Paul—who I will remind the uninitiated is a dog and not a toddler—has decided recently that he doesn’t want me to sit around and drink coffee or do any work in the mornings, but would rather prefer if I chased him around the yard and watched him dig the various holes he has broken my spirit about stopping him from creating anew whenever the spirit takes him.
You can’t really explain to a dog why coffee feels so important, so much more important than walking behind him and watching him sniff stuff and then periodically scratching his ears, so usually I do a bit of following him around and scratching his ears; this morning Dave and I both chased him for a good ten minutes, which would have gone on even longer if Paul really had his say.
This is not good newsletter content, I am aware of that, but it is what has happened to me most recently, a very real and honest look in media res in my own life. Often I’m tempted to just make a poetic list of events to send out with my comic: bonfire, revision, patio, cocktails, recording studio on a bus. I could further explain those items, but they feel more accessible somehow in their briefest form—more accessible than anything except absolute maximalist autofiction, in which I explained every second’s emotion, until this strange list and the minutes spent chasing my dog formed a statement about what it is to be alive.
But we’re already in mid-December, and I have a dentist appointment in twenty minutes, so do any of us really have the energy for it? Let’s just make another list. A future list, entirely theoretical because none of it has happened. Lights at night, roast duck, mystery package, bag of torn paper. Stovetop popcorn, Hitchcock movie, chilly air through the window. What is that sound? Where does it come from? What kind of animal sounds like that? Should we open the window wider, or will the motion chase it away? Are you sleeping now? Are you asleep? Should I just go to sleep? The air feels nice. Let’s be sleeping.