Man’s Best Friend

Man’s Best Friend

everyone agreed
he seemed depressed
so everyone agreed
he ought
to get a dog

he put it off
for a long time
saying,
"i'm too lazy for a dog.
i don't wanna take it for walks.
worry about its shots.
clean up its shit."

but
everyone 
kept insisting
he must be depressed
and having companionship
and something
other than himself
to attend to
would do him
some good

so he went
and spent a lot of money
on a dog
he spent
a lot of money
on its papers 
its shots
its grooming
its training
and fixing
all its illnesses

and he spent
a lot of time
cleaning its shit
taking it
for walks
and teaching it
how to behave

he spent
nearly as much 
time
and money
and emotion
investing
in his dog
as he would have
a real child

he exhausted
and invested
so much 
in his dog
he even allowed
his parents
to call it
their
granddog
and found himself
absurdly
wrapping gifts
to attend
other dogs'
birthday parties

his dog 
died
after 13 years together
which again
made him
depressed
less
for the loss
of his companion
than coming to realize
all that money
time 
and attention
devoted
to the tailed
substitute
for intimacy
between
people
was the far lazier solution
to the problem
than not wanting
to take it for walks
and clean up
its shit

he was even more depressed
after it died
understanding
the time
emotion
and money
devoted to his dog
would have been
better devoted
to improving
himself
understanding
after 13 years
he was fundamentally
no different
than before

sometimes
now
he wants to cry
for the lack of intimacy
between him
and all the rest
who'd told him
a dog
was a solution
when he'd known
all along
it wasn't

sometimes
now
he thinks about ending
everything
as people
remark 
about his depression
and insist
what he needs
is another
dog

then
tonight 
as he readied for bed
he realized
in their 13 years
his best friend
at least
had never given him
such horrible
advice

2 thoughts on “Man’s Best Friend

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