I’m 33 years old, and tonight I enjoyed a chocolate milk.

We closed the kitchen early tonight. It was incredibly slow, and after I had finished the money for the evening I’d only made $64.00 for seven hours of work. That’s lower than my annual average, a whopping $26.02. Not great for food service, but not bad for most people working my age. Tonight’s $9.12 per hour was not great, not great at all.

Tomorrow I lose a friend. My parents, due to circumstances outside their control, have to euthanize an 8 year old terrier mix named Stella. She’s an incredibly bright dog, and she probably knows something is happening.

I never really liked dogs. We had two dogs when I was very young, but I don’t have many memories of either one of them. We were a cat family. In my 20 years in my parents’ home, we’d had three cats in my memory, one before that. Since leaving my parents’ home, I’ve spent 13 years in homes with their own cats. Not a single dog.

I’m 33 years old, and tonight I enjoyed a chocolate milk. After receiving a phone call that the alarm was going off at the bar, I checked the scene and found nothing out of the ordinary. On my way back home I stopped and got a chocolate milk. Perhaps I just needed some sense of comfort.

Stella is the kind of dog who can be annoying. She wants you to touch her constantly. If you stop petting her, she pushes her nose into your arm. She doesn’t stop until you start petting again. There’ve been many nights where I couldn’t fall asleep on my parents’ couch because she continually pushed my hand and arm until dawn.

Today I lose a friend. A friend who wanted nothing more than to be loved. So much so that she’d protect her family at any cost, and in the end it would cost her life. I haven’t dealt with most of these emotions yet, they’re still too fresh, and she’s just a dog. Just a dog.

I once had a cat that knew when I was sick. I’d stay home from school, and he’d curl up on my chest to watch over me. In my entire adult life I’ve strived to be as loyal as that cat.

Today I have that chance. She’s just a dog, but she needs someone to curl up on her, and watch while she sleeps, to provide some sense of comfort. Unfortunately, I can’t be there.

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About Nic Johnson

I'm a semi-professional musician and a wannabe activist. I think, speak, and write a lot, but don't do much besides work at coffee shops, play concerts, hang out at bars, play video games with friends, and watch movies on Netflix. Sometimes I'm an entrepreneur, though I lack the money to fund my ideas. I guess I'm mostly an idea guy. View all posts by Nic Johnson

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