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I can't remember the last time I was up at 3:30a

That's a lie. I mean, not counting shows or stuff that would just have you up then. Now.

The last time I wound up up this late was a night I just couldn't sleep in my apartment in Hamden, about five or six years ago. (I have to measure years by apartments, otherwise I can't figure out what was going on in 2001, or 2003, or whenever.) So, I was just up, rolling around in my space, staying up on the couch watching television and smoking cigarettes because I could. Dashboard Confessional was on The Late Late Show with Carson Daly, and I remembered being like, wow. This must be fate that I happen to be up tonight, of all nights.

I just realized how much I don't think about typing. Weird, how you just like, know where things are.

So, after that, I wound up watching this documentary on channel 13 or whatever - public television - about these lesbians living in the woods with their dogs. And not like, hot lesbians. Like everyday people kinds of lesbians, these two older women, and they had dobermans. And one of them had begun to get sick, cancer or the doberman equivalent of it, and they had decided to document the process, as kind of an homage to their pet. And there were slideshows and conversations and sicknesses and painful scenes at the veteranarian's office, and shots of the other doberman, paused, paw in mid-air at the top of a hill in the woods someplace. That was when the sick one had just died. I can see it clear as day.

And I fucking lost my shit. I cried and cried and cried. I've referred to that night many times since, about how the greiving went on in advance. Because my dog was old and sick and would get up in the middle of the night and throw up and I'd just sit with her and she'd be heaving and shaking and she'd have some water and settle back down eventually. I'd take her outside, thinking she was going to - I don't know what. Be more sick, or something. And I can just remember her standing there looking at me, crying, because I couldn't do anything. It almost made me mad in a strange way.

So I fell asleep, and a few months later my parents showed up at my apartment to tell me she had died. I had made right with her (the dog, that is) and had loved her and taken care of her and made a point of saying goodbye everytime I was at the house. And I had told them, my parents, to tell me afterwards, if it came down to having to take her to the vet's office. Because she's sick and she's old (15) and you know she has to go, and you're sitting there with her, and when would be the right time to say, "Okay, I'm done now. You can take her." I knew I wouldn't be able to. And that's exactly what my parents did, and they wound up not getting to tell me for like, a week.

I miss them both terribly. The dog too, we had her from when I was in fifth grade until that year, and it was a long, long time. My whole growing up, my whole coming of age was with her in the house. The house we moved to because my parents seperated for a little while, and the timeline that recalls that the therapist mapped out for me. See, look here. This is when things began to fall apart. Divorce really does fuck kids up, even though it didn't get to that point with my parents. We moved there, I started yelling at my mom, she tells me how I told her how much I hated her and hated the house and how she was turning me into a statistic. Knowing her so much better now, I realize all of a sudden how hard it must have been to take those steps for herself in the first place... and how I didn't help things much. Right after that (I was 12 or so) was when drinking and pot and tripping eased in (but not in that order) over that year and a half, two years and it's all history from there. Come by a meeting sometime, I'll tell you all about it.

Jet Blue robots are calling. I'm writing my life story. I'll have to pick this back up later.

Victoria Uhl