Something is awry. Nigel has not been right since we caught him reading dog porn. I never held it against him - a dog has needs. I filed his magazine away in the office and put the incident out of my mind.
Apparently Nigel did not...
It's not at all unusual for me to fall asleep in front of the TV at night. I work quite late and frequently awake on the sofa at two in the morning, laptop dead in front of me. Mrs Author frequently calls to me from upstairs, but I can be difficult to wake. She has made countless trips downstairs to rouse me from a deep slumber, dogs passed out on either side of me. I'm an internet junkie, so the television constantly loses the battle for my attention. I lose the battle with my eyelids.
Weeks ago I awoke to the guffaws of Mrs. Author. She had done me the favor of snapping a picture before letting laughter get the best of her. I was surprised by, and not too sure what to make of what she shared with me.
His method of procurement evades me, but Nigel somehow managed to get his paws on some flowers and chocolates, and had placed them on my leg in the middle of the night as I lay sleeping.
Nigel is a sweetheart, so I took this as a gesture of kindness. He studied me intently as I found a vase for the flowers and put the chocolates on the kitchen counter, relieved that none of the dogs had chosen to eat them as I slept. He continued to watch me as I turned off the lights and made my way to bed. He never looked me in the eye.
The following evening I was violated. I won't go in to the gruesome details, but I awoke to the droning thud of....Nigel romancing my leg.
Nigel: When I get that feeling...
Author: Stop. Because I slept so deeply, Nigel had sufficient time to do substantial damage. His regrettable rhythmic leg ride had left me bruised and confused; my shin shattered, pants tattered. I cast off the sleep dust as Sola looked on, a knowing smirk emerging.
Sola: Nigel's gone off the reservation.
Truffles: Beyond the pale.
Author: The aftermath was unsightly.
Nigel: You know I tapped that.
Author: I was out a pair of pants, shoe and sock discarded. I made the limp of shame upstairs and showered. It was two in the morning. A fitful sleep enshrouded me. I dreamed I was being chased by jackhammers.
I left early the next morning. I wanted to replace my destroyed pants, and ravaged socks and shoes. Limping back to the car with my newly purchased replacements, I made the decision to put the matter behind me, and chalk it up to a classic case of leghound. We've all seen it - owners scrambling to evade the rogue hump. Not a big deal.
After filling the bird feeders one afternoon, I brushed the snow off my boots and stepped up in to the sun porch to find Nigel entranced. Thinking he was soaking in a sunbeam, I removed my boots and coat and turned for the kitchen. What I saw stopped me cold, and had my 911 muscles twitching.
He had created, well - not a collage per se; but rather a leg shrine of sorts, carefully arranged under the Valentine tree. Candles burned and spread a musky scent about the room. Things just felt way off, in a Jeffrey Dahmer kind of way. I wanted to spare Mrs. Author a scare, so I abuptly blew out the candles and swept Nigel's leggy photo collection in to the trash.
Nigel continued to watch me sleep with malicious intent.
I don't want to gross anyone out here, but I must admit that every time I fell asleep on the couch it happened again. As much as I tried to make it to bed some nights just found me too beat to escape the shincritter. Leg porked eight ways to Sunday, I sacrificed numerous pairs of pants to the wicked leghound. I shopped with frequency.
It was customary for me to carry out these shopping runs quietly, eyes glued to my feet in embarrassment. But I'd have to have been blind to not notice a disturbing trend. On more than one occasion I bumped in to one of my neighbors. Vermont is small, so at first I did not pay it any mind. After the third trip I noticed two neighbors: The fouth trip yielded five.
All were limping. All were buying pants, shoes and socks. None would look at me.
You can't imagine my relief. I had been convinced that only one of two possibilities existed.
1. I had located the single most horny Greyhound this side if the Mississippi, and his mother had screwed up bigtime, telling him the story of the birds and the tibias.
2. Aliens had taken tractor beam mental control of the male canine species worldwide, and were hurling subliminal messages of oysters and Spanish fly to their captives.
Instead I had solid evidence that this was a normal male dog thing, and that other dog owners were just too embarrassed to talk about it. I was awash in relief. I shared my shame and my two long-held theories with Mrs. Author. We laughed heartily at the absurdity of it all. I bought shin guards and slept like a baby, Nigel knocking himself out in a barrage of plasticky muted thuds on a regular basis.
Yesterday my joy abated in a split second when I awoke to the following sight:
The back door was open, a cold wind sweeping through the house. Nigel lay exhausted on the sofa amongst a collection of socks and shoes that he had collected from his victims. I screamed and ran down the hall as my mind started to bend toward the twisted truth that was shown me. It all added up - the limping neighbors who shopped with me but would not meet my gaze, the leg shrine, now the evidence was just too strong to ignore.
Nigel was a serial shin shagger.
I slammed the office door behind me and caught my breath. What was I to do? Mrs. Author was out running errands. I had no phone with me, having left the cordless handset elsewhere in the house. Even worse, I was wearing shorts. I decided to go with the safe play and locked myself in, expecting Mrs. Author to handle the situation when she returned. Hours passed and I began knocking about the office, poring through piles of mail, straightening up clutter.
The sound of Mrs. Author's SUV coming up the driveway broke the silence, and just as I unlocked the door I noticed a magazine hanging awkwardly off one corner of the desk, about to spill the pile of catalogs and mail balanced atop it. I pulled it from the pile for inspection and ceased to breathe. The real truth - the underlying cause of my shinjuries and shame, so many sacrificed slacks, neighborhood alienation - had been there all along, waiting for me to happen upon it.
I repeated the first line I read: quietly, then aloud. Nigel disappeared. Mrs Author entered the house to find me clutching my source of angst, color drained from my face, trembling. I was despondent and did not hear her pleas for an explanation. She became frustrated and forcibly ripped the object of my dismay from my hands. She dropped her purse, cell phone and keys as it landed upright on the desk beside me...
Notes to self:
Clothing donations gladly accepted, 36W 32L.
It's time to get to work on my new blog.