Saturday, September 28, 2013


My dog is broken. Here's the story.

I awoke at 1:43 am after nearly five hours of sleep, my usual maximum before I magically wake. The cat was settling himself onto the expensive pillow he'd adopted on the bed. I tried to go back to sleep. I really did. I suspect that the cat was somehow responsible for the fact that I was awake yet again, but I have no proof.

I rolled to one side and picked up my Nook in the dark. I can now operate the button for it so that the little light comes on without my having to turn on the bedside lamp. This is a good thing. Sometimes I can lie there and read for a while until my eyes go unfocused and I can go back to sleep.

Tonight, no dice.

I rolled to my other side to see if that was the magical position. Three more of the very short chapters evolved. I'm reading 'Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs' by Cheryl Peck. I mostly like the book, though her nicknames for her sisters is confusing. It's cute, at first, but there are too many 'Wee' combinations to keep clear. Still, I like her description of her attempt at softball and the sister in labor is pretty interesting too.

Oh, I'm sorry. This book rates more than a 'pretty interesting,' but you've got to remember that it's 3:38 in the morning and there's a slab of roast beef on the floor beside me. I just might not reach a high level of intellectual prowess at this point.

As I tried to keep quiet in my bed, I realized that my eyes weren't going unfocused. I eyed the bottle of melatonin in the glow of my Nook and wondered how many pills it took to overdose on them. Two? Separated by five hours? I wasn't ready to die, not just yet.

Eventually, I began to go unfocused and I put my Nook on the shelf and snuggled deeper into the covers. Ah, I could sense heaven, almost within reach.

Until my stomach rumbled and my leg cramped up, threatening a Charley horse.

Who was the first person to name this cramp a Charley horse? Well, I looked it up. It's named after some guy named Charley, a guy who had these cramps. Duh. In Sweden, it's called a 'thigh cookie' and in Southern Italy, a 'donkey's bite.' Good one. In the UK, it's called a 'dead leg' and in Australia, a 'corked thigh.' These are all funny terms for a cramp, but I know I was never going to get to sleep with this thing twitching and threatening the real thing, the seizure of the muscle that would send me leaping vertically out of bed, usually screaming and waking the entire household.

With heaven still within sight, I knew I'd have to leave my warm bed to walk in the dark to the kitchen, usually stepping on wayward Legos or soggy rawhide treats and occasionally banging my shin or toe on some piece of furniture that hasn't been moved this century but I still didn't know where it is in the dark. I turned on the light in the kitchen, blinking in my sudden white-blindness, and blended some of that fizzy stuff that makes the Charley horse go away, the stuff that replenishes my magnesium and potassium. Oh, my writing prowess at 4:01 in the morning is prodigious, isn't it?


So, while I was mixing up my concoction, I figured I'd see if I could take care of the other little cramp. I can never go back to sleep when I'm hungry.

Roast beef. Swiss cheese. Mayo.

It was like having a sandwich, but without all the carbs, quick and neat, as long as I misaligned the holes in the cheese, and it tasted so good.

Suddenly, the dog was at my side, loyal dog that he is. It's good to have a companion in the wee hours. He looked intently into my eyes. Are all dogs hypnotists? Telekinetic geniuses? I was suddenly imbued with the impulse to give my roast beef to him. It was a strong impulse.

Usually, I only tear the yucky parts off my roast beef for him, but it was the middle of the night and this sweet, loyal dog was there with me every night, understanding insomnia and only occasionally groaning because the light was too bright.

It was the last of the roast beef, but I could spare a single slice, couldn't I?

I could. I dropped it into his bowl and heard the satisfying ping as it landed.

I went on to devour my snack, switched off the light, and was headed back to bed in the dark when I stepped on something cold and slimy. Yuck. What the hell was that? I reached for the light switch.

Roast beef.

The crazy dog had left his slice of roast beef on the living room carpet. What the hell was wrong with that dog? Was he suddenly sick after cheerfully begging for half of my snack? I knew he was picky, but this? Leaving roast beef for something better? Really?

My stomach grumbled again.

How old was that roast beef? Just a week. That wasn't too long, was it?

It had smelled okay. Did the dog smell something I couldn't? Was I about to suffer the effects of listeria? Botulism? Salmonella? Ebola? My back began to itch. Was that the first symptom?

Great. I got a dog that was smart enough to know when food had just begun to turn, but still wasn't smart enough to tell me so.

Either that or he's broken.

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment