Marcel the dog

Marcel has always been a finicky eater. He calls him Marcel, after Marcel Proust who after sniffing bread sat down and wrote a terribly long novel. Marcel — not the French writer, but his dog, has a pretty good memory. Sometimes he would watch him run around the house retrieving toys he, himself, had forgotten buying. Whenever they visit his mother’s house, he would watch in amusement as Marcel pranced around the garden, knowing exactly where to go. He has done research on this, about the memories of dogs. He read in some online journal that dogs actually don’t remember anything. But once they smell their owner or hear their voice, the memory suddenly comes alive. They suddenly remember. How poetic, he thought. He thought of love.

He got Marcel at a low point in his life. Before he arrived, he voraciously read books on dogs. He knew for example that puppies should be put on a crate, that no matter how piercing their cries were the owner should leave them there. During Marcel’s first night, when it was time for him to go to bed he gingerly scoop Marcel up and put him down on his crate. Upon discovering that he is in a cage, Marcel let out a faint but relentless cry. He went around with his tiny feet slowly sinking into the soft cushion and desperately tried to find an exit. Marcel’s desperation proved to be too much for him, he who needed Marcel more than Marcel needed him. He bent down the crate, cautiously tucked him into his two hands and brought him to his own bed. Marcel crawled across the mountainous pillows and travelled across the vast old blanket and found a dark, comfy spot right between his shoulder and his boyfriend’s head.

The boyfriend was against the dog at first. The apartment is too tiny, he said, and they were too busy. But soon he and the boyfriend were exchanging duties. If he was going to walk him then the boyfriend would be the one to give him a bath. If the boyfriend is cooking his food then he would clean the mess on the floor. One night, he came home and found his boyfriend dozing with Marcel tucked under his arms. He stood at the door facing the darkened bedroom with light pouring from behind and he felt something stir inside of him.

Marcel grew up to be painfully shy, retreating when in a crowd but cheerful when left alone. Curiously enough, he was much like him who always preferred to be solitary. Nevertheless he thought Marcel to be a charming and obedient little companion. Things only changed when fights between him and the boyfriend became more and more frequent. There would be nights when Marcel would stay up late, snooping around and scratching at the furniture. He slept fitfully too and had developed odd habits. At exactly eight in the evening, always at eight, he would stand before the front door barking. He would go on and on for about an hour, refusing to be moved and stopping only when his voice got hoarse. Afterwards, he would repair to the bathroom and slip between the wall and the door and mope. He has been like this for a year. In some ways, he is like Hachiko who waited for nine years at the Shibuya Station for his dead master, the old professor, Professor Ueno. He saw that movie, too, along with Marcel and he cried incessantly for two hours while Marcel licked his feet. Sometimes when the barking became too grating he would think of hitting him but he never did. Once, however, he kicked at the door and screamed at Marcel: “He is never coming back!” But he felt so guilty afterwards that he decided to spend his evenings in a nearby cafĂ© from then on. At exactly eight, he would be there sipping black coffee and he would wonder if the dog has stopped barking. But even though they were a couple of blocks apart, he knew the dog still did.

He has thought of getting rid of him but he loves him too much. He loves him so deep that even if he reminded him of a painful memory — of a break-up that refuses to be forgotten — he went on loving him, cradling him when he’s lonely, amusing him when he is bored, and patiently feeding him, he, who is a finicky eater and who never ever forgets.

Comments

just caught myself saying,

aaaaawwwww...

very well written. will always love how you plays those words...
bwisit! said…
uy salamat salamat as always hehehe. naisip ko kasi kung magbe-break man kami ng boyfriend ko dalawa kami ng aso ko na maga-adjust.
Blakrabit said…
kaya nga mali ang kasabihang "Some men are dogs" because dogs are loyal and don't leave you.

I don't know but you and your dog reminded me of El Chivo and his dog Cofi from Amores Perros.

Nice writing. Na-feel ko yung bond niyo ni Marcel. :D
bwisit! said…
hahaha pwede. men leave nga naman. dogs stay hahaha.

hmmm ang tagal ko nang hindi naisip ang amores perros. na-miss ko tuloy si gael garcia bernal...
Ate Sienna said…
ay, akala ko naman true-to-life. buti naman pala, hindi :)

love, love, love the way you write talaga. idol na nga kita eh ;) kaya lang hindi ko talaga kaya ang melancholic mood, lagi na lang akong nauuwi sa comedy kapag nagsulat ako. hehehehe
bwisit! said…
hi ate sienna,

sus salamat salamat! kamusta na? hahaha well, mas mahirap magsulat ng comedy kaya ako saludo ako sa mga funny entries mo! hehehe

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