Segunda-feira, Maio 23, 2005

Bitch Of A Morning

I woke up and polished my shirt. The Dog was bitching as usual.

"Why the fuck won't you let me sleep on the bed?"

"You stink."

"No worse than you! I get fucking freezing out there in that so-called basket - more like a wicker cell with prison blanket." The Dog whined, sniffing my bare ankles. The shine was dull, the morning had broken.

Light bars threaded through the blind, catching the purple black head of the Dog and making his brown eyes blue and eerily deep. He was in a foul mood, I could tell. I scrubbed and scuffed away at the colours, trying to get glints out of a remorseless matt finish. Why on earth did I not trade it in for the permashine when I had the chance? One of a million missed fashion opportunities I had come to regret.

"Where's my breakfast?" asked the Dog, resentfully. The fridge door was open, which meant he'd already had it and mine too, probably. He was a good actor. "That shirt stinks. You look shit in it."

Ignoring this easy bait, I scrunched up some old newspaper and applied it in an effort to restore order. Collars and cuffs, said Mum in my ear, collars and cuffs, and quickly down the front. I rubbed, increasing speed, feeling my heart ribs bump with the effort too early.

Down the front, all right, that's where I needed to be, pressed up against the railings and reaching through with eager hands for the next delivery. You could wait years for a moment like that and still miss it. Ah, what the fuck. Holding the garment up to the light, I wondered if it would pass muster. A patch under the left arm would soon need re-skinning, the shine was approaching 6am on a 9pm day, but at least it was approaching. Fuck it that will do. I stuck my neck through the top hole and reached my already-tired arms through, flapping like a big leather baby bird unable to take off.

"Enthusiam is not enough," said the Dog, "and also, shaving. Beards and stubble are bad."

I contemplated shaving the Dog, but decided there wasn't time. I had to be off or I wouldn't be on. "First impressions are lasting impressions..." The Dog trailed off meaningfully and realising I was not about to be drawn, and that more food was out of the question, skulked out of the room and started going round and round in the corner, muttering as he did so. The basket was long since reduced to a circle of straw with centimetre-high sides, and as he lowered himself like a geriatric onto the damp blanket, half-said something which sounded like "rough stuff not enough for bluff muff cuffs".

"Since when did you become an expert on dating?" I asked, shoving my naked feet into my boots, pulling the hide wrap which passed for a coat onto my back.

The Dog feigned haughty disinterest and putting moist blue black jowls on forelegs, settled down with a whimper and raised his left eyebrow, which was his customary bizarre way of declaring a truce. Truce! In a war that had not been waged. I had to hand it to him, he was a damned effective campaigner.

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