When I drove down from the Bay Area and made it back to my apartment, you were sitting in front of my door, your duffel bag next to you. You were reading something intently on your phone, only looked up to see me when my puppy started yipping at you, pulling at his leash and running towards you. I let go, let him run down the hallway, surprised to see you there, and it was only at the last moment that I thought, Oh, shit, what if he tries to bite you — but, by then, he was already on your lap, paws on your shoulders and tail whipping back and forth as he licked your face happily, familiarly.
Dogs just know, you said smugly later, my puppy still seated happily on your lap. I scowled at the both of you, at him and at you because I’m his human, the rotten puppy, what a disloyal ball of floof he is.
In the morning, I make banana bread — or, really, it’s the pumpkin and olive oil cake from Julia Turshen’s new book, except I substitute four ripe bananas for the can of pumpkin puree. It smells like heaven as it’s baking. The banana cake is slightly denser, has more body than the pumpkin cake, and it has a nice texture, the slightest chew to it. We eat half the pan in one sitting with soft-scrambled eggs, my puppy whining at us the whole time, until we give in and give him bits of egg and pieces of Tillamook cheese I keep in the fridge just for him.
I’m glad you’re here. You didn’t have to come, I say softly.
But I did, you say simply. You were hurting. You shouldn’t be alone, hurting like that. And my parents wouldn’t hear of me not taking the first flight out. They made me go to the airport three hours early … do you know what there is to do at Logan??? Nothing.