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Sleeping with Dogs

 

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>        Thu, Sep 21, 2006 at 11:43 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

Dear Angela,
As u guessed by my silence, the news about Beowulf isn’t good: barking all the time ever since your departure, peeing uncontrollably, irritated at me especially (since I am not you!!!)—in short, depressed.  Sleepless nights 4 both of us 4 more than a month, so yesterday I took your pooch to Doc Schwitzer, the vet u recommended, who placed your brave warrior on Prozac.  I hope u will understand.
Love, Chad

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                  Sun, Sep 24, 2006 at 6:43 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

Chad Dearest,
What do you mean “depressed”?  My happy, joyful Beowulf—the love of my life next to you?  How can my devoted canine become depressed in less than a month’s time?   Provide more details.  I can’t understand Dr. Schwitzer, who has treated Beowulf forever, recommending such drastic treatment.  Please explain.
Love, Angela

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>          Mon, Sep 25, 2006 at 8:47 AM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

Dear Angela,
Well, I did inquire ask about a lobotomy after the Doc suggested that 4 some dogs the trauma of a loved 1’s departure can be so overwhelming that nothing less than medicine designed 4 humans is the only solution.  Doc implied that Beowulf assumes that u have died and gone to heaven.  And since u are going to be gone 4 a year, instead of a weekend, the best solution is to treat Beowulf as human as u or I.
Chad

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>             Thu, Sep 28, 2006 at 6:21 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

Dear Chad,
But Beowulf is as human as you or me.
Angela

<Big12in@hotmail>                Fri, Sep 29, 2006 at 11:07 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

Angela,
Exactly, so u can understand why I made the decision I did (after consulting the good Doc, of course).
Chad

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                  Mon, Oct 2, 2006 at 6:37 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

Chad,
But is my beloved any better?  Has she gotten over all that behavior that led you to consult Dr S in the first place?
Angela

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>             Mon, Oct 2, 2006 at 7:01 PM
To: Ang4321@yahoo.com

Angela,
Much better.  No longer high-strung.  Sleeps most of the time.  Her Prozac cost $113.00—and that’s 4 only 30 days. I snooped in your medicine cabinet to see if u had any of your own but couldn’t find anything so I waved your plastic card in front of Doc and he rang up $113.  How can Prozac 4 canines cost that much?  I thought it had gone generic.
Chad

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>             Sat, Oct 6, 2006 at 6:57 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
Probably not for animals, though there’s not much difference between the men at the headquarters here and most of the other monsters I’ve known in my life—excluding you, of course.
A

Mr10in@hotmail.com              Sun, Oct 7, 2006 at 1:53 PM
To: Ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
I’ve also had to put her on Mirapex, since Beowulf insists on sleeping with me.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com >                    Thu, Oct 13, 2006 at 6:12 AM
To: big12in@yahoo.com

C,
Mirapex, what’s that? This sounds serious. Is there something you’re not telling me?
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                    Sat, Oct 14, 2006 at 2:53 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
4 “restless legs syndrome.”  Beowulf sleeps like a log, but she kicks all night long, so your expensive Doc said I should try Mirapex—another $113 on your card, which seems to be this guy’s fee 4 prescription drugs.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com >                Mon, Oct 16, 2006 at 12:12 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
All dogs kick in their sleep. They dream like everyone else and in their dreams they’re always running.  Any dog owner knows that, stupid.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                   Tu, Oct 16, 2006 at 11:01 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
I am not a dog owner.  Beowulf is yours, or have u already forgotten?  If she hadn’t been used to sleeping with you, this wouldn’t have happened.  I’m simply trying to get through my days (and nights) as always, unaccustomed as I am to sleeping with your twinkie.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                Thu, Oct 19, 2006 at 6:03 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
Are you sure you don’t have an ulterior motive?  You’ve never liked Beowulf since the moment u met her.  How can you be so jealous of a pooch, for Christ’s sake, in spite of your so-called occupation?
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>             Fri, Oct 20, 2006 at 10:49 PM
To: ang4321@hotmail.com

A,
Jealous of a 3 pound Bichon Frise?  U’ve got to be kidding.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                  Sun, Oct 22, 2006 at 5:43 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

Chad, Dearest,
Have YOU considered going to a shrink?
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                  Sun, Oct 22, 2006 at 11:52 PM
To: Ang4321@yahoo.com

Angela, My Love,
No, but I contemplated sending Beowulf to a shrink—if the quack had recommended one.  Beowulf no longer runs in her sleep, which is bad enough, but she sneezes half a dozen times during the night.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                 Sat, Oct 28, 2006 at 6:38 AM
To: big12in@hotmail

