Little Dog: You know how we hang out after everyone’s gone to bed, just the two of us?
Me: Like right now.
Little Dog: Right. And you sit on the couch with the electric blanket on, and you let the blanket drag on the floor so I can cuddle on it?
Me: Yeah, but don’t tell anyone.
Little Dog: On nights like these, I sit here on my blanket…
Me: It’s my blanket.
Little Dog: …on our blanket, and I think about how sad I would be if you were gone. If I felt bad about things. I don’t, but if I did, I think I would be very sad.
Me: Thank you, Little Dog.
Little Dog: At least for a little bit. Three or four days at least.
Me: Better than nothing.
Little Dog: My attention span’s pretty short.
Me: You are a dog, after all.
Little Dog: I would maybe need to chew up a dryer ball. Just to ease the pain.
Me: Well, if I wasn’t around, your access to dryer balls would increase dramatically, as I’m the only one who picks them up off the floor.
Little Dog: I’d still be sad.
Me: I’d be sad if you were gone too.
Little Dog: So let’s not do it.
Me: Do what?
Little Dog: Die. I just don’t see the point of it.
Me: I don’t think we have much say in the matter.
Little Dog: I have this theory. Are you ready for it?
Me: Bring it on.
Little Dog: I think we’re going about this life thing all wrong.
Me: Oh yeah?
Little Dog: It seems to me that everyone spends a lot of time looking for purpose in life, because someday they’re going to die, and otherwise what’s it all for?
Little Dog: Which means really, people are spending their whole lives looking to die.
Little Dog: And as we all know, if you look at something long enough, it comes looking for you. Like, for example, if Z stares at me, I understand it as an invitation to visit him.
Me: And nip him.
Little Dog: Well, obviously. And if J looks at me, I run over and jump on him.
Me: I wish you wouldn’t do that.
Little Dog: You know he secretly loves it. And if you look at me, I always come sit on your foot.
Me: So what you’re saying is that death is like a needy dog.
Little Dog: What I’m saying is that maybe life isn’t about big goals. Maybe it’s about all the other stuff – the waiting for the mailman, the dinner, the camping, all of it. It’s about this moment, right now, you, and me, in the middle of the night, talking about dryer balls. If we just keep focused on that and never look at anything else, maybe nothing else will come looking for us. Maybe we can stay, just as we are, just you and me, forever.
Me: And the electric blanket.
Little Dog: That goes without saying.
Me: That’s a lovely thought, Little Dog.
Little Dog: Thank you. I’m here all night.