How long was I in the cardboard box? Hours? Surely not days? I was sore, hungry and, with mounting bladder pressure, worried. I occupied my mind by writing a poem about Soren Kierkegaard, who surely had it worse, until I heard ripping.
That’s wrapping paper, I thought. I’m being opened. Honeyed light poured in. Manicured hands cupped my face. A woman’s voice said, “Sweetheart! You got me a homosexual.”
The hands withdrew. I heard stamping feet and squealing. I rose from my box to see a woman dancing with glee.
“I can’t believe it! This is the best Christmas ever.”
A man was leaning back into the corner of a couch, arm along the back, smirking.
“You gave enough hints,” he said.
She rushed over to kiss me. She reached in to help me out of the box. She rushed back to kiss the man.
“I’m going to bathe him, and feed him, and walk him,” she said.
“Feed him,” I repeated.
“Adorable! Perfectly faggy,” she said.
“He’s the best one they had. The breeder said he was gifted. Writes poetry. Thinks.”
“He’s the best one anyone has!” she said, holding a tray of peanuts towards me tentatively.
“Thank you so very much,” I said, and, because she seemed to want more, I lugubriously half-sang, “Leguuuuuumes!”
She howled. “Funny!”
“Better be! Cost a pretty penny,” he said.
“He’s an investment,” she said, “He’ll pay for himself.”
“How?” he said. “Decorating? Doing hair? What do they do these days?”
“May I utilize your facilities?” I interrupted.
“Honey,” she said, “You pee him. I’m going to make up a nest in the basement. I’ll take down the old cd player, okay? He’ll love that. We’ll have to get him some of that thump music they like. Or showtunes. Or maybe he’s an operaqueen! Oh. Oh. Oh, I can’t wait to show him off.”
“Call the Endralotts. Invite them over for a drink and a game of euchre.”
“Wicked man! She’ll die! That fat cow. She’s wanted one since forever. Better hurry, he’s getting bouncy-pants. Oh my God, that should be his name, Mr. Bouncy Pants.”
“No,” I said.
“No,” the man said.
I smiled at him gratefully. He pulled back quickly.
“Harvey Milk Bone,” he said.
I stopped smiling. “How about Kierkegaardog? Kierka for short?”
They scratched their heads.
“It’s philosophical,” I continued. “Soren Keirkegaard, the danish philosopher. Fear and Trembling?”
“In Las Vegas,” the woman asked.
“Sure, anywhere,” I said and sighed. “And then ‘Guard Dog’. Kiekegaard Dog.”
“It’ll do for now,” the man said. “But it’s a tad awkward.”
“I’ll work on it,” I said. “And now pee me or I’ll do your carpet a grand disservice.”
I was peed, pooed, bathed, dressed in an old outfit of the man’s and posed in a chair by the fire. The woman licked her thumb and pressed a lock of my hair up off my forehead into the air. It wouldn’t stay. She got some furniture polish and sprayed it into shape. The doorbell rang.
“Cross your legs,” the woman said, “And purse your lips. Gross. Okay, forget that. Just act natural. No. Act happy. No, not smarmy. Read a magazine or something. Oh, oh, disdainful! Can you do disdainful? Perfect.”
The door opened. In walked a fur coated woman, rather fat, something glandular I guessed. Her face was droopy cheeked and thick necked. She had a small husband in one hand and a leash in the other.
“Karen. Richard. Season’s greetings. This is our homosexual, Butchie,” she said yanking.
Arriving at the end of the leather lead was a pudgy, hairy man in a leather harness and jockstrap. He was smoking a cigar.
He took one look at me and dived at my groin. He fumbled, trying to turn me over and yank my pants down. The fat woman tugged on the lead.
“Butchie, heel!” She said. “I didn’t know you’d got one too, Karen! Heel, Butchie!”
She yanked harder, choking him. His cigar fell on the floor. The husband picked it up. I rearranged my pants and ran my hand through my hair.
“Oh! You got the femme kind,” the fat woman said. “Harold wouldn’t have it.”
The husband backed away from me, squinting. He sat on the couch with the other husband, but as far away as possible in the other corner.
“At first I was apoplectic! I’d so wanted to dress him up and go shoe shopping together. But as soon as I saw Butchie, I changed my mind. Aren’t you a good homosexual? Aren’t you?”
Butchie licked her face half-heartedly. He kept looking back at me and winking. He clamped his stumpy legs around one of her thick ones and dry humped her, panting in my direction. His tongue lolled enormously.
“Butchie!” she said and zapped him with a stun gun.
He fell to the floor. The husband tied him to a chair.
“Do you have eggnog?” The woman said, wiping sweat off her forehead with the back of her wrist. “Liberal with the rum, please.”
Karen stood frozen. She hadn’t said a word. I did feel sorry for her.
“I’ll get it,” I said. Eyeing the woman’s girth I added, “I think we have diet eggnog if I’m not mistaken. For just these occasions.”
Karen turned to me, a sweet smile bloomed on her lips. She gave her husband a little glance and sat down on his lap. He coughed and smiled into his fist. He reached for the peanut tray and held it out to the other husband.
“Leguuumes?” he said, and then, “Bring us a beer will you, Kierkeboy? You want one Harold?”
“I’ll have a diet eggnog, too, Kierksy,’ Karen said, “It sounds lovely.”
“I’ll dig up a bone for Butchie,” I said, “Cause he ain’t having mine!”
Everybody laughed. As I went to the kitchen I heard them talking about how delightfully sassy I was. Like black women on television.
It warmed my heart hearing Karen say, “He’s named after a philosopher. The Great Dane. He’s very intelligent. Are you two going to get Butchie fixed? He’s quite humpy.”
The fat woman said, “Yes. My legs can’t take it. You?”
I listened, but couldn’t hear. I risked peaking through the door and caught a glimpse of my owners shaking their heads no.