You say, I want a dog.

I say, a dog won’t fit inside this house. The rooms are too small, our lives are too big, we are crammed inside, too tight. My shoulders brush the door jambs, your head bumps into the ceiling. We breathe each other’s air, too often, coughing, choking. It would be cruel to force a creature with four legs to share the space already filled by our four legs. I’m stepping on your toes trying to keep out of my own way.

This house is old, it is falling down, down around my ears, the dust is in my hair. The walls slump in defeat. The creaking stairs mutter, this is all going to shit. The floors sag under the weight of trapped emotions, under unvoiced complaints and suppressed rages. The cracks creep, widening every day, absorbing us, our souls coated by shifting sheetrock, pulverized plaster.

A dog would bound and leap and bounce and shake the very foundation. It would take over the one bit of remaining space, the nook under the desk, the place I save for when I need to get away. I would implode at the first bark.