Just Bill and the Mister

November 7, 2009

Post One Continued

Filed under: Uncategorized — bknister @ 11:54 am
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Hello, my name is Bill.  That’s my picture, and you’re right, I can’t talk or type.  But I am on very good terms with my mister.  He’s decided to speak for us both.

Why doesn’t he just speak for himself?  No idea.  After all, I’m a dog.  But maybe speaking for both of us frees him in some way.  Maybe imagining that I understand him helps him to express what’s on his mind.

Does this signal the onset of dementia?  Could be, he’s pretty old.  All I know is, if it makes him happy, fine with me.  He’s done a lot for me.  Three years ago I was born a mistake, at a puppy mill.  But the day after I was whelped, the breeder didn’t put me in the pillowcase with my littermates.  Instead of drowning me, he let me grow up.  I was big, and he was curious.  When I was nine months old, I escaped into the pine forest. 

That’s when my mister entered the picture.  I was in the woods I don’t know how long, but one day I came out on the road and followed the man who’s clicking all this down.  You could call it my leap-of-faith day, an act of intuition.  I was sick with parasites, couldn’t keep food down.  I’d lost a lot of weight and would be dead soon. 

So I stepped out of the woods, and that particular day the man typing this leaped, too.  With no thoughts about dogs or much else that morning besides bass fishing and golf, he decided to stop, turn around and wait for me.  When I neared him he put out his hand.  I touched it with my nose—and here we are.

It’s also possible that treating me as a co-writer has to do with how disgusted he often is these days with his own kind.  Mornings, he talks about it while reading the paper, evenings when he checks on certain cable TV shows.  He doesn’t watch them for long, just checks.  Sure enough, the same well-fed, dough-colored heads are still yammering.  He talks about them longer and louder if he has more than one rob roy before dinner.

“Yammering, dough-colored heads” doesn’t sound much like a dog, does it?  Chalk it up to life with the mister.  He’s always coming up with stuff like that.    

Clicking away up there at his table, he stops to think.  Then he reaches down and scratches my head.  As we look at each other, he speaks a word.  His eyes are friendly, the way they are when we walk in the woods.  Collaborate is the word.  My mister really does believe we’re doing this together.  It’s because of the way I return his gaze, how I’m ready at any time to go with him, anywhere at all.  That’s why he believes I’m his partner. His collaborator.

The way I trust him–to feed me and not forget to fill my water dish, to crack the van windows when we go shopping–that’s how you should trust that he knows me as well as I know him.  Tomorrow, after our morning walk, he’ll have something to say for himself.

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By Barry Knister

Filed under: Uncategorized — bknister @ 9:13 am
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Hello, I’m Bill.  This is my picture, and yes, you’re on solid ground in thinking I can’t type.  But I am on very good terms with my mister.  He’s going to speak for us both.

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