I should never be lonely. I have a boyfriend with whom I can selfishly share myself, and he himself, and us ourselves. I have friends who always want to talk, to analyze, to live their lives out through their words and to hear me live mine out for them. I have a mother who texts me, calls me, visits me even though I live two hours away. And I have someone with the same DNA who can’t technically read my mind, but who said that we can’t understand through feelings?
But I’m lonely a lot. I feel isolated in my mind. Stranded. Swimming around in brain fluid that’s too thick, so that I can’t always pull myself up to the top, so that sometimes I’m drowning. I act cold towards my boyfriend. I ignore my friends’ calls. I send my mother too short emails. I try and try but can’t react to my sister’s stories. I’m too caught up in myself.
And then someone plopped in my lap and nestled in and settled down and by God if he didn’t make everything ok, for a moment, for a minute, for a day and most importantly–for right now. His name’s Henry and yes, he’s a puppy.
I bet you thought this would be another woe is me piece about my brain and the stuff it can’t do. There’s time for that later. That stuff isn’t going anywhere. But oh how quickly Henry will grow! There are a million reasons why he makes everything better, but one of the important ones is his size. He’s small and dependent. He needs me. Whatever pressing concern I may have crumbles, disappears, evaporates when I see him stumbling around. You hold him and he lets you know that he’s ok. I made him ok, so that makes me ok, right?
Someone might say that babies are the same way–they give you love unconditionally and in return all they need is your attention and care. But here’s the thing about babies: they grow up to be humans. We inevitably have expectations for humans, even the small ones. But dogs–dogs simply are. We don’t expect them to be loyal, innocent, mind readers.
So here’s Henry. I’m pretty sure he could care less about my brain fluids, he just wants to curl up next to me, as long as we’re touching. As long as neither one of us is alone.