She sipped at her drink as the rain beat against the window. Streaks of light ran over the wall and she let herself get lost in them for a moment. Her life was turning into a massive cliché right before her very eyes – a woman alone, drunk and maudlin as rain falls from the dark sky.
She rolled her head to the side and made eye contact with her dog. She drained her glass and slid it onto the table before her.
The dog sat and stared blankly at her, still wet from the walk they had just returned from. Wet dog smell filled the room.
“You stink,” she growled flatly. The dog blinked and she grinned at it warmly. “Whose fault is that, right?” The dog said nothing. “Ok, Jackson, let’s go.” She pushed herself up and moved to the kitchen with the dog at her heels. She stretched and snatched the treats from the top of the fridge, pulled a few of the shriveled morsels from the clear tub, then replaced it and looked down that the quiet animal as he stared back at her – tail wagging.
“Delicious?” She smelled the tan sticks in her hand. Her eyes rolled. “All you.” She dropped them onto the kitchen tile and stepped over Jackson as he proceeded to devour the tasty treats his loving master had blessed him with. “At least I’m not a crazy cat lady,” she muttered as she returned to the sofa.
Her eyes rested on the bottle of wine. To refill or not to refill – that was the question. She sighed and decided to wait. The TV beckoned, but this was her “no TV night”. She’d fight through the evening sans television stimuli.
The evening had fallen apart slowly and steadily. Plans to get a Christmas tree were put on hold yet again. Walking down to the lot in four blocks of rain to pick from the horrid selection, dropping her $50, then walking back dragging her spoils behind her was something she could wait on. Christmas had turned into a hollow Holiday for her anyway. No need to rush the inevitable depression and regret. It would come soon enough. And she had passed on an evening out with her friends yet again as well. Rain bar crawling wasn’t her idea fun.
Jackson returned. He licked as his lips as if to make the moments from the kitchen’s treat last a little longer.
“Oh, you liked that, huh?” She smiled a sad little smile. “Well, I’m glad you’re happy at least.”
“You really should make an effort to get out more.” Jackson said as he stared at her with his big, brown eyes. “I mean, it’s nice having you here with me, but I hate seeing you sitting around, drinking and being sad. You deserve more.”
“You’re sweet.” She leaned forward and scratched his head.
He squinted and let himself get lost in the delightful scrtich of her nails before licking her hand. Then he huffed and said, “No, really, staying in and going for walks and talking to me isn’t going to get you what you really want.” He moved around her legs and to the sofa, then tried to step up onto it.
“Hey! No no – not when you’re all wet! You know the rules.” She pointed to the carpet and Jackson pushed away and returned to his plush Wet Dog Zone. “Nice try.”
Jackson ignored the dismissal. “It’s true and you know it. You need to get out and find another man to lay with.”
“Gawd, don’t put it that way. It sounds awful when you put it that way.” She shivered. “Lay with. Jesus.”
“You know what I mean. Someone you can talk to besides me. Someone to take care of you like you take care of me.” He licked his paw absently.
“Toss dried pig onto the floor for me? Make me lay on a piece of shag carpet on the floor?” She laughed.
“You know what I mean.” Jackson’s voice seemed agitated.
“I’m just tired of looking.” She snatched her glass up from the coffee table.
“You’re looking in the wrong places and with the wrong people, if you ask me.”
“I didn’t ask you.” She smirked. “And, just because you had one bad experience with Jessica doesn’t make her a bad person. She’s fun to go to bars with.”
“She’s mean.” Jackson’s voice was bitter. He thought back to that time in Golden Gate Park and Jessica’s actions. He’d never forget. Never. “Anyway, there must be other places to meet males.”
She stood up and grabbed the TV remote from the top of the television and returned to the sofa. “I’ll meet someone.” The television buzzed into life and the images lit up the dark room. “I’ll meet some guy somewhere and we’ll be happy for a few months, then he’ll turn chicken and run for the hills and I’ll have to start all over again. Either that or I’ll freak out and bail on him. It’ll be great.” She clicked through channels, then stopped on The Food Network and refilled her glass.
Jackson stood up and padded over to her. He positioned himself down by her and rested his head on her foot.
The rain pattered against the windowpane softly, but the sound of the people talking about food on the television managed to drown out the peaceful sound of it.
“I like steak,” Jackson said to the TV image of the white haired woman cooking a giant porterhouse.
“Me, too,” his owner said back. “Me, too.”