by Amy Mabey
Walking out the door, You reach down & pet the dog & tell him how much You love him & what a Good Boy he is & i’m sitting beside him, like the good girl i am, awaiting my acknowledgment & my pat on the head & a declaration of love from the Master, which never comes & my tail droops a little in response. & i wonder what i did wrong. Maybe everything, Maybe nothing. But something isn’t right & i begin to wonder what it is & i think it must be me. i always think it’s me. & suddenly i dare to think that maybe it’s not me. What if it’s You? What if it’s neither of us? & i begin to get angry. At You. At myself. At the apathy between us. & i try to think when it started. When did it begin? & i don’t know if i still care enough to try and figure it out. & i wonder what that means for our future & in some ways i think i already know, but i don’t want to admit it, to You or to myself. & if we do manage to scale the wall of indifference towering between us & begin to move toward each other again, will You be surprised to discover that i obey a new Master now? & that Master is Myself! & I won’t beg you for affection or belly rubs or a scratch behind My ears because I can scratch My own damn itch now & I won’t be waiting by the door with My tail wagging, eager to see you, begging for any scrap of attention you might deign to throw My way. Do you realize I no longer obey your commands like I used to? I reject all the obedience training you forced on Me, so you’ll have to learn to fetch your own shit now. Will you try to break My will with a shock collar? Or deter My newfound freedom by beating Me down with shouts of Bad Girl? & do you worry that I might turn on you & bite the hand that fed Me? I’ve learned some new tricks & I can feed Myself now, thank you very much. & I eat like the Queen that I am, not relying on the crumbs that fall from your table that you feel I should thankfully gobble up off the floor, while I grovel at your feet, begging for more. & I wonder what you’ll think when I refuse to roll over & play dead, ever again.
Amy Mabey is a part-time student at Ohio State University majoring in English who hopes to be accepted into the creative writing concentration this fall. She also is working on a minor in Philosophy. When she isn't studying or writing, she works full-time at The James Cancer Center which is a part of Ohio State. She never imagined she would be able to go back to school as a silver-haired coed and she has never felt so alive in her life.