. It's something.
So that's my New Thing for today: Dogsitting for Orson.
Oh, by the way, the big long present underneath the tree that I was so eager to open? It was a pooper scooper. Sometimes good things do not come in big packages. Sometimes good things are small and they lick your feet.