Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Sowing The Seeds

It's dark in our bedroom when I get home from work every night. Only the green digits from the DVD player glow spectrally in the blackness. The fan rumbles and someone farts. An airy, unidentifiable fart. Maybe Serge, maybe Max. Could be Spliffer curled up in his bed at the foot of our bed.

I usually roll up around ten-fifty, yank the parking break, sneak in the back door and immediately whisper Milo's name. He waits for me and he's a barker, that one. If I don't identify myself as myself he'll bark himself silly, roaring at the "intruder" until Violet wakes up and demands an audience.

By the time Milo and I finish exchanging greetings (OMG IT'S YOU! IT'S REALLY YOU! I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU SINCE THIS MORNING WHEN YOU LEFT AND I WATCHED FOR YOU OUT THE WINDOW FOR A LONG TIME AND YOU NEVER CAME BACK AND OMG OMG OMG YOU CAME BACK AND I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU) Max is rat-tatting across the kitchen floor because he knows it's time for a bathroom break. A front lawn break, anyway. But first I have to retrieve Mom's little dogs from their crate.

On the way to her bedroom I flip on the light in the hall and perform a tired, little arm-flappy jig in front of my slightly open bedroom door. If Spliffer is awake and needs to avail himself of the front lawn he will detect my moving shadow and slowly make his way to me.

I continue into Mom's bedroom and let "The Babies" out of their crate. Max lingers haughtily in the background but Milo is close at my heels, tap dancing across the hardwood floor in jubilation. He's got a thing going with one of The Babies, Sophie. I've caught them before, huddled together under the coffee table like criminals, licking each others' parts. Dirty dogs.

Spliffer, if he's planning to join us, will be waiting at the top of the stairs as we exit Mom's room and down I go, riding the wave of dogs clamoring to get outside.

I stand there in the front yard violently whispering, urging, pleading for The Babies to just do their business already so I can go inside. Maybe catch the last bit of Letterman's interview with whatever A-lister he's booked. If the guest is no good (animal trainers, anyone from a reality show) I switch to Family Guy or maybe True Life if a good one is rerunning on MTV.

The noise from the TV ricochets loudly off walls that surround the sleeping members of my family. Occasionally I'll hear what sounds like a tiny stampede overhead, The Babies racing around Mom's bedroom.

Serge is always asleep when I get home. Still, he has a job to do and I tap him on the shoulder as I slide into bed around midnight. If I'm not too tired I wake him in a more creative fashion.

March was a bust like February and January before it. Keep your fingers crossed for April.