Dear Goddamned Beagle,
I feel for you. I do.
Yesterday you were just minding your own business, burritoed and cozy, curled under the red blanket I stole from some airline. Fully immersed in Beagle REM sleep, your snoring had the gentle lull of an ocean full of running chain saws, the only noise other than my typing as I worked. The house was cool, the rest of the neighborhood still weekend-morning hushed.
I had paperwork to follow, so I needed to be at my desk, which meant that you’d have your post-breakfast nap on the office window seat. Window seats are fickle perches, unreliable in their space and levels of comfort, and the office window seat, as you’ve now noticed, is not as wide as the kitchen window seat where we often spend our mornings. You stuttered a few short, sharp snores, lightly groaned, and stretched. Deeply asleep, you rolled.
I saw what was happening just a little too late. Some hitch in your breathing caused me to look up, and I saw you sliding off the cushion. The blanket was pinned under you, and for a minute you hung there, head down, your body weight delaying the inevitable. Then you fell.
You were still asleep when you landed on your neck, and you twisted under the blanket in what looked, from my viewpoint, to be a figure eight pattern, a lot like a newly-landed salmon. Then you stopped and I saw your head come up, body now apparently understanding where it was and what to do, and the blanket moved with you and shook as you let loose a few, brief sneezes.
Then you lay your head down. I thought you might just go back to sleep, but apparently the situation required further investigation, and after a moment you flipped the covers off your head and looked around. Then you looked at me, blinked once and stared. You don’t ask for assistance often, Beagle, but when you do, you’re pretty clear about it.
I walked over and scooped you up, blanket and all, and placed you back on the window seat. You sighed and put your head down, but I could tell something was different for you. The window seat or the blanket had betrayed you, and for the rest of the morning you stayed uncharacteristically un-draped.
Today you’re still hedging your bets it seems, either staying on top, or leaving your head and ear uncovered, perhaps to offer early warning lest whatever son-of-a-bitch beagle tipper try to approach again.
What you have encountered happens to the best of us. Metaphysically, our greatest dreams allow us to soar, embracing the future as limitless and bright and endlessly open to any possibility, yet time will show that even the luckiest of us never have it all or reach our fullest potential. Empirically, some days you get out of the shower, look down and realize the old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be. Or you fall off a window seat.
I’m reminded here of Mrs Gracewell, a character in a book by Saul Bellow, who discusses the Divine Spirit. “The body,” she says, “is subject to the forces of gravity. But the soul is ruled by levity, pure.”
I’d say that describes you to a T.
We’ll spend some time together on the couch today, and I’ll watch the edges for you as you nap. I’ll even recline it, so you can only slide inward. I’ve got your back, Beagle.