Adventures in Dogsitting II

I don’t know where to sleep tonight, Elizabeth’s little nook with the curtains I can draw around the bed in the wall or her twin brother Buck’s new bed with crisp linens. Both rooms have a naked window I can watch the stars from but Buck’s is bigger. I could always fall asleep on the downstairs couch watching TV, but I’m feeling quiet tonight, so a quiet bed would suit me well.

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Out there beyond the windows is a bus stop and a park that’s been re-done since Elizabeth and I were best friends in high school. Once she had a birthday party at her house and the last of us there that night went across the street to the park and played a game where you could only move on the playground equipment and the ‘monster’ would have to catch you on it. It was one of the last great nights I had before I fell apart suddenly with a handful of symptoms that turned into two and then three handfuls of symptoms and a year later I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

I’ve since recovered enough to function without antibiotic treatment, but never hit remission. I miss my best friend Elizabeth, not to knock Nikki and Lucy who mean the world to me, but Elizabeth and I were a special duo, and in a manic depressive episode I annoyed her to death during her finals her senior year of college. After that she cut ties with me and I never could quite forgive myself for that.

I still dogsit for her mom, whose a friend of mine I deeply cherish. Neither Buck nor Elizabeth have lived in the house for years now, and Elizabeth lives halfway across the country. I miss her the most when I’m living my current life in her old space. If I don’t sleep in her room I usually peek inside once a visit as if I’m going to find things placed differently. Her perfumes are still on the dresser and her teal wig is still placed atop a CD rack. Clothes still in her closets and posters still on the walls.

I wonder outside of those windows if there’s a place to hide a cache. I recently learned about geocaching and the first thing I wanted to do is go to a store called Uncle Fun and get all sorts of little treasures to put in a box as well as a guest book and mark the coordinates on the official geocaching website, but as we’ve already had our first snow I don’t think winter would be an ideal time to geocache, so I’ll wait until the spring, when Chris comes back from the ski resort he’ll be leaving for on Sunday. Maybe it’ll be our first outing together, hiding a special box with a special person in my life.

I’ve been weary lately, which has caused a lot of anxiety – pressure to talk, and in the process having all my words sucked dry from me on the spot when I’m with people that I desperately want to make conversation with from my dad to Chris to Lucy and Nikki. I have these two beautiful dogs to be quiet with and a big house that feels like a second home after all these years, so perhaps with their company I’ll be able to relax a little, so I can open my clamshell and be myself again.

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