C,
Of course she sneezes.  Have you considered who she’s sleeping with?  Have you tried taking a bath lately?  Next thing you’ll email me that she’s also on Flonase.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                Tu, Oct 28, 2006 at 10:01 PM
To: Ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
Not Flonase.  Doc said I should give her a spoonful of Trimetic before we go to bed, which helps your chien sleep better.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                   Thu, Nov 2, 2006 at 6:12 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
But you said all she does is sleep because of the Prozac.
A

 

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                Tu, Nov 6, 2006 at 3:15 PM
To: Ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
Had to take her off the Prozac once she went on the Mirapex, so we switched her to Valium.  Sleeps like a champ, even through the sneezes.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                  Thu, Nov 9, 2006 at 6:17 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
You dog, you.  If anything happens to Beowulf before I return, I’ll cut your heart out.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                Wed, Nov 15, 2006 at 12:04 PM
To: an4321@yahoo.com

A,
Beowulf thinks u’re dead, or have u already 4gotten that?  U might say that I’m the one keeping her alive.  I’m certainly not the one who flew the coop.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                Sun, Nov 18, 2006 at 7:03 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
I don’t care much for your menacing tone.  Here I am, protecting our country, and all you have to do is please a tiny creature with no demands. I‘m risking my life in this operation, and you’re complaining about kicking legs.  Is that fair?
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                   Mon, Nov 20, 2006 at 11:13 AM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
Of course not but, as Milton said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
C.

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                   Thu, Nov 23, 2006 at 6:55 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
Who is this Milton guy?  That stupid poet, or are you into men again?
A

 

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                Thu, Nov 30, 2006 at 4:52 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
Where are you?  What’s going on? Can’t you answer me?
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                      Fri, Dec 1, 2006 at 9:55 PM
To: ang4321@hotmail.com

A,
OK, I may be a dog-walker, but not all dog-walkers are gay.  Got that? And even though I’ve moved into your pad so I can take care of your whelp, our needs are mutual.  U’re off orchestrating the great war, so someone has to take care of your little pipsqueak.  I’m between jobs, granted, and walking mongrels to earn a little cash as I try to get myself together, but u need me to take care of your sample of a dog as much as I need u to provide me with a place to stay.  We may have had sex a few times before your departure, but u don’t own me yet.  Got that?
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                     Sun, Dec 3, 2006 at 6:14 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
Prickly, prickly.  Also, it was more than a few times—unless you don’t count the time in the Post Office and the one at Macy’s.  Now tell me truthfully, Chad, is Beowulf on Prozac or are you the one on Prozac?
A.

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                      Mon, Dec 4, 2006 at 11:23 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
OK, both of us, though as I said, your champion was switched to Valium.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                  Thu, Dec 9, 2006 at 6:18 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
Ah, so the truth is out—the $113 bill for Prozac was for you, not for Beowulf.  Right?
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                     Sat. Dec 9, 2006 at 10:57 AM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
Sort of.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                      Sun, Dec 10, 2006 at 6:18 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
And who has restless leg syndrome—you or B?  Or is it restless something else syndrome?  And while I’m asking these questions, is anyone else staying in my apartment besides you—any other people or any other dog(s)?
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                  Wed, Dec 13, 2006 at 11:01 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
Your questions reveal an astonishing lack of faith in my intentions to put YOUR interests first.  And u, dear lady, who came on to me like a bitch in heat the very first weekend after I’d taken care of your mutt–for all I know u’re servicing our frustrated generals in Kuwait—or wherever they’ve got u sequestered.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                        Thu, Dec 14, 2006 at 6:01 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
None of your business, but what is your business is that I haven’t had a period in the last three months, and you’re the father of the cur that’s growing inside me.  So I may be coming back home a lot faster than you anticipated, and you need to think about what your true part in all this will be.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                Sat, Dec 16, 2006 at 11:08 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
If u come back anytime soon—and that includes pulling a fast one and arriving unannounced–don’t expect me to stick around.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>  Sun, Dec 17, 2006 at 6:49AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

