09:35:13 am on
Sunday 24 Oct 2021

Who Is Sleeping in My Bed
AJ Robinson

These days, our foster son must be up very early in the morning. He has his first class at 7:15 am. He takes the bus to school. So, yes, quite early.

Introducing Rico.

His dog Rico shares his room. What am I saying? His room? His bed.

How the two of them manage to fit, I will never know. Yet, they manage. When he leaves for school, he releases Rico from his captivity and the poor dog, bladder bursting, of course makes a beeline for the doggie door, which is in our room.

Here’s the thing: we draw the curtains each night for privacy and have to pull them aside for Rico to find the door. He’s kind of a dim bulb in that respect. Anyway, once he’s done his business out in the backyard, he comes inside and again wants to settle down to sleep.

After all, he’s a dog. When they’re not warning us of killer mailmen or dodgy-looking plastic bags wafting through the air by barking their fool heads off, they sleep. He does need his eighteen hours.

Rico makes a point of curling up in our bed, usually at my feet, behind my legs or maybe cozy-comfy right next to my shoulders. Me, as Jo Ann says, I sleep like the grave, nothing disturbs my slumber. So, Rico makes himself comfortable and then later I rise to start my day.

Always hopeful.

Rico sometimes follows me in hopes of getting some milk, egg or other snack, but often he does not. Later, when I return to dress for the day, I find a certain someone happily asleep in my bed. See the above photograph.

As I dress, I may get the evil eye from Rico. He’ll lay there, head on the pillow and just sort of glare at me out of the corner of his eye as if to say: “Do you have to do that now? Can’t you see I’m trying to get some sleep?”

It’s comical, as Rico has expressive eyes and woe unto me if I dare to lay out my things on the bed. That is considered quite the breech of protocol. He may do as much as lift his head from the pillow to reinforce his glare.

My task must be completed within a certain time frame, if I am to get to work on time. I soldier on. Once dressed, I slip on an appropriate pair of shoes and am careful to return my slippers to the shoe rack lest a certain someone make a meal of them, but I won’t mention any names.

I then see about my lunch, phone and any other items I need to address before leaving. Sometimes it’s the kitchen trash; it’s my job to remove it when full. It might be some outgoing mail I need to drop in the box.

Once all tasks have been completed, I can depart. I always check on Jo Ann. If she’s awake, we chat briefly, of what might happen that day, and then I kiss her goodbye. In days of yore, back when Gandalf was her pet and protector, moving in for a kiss would elicit quite the angry response from him.

Now, with Rico, not so much. He takes note of my action; he has no objection. Although, I do note a certain sadness to his eyes as he watches. It’s as if he’s saying: “Hey, what about me? Don’t I rate some token of affection?”

No more doggie kisses.

Sorry, my four-legged friend, I stopped kissing dogs once I found out how nice female humans kiss. Well, let’s say I cut down.

GrubStreet.ca

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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