I strum the inner folds of Ginger’s ears, cupping her head and rubbing her with my thumbs, and she reciprocates by jamming her nose in my ear and nipping the lobes, which tickles and makes me giggle like a girl.
I’m spending too much time reading during the day and it makes me ‘off’ when I encounter others. Everyone is a distraction it seems, from the book. I emerge with a greasy sheen, self-conscious about my blinking. Like, my blinking has become a voluntary thing I have to think about each time, which makes me blink even more.
And I made the mistake of unearthing a friend’s master thesis on Infinite Jest, which has drawn me into postmodern interpretations of Kierkegaard and Sartre, the former sometimes in the original German, with footnotes in English, and I’m compelled to read both, understand neither, but can’t stop because it deals with the self, how the self relates to itself and sort of gags on itself like a lemniscate, like a snake. The hedonistic, solipsistic, narcissistic self, the metamodern exhuming, likely influenced by Barth, Barthissistic. So it’s hard to make small talk afterwards, at the kids’ basketball game.
I listen to William Burroughs talk about cats, convinced they’re familiars, they give themselves entirely to you, he says. We have the wrong cats, because they only give cold stares.
It started as a joke — that by getting closer to my dog Ginger while unemployed, I might lose my mind and start thinking I’m turning into a dog, that we’re like connected in some psychic way, that I’m elevated by her, ‘unleashed.’ That we’re starting to understand each other more through eye exchanges, and my real self is unfurling through her somehow. That her voice is getting inside my head and I’m starting to see myself through her, which is horrific to really see yourself that way. That it will be like that scene in Rosemary’s Baby where Mia Farrow catches herself in the kitchen eating raw meat in the middle of the night, because she was drugged by a cult and then raped by the devil and pregnant with his spawn, and I’ll be trimming fat off uncooked chicken with ropes of drool hanging off me, jamming it in my mouth and slamming the door, make it stop.
That I could host a dog guest blog with me the subject and my dog the author: my dog channeling thoughts about me, through me. That inside this is some kernel of truth clawing, let me out. To earn my stripes by proving I can speak dog. To let her inside me so I can discover my real self. That though it seems ridiculous, people have gotten pregnant by the devil no problem. Trust in the practice, focus and believe. That there are good voices and bad voices and it’s hard to tell the difference but important to listen to both, sometimes hard not to.