On being alone

Stringer the lab, asleep on the author around 6pm Sunday

I have spent the last week dogsitting my excellent nephew, Stringer. Stringer is the best labrador that ever there was. He belongs to my friends Ben and Sarah, who work at home from a big house in the hills and therefore have given Stringer a pretty fantastic life. When they are gone, he misses them. He consoles himself by loving me—usually by laying his big, soft head on whatever part of me has briefly stopped moving—and I console him with Dog Adventures. Every time I stand up, Stringer thinks we are going on a Dog Adventure. He follows me from room to room, and in this way I am never alone. Which is interesting, because I have not spoken to another human being in just over 36 hours.

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The girl at the coffee shop seems lonely, you guys

First of all, let’s make it clear which girl at the coffee shop we are talking about: not the one who asked me if I have Asperger’s Syndrome. That girl is a bitch. It doesn’t matter that she’s taking abnormal psychology and she just learned what Asperger’s Syndrome is, or that her tone of voice suggested she was asking in the spirit of genuine inquiry and not mockery, although her facial expression was kind of hard to read. That’s still not the kind of thing you ask a customer, especially one whose self-deprecating wit and friendly-yet-efficient approach to purchasing coffee makes your job so much more pleasant, even if some of his remarks are met with confused stares. They can’t all be gems, Girl Who Thinks I Have Asperger’s Syndrome.

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