My roommate went out for several hours the other night and it started raining and so his dog, Jerry, started to shake, and when I went into my room to do some work Jerry put his nose under the door and started huffing, nervous, and so I opened the door and he came in and curled up at my feet and vibrated for a while, nervous, as a sparse rain tacked at the window.

            And so I’m working, I’m working.

            I lose sight of what Jerry’s up to.

            Eventually I blink free of whatever flowstate I’m in when I hear the sound of rushing water. There’s a leak in my room, so I think it’s the rain rushing in through the wall.

            I turn around to go get the wetvac and I see Jerry pissing on the floor behind me. Nervous.

            I say, “Jerry, what are you doing?!” Reflex.

Jerry looks at me and blinks, remorseful, and keeps pissing.

            I dive for the roll of paper towels on my bed that I’ve been using to staunch the leak in my wall and I start unraveling the whole thing and stuffing it under Jerry as he goes on pissing, nervous.

            I shoo him outta my room so I can clean the mess and then, once it’s all cleaned up, he comes and haunts my doorway, his head tilted upward and sniffing gently at the air as if to read whether I’m still mad or not—but I’m still mad. And I tell him no. I jab a finger at the living room over his shoulder and tell him to get out and so he shrinks into a mopey fur puddle on the floor for a bit before ambling back into the living room and curling up underneath the coffee table.

            I go to my desk and get back to work. The bedroom door is open but Jerry won’t come in. Now I feel bad about kicking him out.

I get up and go to my doorway and I say, “Jerry, come here.”

            I can see his nose under the table as he lifts his head off his paw and turns toward me.

            I say, “Jerry. Jerry, come on.”

            He keeps looking at me.

            I inflect my voice upward a bit. “Kyemahn, Jerry. Kyemahn.”

            I see him settle his nose down on his paw again, sad and defiant.

            This is his power move, and it works. I give him cheese. Apologize.

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