“Tell me something true,” he said.
He’s wasn’t a dog but I couldn’t help but see him as one. I try seeing things differently sometimes, but I can’t. I can’t see him or them as anything else but objects, metaphors and things. It’s the only way of understanding. And he couldn’t see himself differently either. He needs to see himself as a thing too, in this case – a pure breed. Tomorrow and the day after, it’ll be other things, though he’ll never confess to them. And that’s the reason it seemed to me he was slobbering and sniffing.
“I don’t wanna play this,” I said. “Don’t you have a ball around here? Or some other kind of treats?”
“C’mon. C’mon. C’mon,” he coaxed. “Something true.”
Dogs can be cute, especially when they want to play. Sometimes their play is innocent enough. This time I got hoodwinked by the wagging tail and the purity of those dark, watery eyes. So I thought for a second. I didn’t wanna say one plus one. I knew that math was partly conceptual. That the concept of zero was kind of a strange thing. And I knew that he didn’t know any better than me, but he’d love licking his balls about it for as much time as I’d allow. So I passed on math.
“A horse runs fast,” I said.
His tail flicked. The drool came bubbling to his smug snout.
“All horses?” he asked. “All horses?”
His tail really started darting. I thought his little red torpedo pecker was gonna start peeping.
“Most horses,” I said. “Most.”
His tail slowed to a tick-tock. He sat. He breathed through his moist nose and blinked.
“Now what?” I asked. “The ball? Fake bacon treats?”
“How do you know it runs fast?”
“I’ve seen it. Many times.”
The tail twitched again. He stood and began shuffling from paw to paw.
“Why do you trust what you see? Why? Why? Why?”
“Who takes the thumb up the ass in your three-ways with Descartes and Kant?” I asked.
He settled down again.
“The ball. You ready for the ball yet? Or some peanut butter bubbles?”
Still primed for play, his purebred mind searched for a way to make himself right – to keep this game of rope-tug going.
“Kant was a virgin,” he exclaimed.
His little red rocket of a purebred pecker popped out in full.
Embarrassed, I realized I’d known that once, before I understood I wasn’t a pure breed.
“You got me,” I said. “But I don’t know how much worldly, metaphysical advice I’d be taking from a virgin. A eunuch’s one thing, but a virgin? No.”
“Hans Christian Anderson was a virgin too. I know you admire him.”
I love that story about the naked emperor. That was true. I hated to admit that. So I didn’t.
“Don’t imagine The Elephant Man got much trim either. Can we drop it?”
“Yeah. So why do you say a horse runs fast? A horse gallops. A horse trots.”
There went the tail again – all frantic. The red rocket remained launched and the mouth went wet again too.
“A horse gallops before it runs.”
“Then how’s it fast? Compared to what?”
He was bouncing around from paw to paw.
“Compared to an ostrich. A dog. A buffalo. It’s all relative,” I said.
His bullshit was nothing more than the fast food bullshit of Guns, God and Old Glory. His just had more shit on it, like a fried egg and guacamole and it was deep fried in duck fat instead of cheap vegetable oil.
He began running in a circle, clockwise.
“But a buffalo doesn’t gallop. An ostrich doesn’t trot. It’s a comparison of apples to oranges. There’s no foundation for establishing fast between things that are all very different. As you say, it’s all relative so there’s no real way of establishing what fast is – at least locomotion-wise.”
“There’s stopwatches,” I said. “Stopwatches for timing bullets or creatures.”
He started spinning so fast – all I could see was a blur of fur.
“We’re back to metaphysics,” he said. “Assuming you and the bullet and the stopwatch aren’t one. How do you measure without the assumption of time and distance? Time – now versus then. Separation of time and things, see? But who’s to say there’s any real separation?”
“So who cums first?” I asked. “You, Descartes or Kant? And who’s more gentle and sentimental and who likes it the roughest? And who gives the best head?”
He was spinning too fast to hear. He was spinning and spinning and panting and panting. Then he stopped, sat and began licking his balls. His purebred balls. He licked and licked and licked and loved it.
“Okay,” I said. “You got me. That’s why you’re a purebred and I’m only a mutt.”
“I’d say you’re more half-breed,” he said between licks.
He stopped licking. He lifted his legs and started dragging his asshole all over the carpet.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“It feels good. Scratching that itch. Try it with me,” he said. “It feels so good.”
“You’re leaving streaks,” I said.
He was puttering all around in criss-crossing lines.
“Nobody cares,” he said. “Later I’ll piss in the corner.”
I’d realized long ago that much of culture and civilization was based on defense. Defense of what one wants to believe. And, of course, there’s at least two sides to every coin so the defense can go on to infinity.
Infinity. What’s infinity? Like zero.
It was all interesting for a while. Now it bores me to death.
“C’mon. Scoot with me. There’s fresh carpet in the other room. It’s all yours. My gift,” he said.
“I’m too modest,” I lied.
“I know you’ve got the itch. I can feel it in your voice when you talk about Descartes and Kant. It’s been in your voice when we’ve talked about mathematics and politics and religion,” he said.
“I’ll pass,” I said. “I’m going outside. You wanna go with? Take that piss outside?”
“No thanks,” he said, still scooting. Still dragging and criss-crossing with his stiff legs straight out. A real feat of acrobatics and athleticism, if nothing else.
“Why not?” I asked.
“I’m an indoor breed.”
“I thought cats were either indoor or outdoor.”
“Oh no,” he said. “First, dogs are way better than cats. And indoor dogs are so much better than outdoor dogs. Why don’t you hang around a while and I’ll tell you all about it. All about it. I really know a lot about it all.”
“See, I’ve never insisted that purebreds are perfect. That’s why there’s champions at dog shows. The champion is the best of the best. That makes any purebred of the best, just not the best of the best. It’s nuanced.”
I knew he was having too much fun scooting. Too much fun assuaging his tenderized asshole. And after that, he’d need to go back to licking his purebred balls.
“Alright,” I said, reaching for the door. “Next time.”
“Hold on. I got cold drinks. Snacks. Toys. Company. Conversation. Companionship. Deep, enlightening, distracting, entertaining dialogue. What’s out there that’s not already in here? Who’s gonna be this generous? C’mon. Stay a while longer. You’ve got the itch. We both got the itch. We both know the itch.”
I know nothingness is better than the bigger picture of what he was offering. So I routinely indulge in my nothingness, which is all I have to return for his purebred wisdom. So it makes sense – his intuition to enlighten since all I possesse is the nothingness of a mutt or – at best – half-breed. My nothingness – the base nothingness of trivial somethings as opposed to his vast, abject nothingness – at least his for today. The enlightened nothingness of absolute black or absolute white, a weird thing considering that stuff about zero and infinity. A weird thing we could both babble on about to infinity – infinity like zero, if both were entertained.
“Can’t,” I said, feeling the deep hunger for my nothing. Needing it like air or sunlight or water.
He stopped his butthole dragging long enough to say, “Then I’m ready for the ball. Please, the ball. I’m ready for fetch.”
“Too late,” I said. Then left, like I’d wanted to from the beginning.