I open my eyes and I am a dog. I raise my head up from my paws. It smells like me around here. I like my smell. I go using my nose and find a spot where my smell is weak. I mark this spot with my smell. It hurts to mark, but I just push.
I notice there are more spots to mark, but I can only seek them out right now. Later, I will cover them and make them as they should be.
It occurs to me that my mouth is open. It is already hot. I go to the bowl. The bowl is empty. I lick the bowl, but it is still empty. I feel the dryness of my tongue. It is unpleasant but there is nothing to do. How long has it been?
I make my way about the world. This place is empty except for me and my house. There are ends to the world. I once dug below the ends, but then I saw he was fierce and he hit so I stopped.
The ends are funny. They always look the same, but they bring new smells some days and often the smell of others are passing near them. I hear noises too, noises beyond the ends, but there is nothing I can meet to know the noise. There is only the end and the hint of otherwise. So I call out past the ends and say that I am here too. But it makes no difference.
Sometimes a small thing comes running through, but that is only if it knows it should be elsewhere. It lives up high and it has no bowl. I have been unable to get close enough to smell this thing. Perhaps it knows it smells good. Perhaps it thinks I would eat every bit of it. And perhaps I would. Just now I would. It would be refreshing and wet on my tongue.
I check the bowl, but the bowl is still empty and bright. My tongue is like a sock. I swallow but it is hard. It is not as easy as it could be.
I am tired. I am too tired. But I would chase the ball if he would come throw the ball and give me water. There is nothing to see of him. The place where he comes from is shut like it is still dark. He never comes when the dark is here, but mostly he comes after it is gone. Like now. Or earlier.
Reaching for the golden ball on the wall, I hear my nails clicking. I keep reaching, but it is not easy because my feet are dry too and they slip. It is not easy to try and move like he moves. I am fast and strong, but I am no good like this.
He could hear me and come open this thing so easy, if only he would.
I keep reaching until I know that I can’t. It’s like running at the little thing that won’t let me smell it. I call at the golden ball and say that it is bad. Bad is bad, and if the ball is like me, it will not like being bad. But it just is there like the ends. I know this already, but I still call at it and I say that it is bad again.
He may come and say that I am Bad. And he has before. He doesn’t always understand. But now I am going to be Bad. I call again and it hurts me because I am being Bad. I want him to come give me water and throw the ball. I want to be Good.
Still though, he is nowhere and it is so hot. My feet are hot and my legs are hot and my hair is hot and my ears are hot and my tongue is hot.
I wish there was a place that wasn’t hot. We would go to water and it was not hot after that. He would throw the ball in the water and I would chase it and sometimes I was altogether wet and cool because there was so much water. There would be water I couldn’t see, but I knew how to be ok in the water. And I would be tired like I am now, but it was different. Then I had chased the ball through the water, but now I have only woken up.
In my house it is less hot, but it is still hot. I lay down. In my way, I know that there is a call inside me that must be made. But I am too tired now. I am too tired to know what to say. I am too tired to smell. I am too tired to dig or chase or see.
I would see him and I would make him see my shining bowl and give me water. The water would be hot, but I could drink it as if it were not. And he would say, Good Boy because that’s my name, and I like the name and he would be glad to give me more. And I am a Good Boy now and so I do not call. I am a Good Boy and so I let it be hot. I let the golden ball stare at me. I forget about the bowl because I am a Good Boy.
The little thing comes over the end. I cannot move to meet him. It is Bad for being here, but I cannot move to let it know this.
It moves slowly and I can smell the little thing. It smells like bark. It looks at me with little black eyes and is unafraid. We are unafraid because it stands in front of me and we are the same color, but it is not as hot as me. Then it tells me that I am Good. I don’t know how. But it knows me then, and it tells me I am Good.
It has no water, but I watch it. It looks back at me until I close my eyes and go like a Good Boy.