I’m sorry to tell you, sweet girl, but I might be a writer. I might be a writer who, on occasion, squirms into a tweed jacket and gives a quick reading. I might be a writer who goes to dinner parties and laughs loudest and can sometimes tell the difference between syrah and merlot (not really, but I’m full of bull). I might lift my glass into the light and I might sniff the cork. I might be a writer who will teach his students why plot does and does not matter; why character means more than anything; and why, if I’m honest, I don’t care what they write about as long as they get a bang out of it and I don’t get fired. I’m also in debt, drink too much, don’t have health insurance and ask strangers inappropriate questions on a regular basis. Lately, I’m thinking I should stop using the word might. You should know, sweet girl, I might even be a writer with dogs.
Just last month I picked up an abandoned pile of wiggling mud from the middle of the street and took her home. I gave her a bath and let the vet fill her full of antibiotics. Now it seems I have a puppy who looks exactly like a raccoon had sex with a fox. She has a bandit’s mask, a puffy cinnamon mane and a black stripe that starts at the nape of her neck and ends at the tip of her tail. She has a white swirl on her chest and ears like a wolf. I named her Zuppa for how much she looks like the espresso-and-mocha-soaked pound cake dessert you and I shared on our first night out. I named her Zuppa so that we would both be reminded of sitting across from one another and smiling wide when we realized how good espresso and mocha could be when it’s soaked up by pound cake and topped with whipped cream. I also tasted spiced rum and amaretto, and when I watched you lick the whipped cream off your lips, it was the closest I’ve ever been to attaining enlightenment. It made me a little sorry that the man you were looking at was me.