17 Feb Jordan Castro
Calvin wakes and lies in bed thinking for an hour. He presses the snooze button on his iPhone every nine minutes. It is comforting, having something to pull him out of himself, which is why, he suspects – later, while reflecting – he doesn’t turn it off initially.
Calvin moves toward Kevin, at the foot of the bed, and lies next to him.
“Thank you,” he says, petting him. “Thank you, bunty.”
Calvin puts his arm around Kevin, who sighs while adjusting his position so that he is lying on his side with his paws bunched together at his stomach. Calvin’s mom had told him that when dogs slept on their backs it meant they trusted you, and Calvin wonders if this, Kevin’s re-adjusting, means the opposite.
“Stant you, bunty,” he says. “I luh’ew, bunty. Stant.”
Calvin pats Kevin’s side three times then sits up. “Stanty,” he says. “Stanty stanty.”
Calvin looks around his bedroom and distantly wonders if his running shorts are clean. He wonders whether he should run now, first thing; in some minutes, after drinking yerba mate; in the afternoon, after drinking yerba mate and eating something small and doing housework; or at night. He wonders if he should bring Kevin on the run or not bring Kevin on the run but take him to the woods later.
It’s Calvin’s day off.
Calvin gets out of bed, puts on underwear, then goes downstairs to feed Kevin. Kevin follows, running toward where the food is kept, then sitting near his bowl.
“Bunty,” Calvin says, pouring the food into Kevin’s bowl.
Kevin stares at the food. Kevin eats the food. Calvin lets Kevin outside then walks to the bathroom.
Calvin looks at his iPhone.
He brushes his teeth.
Kevin runs from the backyard to the front yard, onto the porch, and inside.
“Good bunty,” Calvin says, petting him.
Calvin wonders how his breath smells. He checks by cupping his hand over his nose and mouth, exhaling into it, then inhaling through his nose.
If he runs now, he will feel good all day. If he drinks yerba mate beforehand, he will run faster. Also, he needs to drink more water, because he is dehydrated. Calvin fills the electric kettle with water and turns it on.
Kevin sprints excitedly upstairs and Calvin follows. Kevin picks up a rope toy in his mouth, flings it around, then jumps onto the bed with it. He lies down with the rope toy near his mouth. Calvin crouches so that his face is near Kevin’s. “Stant,” he says, staring at Kevin’s face and petting him. “I luh’ew, bunty. Ooo miso bunty,” he says, petting him hard.
Calvin kneels and is silent for a time. His eyes become wet. He puts his head against Kevin’s head and applies pressure. He closes his eyes. “Stant you, bunty,” he whispers. “Stant’ew bunty, oooou.” He opens his eyes. He stares at Kevin’s face. “Stant you, bunty. Stant,” he says. He pets Kevin and sighs. It feels like prayer.