Procaffeinations is a weekly series of short fictions, fables and fabrications, all written in the time it takes to finish that first coffee of the day. Espresso. Double. Because it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
You haven’t slept in days. The Colombian blend in your hands is a searing hot, bitter-sweet promise of new life. Thirty seconds to red-hot reincarnation. You’re in a bar on the Lane where the drinks come strong and the talk comes cheap. There’s always plenty behind the bar for those seeking sanctuary from sober thoughts. But you’re not here for the usual whisky’d waywardness; you’re here for caffeine and a place to hide.
He’ll catch up with you sooner or later. You know this. The rain outside offers brief respite but it won’t hold out forever. He’s getting smarter. He will find you. Bow-legged. Rain shy. Long of ear and short on words. A most persistent and pedigreed pursuer.
They warned you: A dog is for life, not just for Instagram. It’s only cute until it’s chaos. Another classic case of the curated self run calamitous. And they were right, of course. But you’ll never admit it. Narratives of the self have a habit of derailing into the long grass of fantasy. False lives, well-lived. Little fictions, well-told. Those little pictures are the empty lies we tell ourselves then run along to sell to others. Catastrophe cropped, reality sacrificed to filtered fraud. Dreams for sale, just follow the hashtag. Link in bio.
As you kick-start your heart with the now cold Guatemalan, you wonder how many likes would make up for three sleepless nights and counting. You ask yourself how to hashtag his eternal howl. You shortlist the filters that might put a romantic spin on the fresh steaming turd that’s surely waiting in your living room.
Time’s up. Your dog has found you. He’s on the phone again: He wants to know when you’ll be back, where his ball might have rolled off to this time, and how his latest Instagram post is doing.