I WANT ALL THE DOGS
When you love dogs, but don’t have your own, your life can sometimes mirror that of an alcoholic or addict. Most recently, I was with some friends at a bar and since we were close to one of their apartments, we decided to leave and continue drinking among the comforts of home. I’d met up with these folks a bit after they had and was feeling tired and drunk. I was considering going home until one of them said, “Oh! You guys can meet my dog, Mabel.”
Suddenly, I was on full alert. A dog! There was a dog at this apartment! “Be cool, Dunn,” I thought. “Don’t let on how excited you are.”
“Um,” I asked. “What kind of dog?” Under the table, I wrung my hands together.
“Just a little terrier,” she replied.
A LITTLE DOG?! LIKE ONE I COULD HUG?! OH GOD. STAY CALM, GABY. STAY CALM.
“Sounds cool,” I shrugged. We headed to the apartment.
To make a long story short: I got so wrapped up in the dog that no one else got the chance to pet him. I bogarted that dog. I also did not notice at all when one of our friends ate peanuts and had an allergic reaction so bad he had to stab himself with an Epi-pen. Wasn’t until later when someone else was like, “Man, how scary was it when Nate ate peanuts?” that I even realized something was going on beyond that cute, furry face.
So…I love dogs. If you have a dog, I would like to see it and/or meet it.
One time, a guy said to me, “I don’t necessarily want to sleep with every girl I see but I wish I had the superpower that I could just see their boobs if I wanted to.” This is how I feel about dogs. I don’t necessarily want my own dog, but I want to be able to see dogs whenever I want, with no strings attached.
For an addict like me, the summer is prime time. Suddenly, the way pretty ladies are now showing their knees in sundresses and dudes flex their shoulder muscles in colorful tanks — the dogs are out on parade. Every person I pass on the street seems to be walking the cutest dog I have ever seen. Each one is fluffier and sweeter than the last. I want to touch them, but it’s not appropriate so I settle for secretly taking pictures on my phone while pretending to text.
I’m tweaking. I’m trying to get my dog fix in any way I can, but it’s not easy to do it without blowing up my spot. Addicts have to be sort of stealth in order to avoid interventions and public concern. I’d be mortified if someone was like, “Um, did you just take a picture of my dog?” I’d rather be caught sexting.
Sometimes I’ll be with someone and they’ll start nonchalantly showing me pictures of their dog on their phone. I will seem calm. Little do they know I’m thrumming with the excitement of a thousand-person drum line. They’ll scroll through about ten photos or so, mesmerized and then shake their head, snap out of it and apologize to me. TO ME. “Sorry! Haha! You don’t need to see all those pictures of dogs that look exactly the same.”
Yes. I do.
I need to see all the pictures of all the dogs.
Is this annoying to other people? Because it is not annoying to me at all. It’s almost a tease if you don’t show me every single picture of your dog that you have on your phone. I need to see him playing with a ball or cuddling on the sofa. I need to see him wrestling with you on the floor. I need to see him before AND after he got groomed.
Sure the internet has pictures of dogs, but that’s like …dog porn. It’s not the real thing. I can’t feel their soft fur or kiss their adorable fuzzy heads. I can’t snuggle a picture! And I can’t have my own because I live in a tiny apartment in New York City with my roommate and her two cats. It just wouldn’t be fair to add a dog to the mix. I’m not home enough to care for it and there’s not enough space for it to run free and live a happy life.
The point is: I’m jonesing. I need to see all of the dogs. All of them.
So please, if you see me out, take pity on me and show me your dog. I would absolutely like to see it.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.