I was glad when Lars, the merchant marine moved out, because the fighting in their bedroom was keeping me up at night. But I missed his warmth and humor, and that our refrigerator was constantly stocked with Pabst. But as the Harley Krishna explained it to me, he had to go. They had reached irreconsilable differences. Talking it out wasn’t going to do any good.
“He said, ‘I want to duct tape your mouth shut, and bash your head into the toilet,'” she told me, in another bonding moment.
“Wow,” I said, not really sure what else to say. “That’s intense.”
“I wonder if we’ll ever work it out?” she said.
Would you even want to? I wondered.
Still, I enjoyed sleeping a full eight hours, my resting heart rate returned to normal, and I shed a few pounds having cut out all that Pabst.
But there were changes in our living arrangements. With Lars’s absence came an increase in expenses. My rent would go up to $450 a month, and we would be taking in dogs in the Harley Krishna’s new dog sitting business, she informed me in a series of notes that appeared under my bedroom door during the middle of the night.
Oh boy, doggies!
She acted fast. We had our first guests the next night. They were already waiting in the front entry way when I got home from work. They were both short and stocky, white, with big brown splotches, and they sat motionless in the corner, watching me. Aside from the big heavy chains around their necks, which might explain their grumpy demeanor, they looked cute and cuddly.
“You sure you can handle pits?” said a man’s voice, from around the corner. I couldn’t see either of them, just Lucky and Luscious.
The Harley Krishna assured him, with her smokers’ voice, that she knew all about dogs.
“Okay, so when you feed them, just make sure you feed Luscious first,” he said.
“Why is that,” said the Harley Krishna.
“Look, I’m just telling you, feed Luscious first.”
They came out from her room, which doubled as her office, and he demonstrated the fine art and skill of feeding pitbull terriers on the back patio. I spied from around my bedroom door.
The food, chopped meat slabs from a cooler, high in protein and iron, had been specially prepared, he explained.
“Okay, but I still don’t understand why you gotta feed Luscious first.”
“I’ll show you,” he said, placing Luscious’ bowl of food on the floor. Within a split second, Lucky made a charge for it. Both dogs snarled, snapped, and growled, as they dug into the slabs of meat.
“Back, Lucky, back!” the man wailed, kicking Lucky back into submission.
“You don’t have any other dogs here, do you?” said the man.
“Uh, no,” said the Harley Krishna, her eyes darted.
“What about Riley?” I blurted out over the volume of the dogs’ masticating, as loud as any industrial factory. Riley was the shepard mix that she’d been fostering for the last week, the Harley Krishna’s other side passion, ’til he could find a permanent home.
“Uh, no, Katie, we found him a new home earlier today.”
“You did? I swear I could have-”
“Yeah, they picked him up earlier this afternoon,” she said. I couldn’t make eye contact.
I went back to my room, and through the window I saw Riley digging holes in the backyard. So I crawled through my window and we snuck out the back gate and went out to the dog park and ran around and played ’til dark and I don’t think the Harley Krishna ever noticed we left.