Most mornings M (who is currently residing in the study so one of us is functional during the day) will come in and get Small Z at around 6-6.30am and will leave me to sleep for an hour or two while he takes her down into the little town near us.
This morning, feeling curiously human (and not sure why, but won’t question it) I tagged along as a curious observer. Usually they go and get the paper, then hit the bakery…
“Hi Judy,” says M, “This is Beth.”
“Hi Judy,” I say to the lady that I’ve seen heaps of times, but have never struck up a conversation with because I am not a Labrador.
M and Judy continue their chat that shows they have a long history of shared morning conversations. We tell her about the excellent billy-cart we got for ten dollars at the market on the weekend. Small Z starts doing baby-yells because she likes how her voice echoes into the ceiling. Everyone at that bakery knows her, and sometimes they give her a bun to feed the seagulls with.
We leave the bakery after I have ploughed through the advertisements in the Herald-Sun (the only bit of that paper worth reading) and I note a special on Ingoldby shiraz at Dan Murphys. Excellent. It’s too windy to feed the seagulls and Small Z is a bit skanky because they got going late this morning as M made me tea and a fried egg sandwich. We walk to the supermarket instead…
People in the supermarket know M and Small Z. “Hello!” they say. I am awed. They are locally famous. Obviously, although I am an anti-social cow, I find this impressive. It’s one of the reasons I acquired M. You only need one Labrador in a relationship, two would either be unbearable, or just cancel each other out in a big flash of light, leaving just a warm pile of ashes. Mmmmm. Burnt dog.
So. We get some oats and a few bananas. For the third time I forget to buy frozen spinach, as I’ve never bought it before in my life and keep forgetting it’s an option. Yet again cannelloni is pushed from our grasp.
The chemist is still closed. It’s not yet 8.30am. We saunter back to the car and Small Z is just on the edge of losing the plot as she’s been up too long. We get home and M whispers her to sleep using black magic and potions. Then he collapses on the couch, declaiming his exhaustion.
“Really?” I say. “Did you have someone harrassing you many times in the night? Was a small person that looked like you clamouring for your boobs? Did your heart fill with seven kinds of fear because that small person now has TWO teeth? Or are you just man-tired – because you’ve only had one coffee so far today?”
M pouts and then tells me more about his night, where the wind blew in the study and it was noisy and so he felt compelled to move the door and stuff towels in it and generally make enough noise that I had seriously considered he might be fighting off a ninja assailant in the bathroom. I tell him to buy some earplugs. I’d love to be more combative, but he’s still working on my caravan. Our caravan.