Dear Goddamned Beagle,
I have missed you. I have. I’ve been traveling too much, doing my part to contribute to my field, but it takes its toll on these bones.
I know it’s hard on you, too. After each successive trip, I’ve heard the same thing: “She was so depressed while you were gone!” This is not a good thing. I learned you remained sleeping while someone left the room with their breakfast fair game on the floor. Unheard of. Not normal.
I got home a few days ago from my third trip in a little over a month. After a small amount of weeping (you, not me, but I was still glad to see you), we went about the business of unpacking, making coffee, doing laundry and having some brunch with Thing One and She Thing One. We even made bacon, something we never do in this house but something you clearly think we should do a lot more often. You spit out the egg whites I gave you. You were bouncing back from your dejection.
I guess I’m the only one who noticed you’d rolled in something sticky, and likely dead. It must have happened the day before as the couch, the blankets covering the couch which you’d pushed aside and dropped to the floor, my bedding, quilt, and you were all pretty rank, so I then washed all the bedding, the blankets, and you. A lick mat, two jars of baby food, a quarter bottle of shampoo and four bath towels later you were fresh as a daisy. Then I washed off all the cushions and did the additional laundry.
I did a lot of laundry that day, Beagle. A lot. May I congratulate you on your art-level passive aggression.
The next day, smelling fresh as a daisy after waking up burritoed in clean bedding, you seemed more yourself. I worked. We went for a walk. I taught you to use your new nail filing board. I worked some more, had a few meetings, filed your nails a few more times. I made some tea and set it next to me as I always do. Then a local candidate rang the bell.
When I returned, my tea was mostly gone. My tea.
I know we’re family, but we just don’t take other people’s tea. It’s low. I mean, it’s not like you can make me another cup. And while I appreciate you waiting for it to be just the right temperature (coinciding with me being out of guarding range), I, too like tea at just the right temperature. And without hints of dumpster breath.
I can’t decide what you’re attempting to convey. Is it an expression of oneness? Are you so glad we’re together again that from now on all experiences will be shared experiences?
Is this a gastronomic apology; I’m sorry I spit out your eggwhites, let me show how deliciously you make hot beverages?
Is this code, subtly letting me know how the Things left you parched and in danger of dying from dehydration, with barely a water change in your glass bowl in the kitchen?
All of that is possible, but don’t think I don’t hear your secondary message. It was loud and clear as you stood, back legs on the arm of the couch, front legs on the rolling table, calmly pushing it away as you stretched out, staring at me, lapping up the last dregs from my glass mug. Your chin dragged it ever-closer to the edge of the table. “When I suffer, you shall suffer. Also, you’re out of tea.”
Thanks for the update, Beagle. You’re snoring next to me now, clearly satisfied you’ve been heard. I’ve got my cup of tea, placed on paper towels in case I forget and leave it unattended. I’ve chocked the wheels so the side table won’t roll. I have no more trips for three weeks, then only one or two more for the year.