The Opposite of a Bedtime Story
Once upon a time, Jimmy’s dog ran away when he was seven. His parents told him that the overactive german shepherd was kidnapped by some malicious person – his parents wanted to clearly establish the concept of good versus evil in little Jimmy’s mind while also banishing the thought that anything, even a dog, could reject their precious and perfect son. In truth, the dog ran away because they had a small backyard and no place to run and they fed it hard, crunchy bits of dog food that resembled rabbit droppings that had been roasted by the midday sun in a field. In truth, they didn’t walk the dog after work, they didn’t play fetch with the dog on the weekends, and they never took it for hikes or camping trips. In truth, the dog ran away because Jimmy’s family wasn’t tending to his needs, and he saw a better life full of happiness and flaunting female dogs on the other side of the privacy fence. In truth, Snuffles ran away with malice of forethought, and deep down, Jimmy knew that. In truth, Jimmy understood that Snuffles didn’t love him enough to forgive his negligence, and this blossomed a very real insecurity in Jimmy’s heart.
This championed a long string of beings who would leave Jimmy; this first initial abandonment seeding itself into his prepubescent brain as the inevitable behavior for all his loved ones throughout his life. When his middle school girlfriend broke up with him because his hands sweat too much when they were interlocked with hers, his mind flickered briefly to Snuffles last night in his house and how Snuffles had recoiled from Jimmy’s slimy touch. When his high school girlfriend left him at the end of their senior year because of their budding and differing interests, Jimmy regretfully remembered the time when Snuffles wanted to play fetch, but Jimmy was too interested in his newest video game to participate. And when his college girlfriend left because she was into kinkier sex than he was, Jimmy’s mind wandered to Snuffles, and if Snuffles had found some nice lady dog to get it on with. And as he went through life, a mere shell of a man, Jimmy’s mind would often revert back to memories of Snuffles and fantasies about Snuffle’s life now. Where was Snuffles? Was he still alive? Was he happier without Jimmy? Would everyone in his life be at their happiest without Jimmy? Would the world be an essentially better place without Jimmy?
These are the thoughts that plague Jimmy constantly, and even now. Even now, as he stands in front of the congregation on his now-not-wedding day, the reality of his now-not-bride-to-be abandoning him at the alter almost seemed expected. Almost seemed right. Almost seemed like the universe knew what it was doing. Because if Snuffles wouldn’t stay, why should she?
And no one lived happily ever after.