“Hey Fido, why the long face?”
Fido lay sprawled at my feet under my desk in the office.
“What in the world are you talking about?” I said.
“Every time I fall in love, I’m in it, then I’m out of it.”
“Dog breath, maybe?”
“Well, yeah, I guess I can tell that. Let me riff through these press releases first, then we’ll have a chat.”
“I don’t want to chat.”
“Something’s got you way down in the hole, Fido. Lemme finish these up.”
It did not take much more than a minute to go through the press releases. Politicians, mostly, along with the usual odd bits. Usually I give the police reports to Fido and he loves reading them, with their weird English usages. When I was finished Fido was still down in the dumper.
“Sometimes I think I’ll never find a girl. I’ll never find that certain someone. I’ll die, lonely in my grave.”
“A girl? Die? A grave? We could get another dog. Or a cat. Or a rabbit.”
“You don’t get it.”
“Au contraire, Fido. I get it entirely. That’s how I know you’ll get over this whatever-it-is that has afflicted you. Me, I turn to Shakespeare.”
“You always turn to Shakespeare.”
“’What is light, if Sylvia be not seen? What is joy if Sylvia be not by?’”
“Who is Sylvia?”
“She’s everyone I’ve ever loved.”
“Too many to count, Fido. And you?”
“I loved Samantha, but she’s gone somewhere. And I loved Zuma, but she went up to Oregon. Who goes to Oregon, anyway? And Tessa, too.”
“Gosh, Fido. Anyone else you’ve had a crush on? I can’t help but notice the girls you just named were office dogs, like you.”
“There are rules about that, Fido. Never a good idea.”
“Is that why Skye doesn’t even look at me? Why Mica only seems to love me for my water bowl? Is that it?”
“Fido, it’s not that, although I do admit that Mica has a thing for your water bowl. My advice, as lame as it is, is to hang tough, old boy. You never know. It’s not something that you just go out and get at the Pet Store.”
Fido closed his eyes for a moment, and then, by God, he let loose from Macbeth.
“A heart to love, and in that heart, Courage, to make’s love known.”