Chad, Dear,
Never fear.  I can’t just pack up and depart from my work here without a replacement, and we’re not anywhere near considering that.  But I guess you’ve made it clear that you don’t see yourself as a father.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>           Sun, Dec 17, 2006 at 9:42 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
I’m about to be a father here.  Beowulf is also pregnant.  I warned u months ago about assuming that just because Beowulf is a she, and not a he, her name wouldn’t protect her from getting pregnant.  And, yes, I’ve verified Beowulf’s pregnancy with the good shaman, who has put her on Abilify ($113) and, just so u don’t have to ask me what that is, it’s 4 treating Bipolar Disorder.  Your swindler confesses that this is what Beowulf should have been on from the beginning—so everything else has been thrown out except 4 the renewal 4 Mirapex ($113).
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>          Wed, Dec 20, 2006 at 7:14 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
Are you out of your mind?  If Beowulf is pregnant, then you are responsible for that catastrophe and you’d better make certain that Dr. S gives her an abortion fast—or is that the intent of all these prescriptions?  Last thing I knew, all the other dogs you walked weighed ten times Beowulf’s weight.  If you let one of those bigger dogs get to her, I’ll cut your dick off just as soon as I catch sight of you. You fucking bastard.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>            Fri, Dec 22, 2006 at 9:55 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
Never fear.  The father of Beowulf’s puppy is a 3-pound Chihuahua.  Your con artist has assured me that Beowulf will have a normal delivery.  It was the only time I left them alone, when Pepe had to spend the night here since I lost the key to the Mendozas’ apartment and couldn’t take him back there.
C
PS: Merry Christmas.

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                 Sun, Dec 24, 2006 at 7:55 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

 

C,
That’s not what I’m questioning.  Your good judgment has already been disproved by the weeks of agony your emails have given me about Beowulf.  I’m questioning how a three-pound pregnant Bichon Frise can be bipolar.
A
PS—Merry Christmas to you, too, you prick.

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                   Mon, Dec 25, 2006 at 1:58 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
No you’re not.  U’re questioning yourself—why u let me move into your apartment and take care of Beowulf.  I warned u that I might not be the most reliable person out there.  Have u forgotten how you begged me to take care of Beowulf while u are away???
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                Thu, Dec 28, 2006 at 6:49 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
My error, I agree.  But you can’t just let me down now that I’m way over here in Valhalla and can’t take care of my little pooch for another eight months.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                   Sat, Dec 30, 2006 at 10:10 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
I thought u suggested that u might be sent home be4 your term is up, given (as u put it) your delicate state.
A

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                 Mon, Jan 1, 2007 at 12:45 PM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
You’re safe.  I had a miscarriage on Christmas, so you’re off the hook.  Fairly normal the doctor told me for a thirty-eight-year old woman pregnant for the first time. There, it’s out.  My age, and yes, my desire to get pregnant, since I’d given up all hopes about motherhood until you came along.
Happy New Year, you creep.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>                Tu, Jan 2, 2007 at 10:41 AM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
Your age I already knew.  After all, I’m staying in your apartment and u can’t conceal everything from me.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>                  Thu, Jan 4, 2007 at 6:03 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
And I’m certain you didn’t waste any time snooping around.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>              Mon, Jan 8, 2007 at 9:30 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
True, and, yes, I usually prefer men.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>              Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 6:07 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

C,
I knew that.  All I wanted was a father for my baby, and I thought I had one until a couple of weeks ago.
A

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>               Sun, Jan 14, 2007 at 11:18 AM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

A,
Sorry.  Maybe I can help u out there again.
C

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>              Thu, Jan 18, 2007 at 6:04 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

Chad,
Thanks, but your idea of sex in public places has lost some of its appeal to me. We almost got caught in the grocery store, remember?  The doctors here have warned me that getting pg again is going to be complicated.  Just take care of Beowulf, will you—and get Dr. S. to stop messing around with all those drugs.  Somehow, what I would like now would be to return home to Beowulf and her puppies.  That would please me more than anything else.
Angela

<Mr10in@hotmail.com>               Sat, Jan 20, 2007 at 1:42 PM
To: ang4321@yahoo.com

Dear Angela,
If there’s a male puppy, u should call him Grendel and then we could rename your Bichon Grendel’s Dam.
Chad

<Ang4321@yahoo.com>               Sun, Jan 21, 2007 at 6:30 AM
To: Mr10in@hotmail.com

Dear Chad,
“We”?  What do you mean “we”?
A

CHARLES R. LARSON is Professor of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C. His books include Under African Skies, Worlds of Fiction, The Ordeal of the African Writer and Academia Nuts. He can be reached at: clarson@american.edu

 

 

 

 

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Charles R. Larson is Emeritus Professor of Literature at American University, in Washington, D.C. Email = clarson@american.edu. Twitter @LarsonChuck.

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