Cool weather and moonlight means jacked up mutts. There is something about being able to see outside at night that makes dogs stoned as hell. They think it’s a miracle. They think it’s an event. It happens once a month or so for three or four days and they think it’s the second coming of the Anubis, the Jackal headed god. They go out at ten and Lillith stays out while her older brothers come in. I lay in bed trying to drift off to sleep but Lucas wants to go out and look for Lillith. The door is open but he wants me to...do something.
Lillith comes in and she doesn’t get up on the bed and I don’t worry about it. Lucas wants to sleep right next to me all the time and Sam feels slighted if Lucas is on the bed without him. It’s rather warm for two dogs but I really do not feel like arguing with them. I start to drift off to sleep and Lillith decides she wants to join us.
Lucas feels obligated to try to push Lillith off the bed sometimes and that starts the two of them tussling for position. I get them both settled down but suddenly, Sam starts barking, in his sleep, and kicking. Bitey Face begins because of this. I settle them down, wake Sam up and he snarks at Lucas. Little wants to know what the fight is about and Bitey Face begins because of this. I kick them all off the bed.
They run out into the back yard as if aliens have just landed, with treats. They cross the deck as if they’re a herd of water buffalo who smoke hash and eat marshmallows. Truly, it sounds like there are a dozen dogs running out there. Bitey Face begins in the backyard, replete with wild hippo noises. Sam barks at the L’s as if he’s trying to tell them I’m trying to sleep. This isn’t working. I call them in and make them sleep on the floor.
At some point Lucas slips into bed with me without me knowing it. Sam used to be able to do this when he was younger. I think they time it in the middle of a toss or turn so there already motion going on. I have no idea how he does it but he does. Lucas gets on the bed and suddenly I’m getting pushed out. I sit up which invites Sam to join us. I lay back down, and think about getting up when Lillith leaps on the bed to give me an emergency face cleaning. Lucas doesn’t like this and he wants to push her away.
I get them settled down and they thump their tails on the bed. This is like some weird tequila induced rap beat that echoes off the box springs. Lilith’s tail is long and she wags much slower than Lucas. Lucas’ tail operates like a BB in a metal can. Lucas rolls over upside down and starts licking Lillith’s face. Kissy face! Kissy face! Lillith kisses him back and I feel like I’m in High School with two people making out in the car while I drive. I mean, damn. But the love doesn’t last because Bitey Face breaks out and it’s not just Bitey Face but Epic Bitey Face at the O Fortuna Level.
Am I an evil person? Is this why I am punished like this? Am I destined to sleep two, maybe three hours a night until my brain just explodes? I have to duck under the pillow when they roll over on top of me, either one of them snapping and snarling as if they were fighting for the existence of their species. Everybody off the bed. Everybody go lie down. The clock stares out at me like the red eye of Sauron. I have to get a clock with a blue or a green read out, I swear the red is evil at this time of morning. Lucas gets up on the bed and Sam follows. Lillith gets on the bed and plops down, as if this is a sign she is willing to sleep.
I have to pee.
Urine is a bitch. There’s no negotiation, there is no bargaining, and it can and it will wait you out. Urine is going to come out of your body and convenience isn’t an issue. Sleep isn’t an issue. You can be out in the middle of the woods on the very coldest day of the year and you’re still going to have to touch something with hand you don’t want in your pockets they’re so cold. Urine demands that I get up so I do. The dogs follow. They think it’s time to go out so they head for the door. I let them out and leave the door open. Just start reading this from the beginning and get back to this point, and we’ll continue because it all happened again.
The air cools as dawn approaches and the dogs become, finally, sleepy. Lucas coils up, giving me more room, and Lillith sleep in a tight bundle at my feet, snoring softly. Sam is silently chasing something, twitching his leg, but finally, I’m drifting off into sleep again. This is the time of year when things slow down outside. The mosquitoes aren’t out at night anymore. The snakes aren’t seen early in the day or late in the day anymore. Dawn gets here later and sunset comes earlier. It’s less than two months before the Solstice and winter is already showing in very small ways. I can feel my body relaxing and reality begins to blend with odd thoughts. I can see a road sigh, green and white, in my mind, but can’t read the letters. I’ll nap later today. I’ll catch up on my sleep during a ball game or after lunch. But it is nearly time to get up now and get a few thoughts down while they’re still here with me.