The Itch of Love

Did I tell you about my dog? No I didn’t.

Well, he isn’t so much of a my dog. He’s a stray. He stays out on the streets when he wants to, and makes himself at home in my room, or up on the roof, or somewhere in the house where he can hope to be in everyone’s way and get noticed. He only does this when he’s hungry, or when it’s too hot or too cold or too dusty or too lonely or too uncomfortable or raining outside, which means that he spends a lot of time in our house, and a considerable bulk of that time in my room.

He has infections all over his body, a flea population that could outdo the Asian human count, a nasty doggy smell and an unpleasant underside. These are the primary reasons why Dad wants him out of the house always, Mom keeps warning me about our unhygienic friendship, and Sis can’t bear him in her room.

Oh, and he’s a she, although I keep calling her a he. I mean I keep calling him a he. I mean… you know what I mean. Someone used to joke about this habit of mine. The reason I call her a he is that early in his life I thought he was a he, but later he went and let someone court him and produced five babies and then there was no way to deny that he was a she. But I somehow like the idea of him as a he, so kept calling (not much calling, but thinking) him a he. When I am through this, I will get out the old Wren and Martin High School Grammar to revise pronouns for personal reasons.

Yesterday, he was lying on the floor in my room while I was doing some math. I think it was nearing evening, when all my evening hormones churn up. I looked at him, at his innocent, love-craving brown eyes reflecting the evening light, and I thought, what if I don’t land up with him my next life? Who knows where the wheel of time will throw us tomorrow? He’s been a nice friend. Many times, when everyone else has banished him from their respective domestic empires, he has come to me nuzzle up and be assured there’s someone who loves him.

I had a single staggering burst of agape. I felt a sudden unreasonable love for him, for all other dogs, for all other creatures that never did anyone harm and are dying out every day to make way for chic malls. I decided I should give him a hug because I may never get another chance. I gave him a hug. It is difficult giving a dog a hug but I wasn’t thinking about that at the moment and I hugged him all over his common, red, dirty fur and infections and fleas, and perhaps he understood. Yesterday, in the dying light of sunset, I re-established a friendship that means something to me somewhere deep down.

 

I have no freakin’ idea why I keep itching all over me since yesterday.

1Life.

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