The first thing that strikes me here is the quiet. At home there’s the constant roar of the road. Here in Banbury it’s quiet. I just took a clock out of the room so now the quiet is complete. It’s just pushing midnight. I’m dogsitting.

Cookie and I watched terrible movies together with the household subscription. The house is a smart house, although it is supposed to let me operate the lights through Alexa but she just tells me I’m in the wrong account.

The doorbell talks to you. The thermostat is smart. “Don’t worry if you see a camera, they aren’t everywhere – just in my studio” I am told, introducing a concern that I hadn’t considered. Cameras! I’m being recorded! If Alexa is filming me to send to Bezos then the information is going to be just as useless as all the stuff that your paranoid friend is trying to convince themselves that Bill Gates is harvesting from bad science. The nanos that serve no purpose that are being put into us for REASONS or whatever else those good looking Californian hipsters have dreamt up to deliberately fly in the face of the mainstream in exchange for hits.

I’m here to look after Cookie.

Cookie is a dog. “What breed is she?” says Lou on the phone, and once again I feel like I just can’t ask the basic questions. She’s a dog. What does it matter what the words are? It’s like when a human tries to take the space of multiple humans because they consider themselves to be a special breed of human. Usually those “special” ones are the Boris ones that should really just get in the bin. She’s a dog.

Cookie doesn’t know what breed she is, nor does she care. She’s a good doggy. She likes a frolic. She is partial to a good leap. She’s friendly. And she’s very quiet. Only barks at birds.

Humans are complex when it comes to dogs. Over the course of one day of walkies I had to hold the doggie tight while a terrified child passed, and I had to divert my course when an eccentric old lady scolded me for potentially frightening off the stray cat she was trying to seduce. I’m generally very careful when I’m dogwalking. I’ve been with a girlfriend when the dead-eyed London lady ran the old “I’m going to call the council and your dog is going to be shot. Your dog is dead! Dead!!” That was Daphne and she had just jumped up at the wrong person to be friends. Dogs can’t tell so quickly when somebody is batshit crazy. She likely just smelt the shit and thought “interesting smelly human!” Nope. Unwell broken nasty human…

Nobody in their right mind could hate Cookien though. Silent and gentle gambolling hound.

I just put her to bed and I’m up in a little day bed in this automated house. I’ll need to be down early for morning fun. Dogs are a huge help with routine. Tomorrow I’m going to get some stuff written down.

Today though, bed in the quiet. I’ve put the ticking clock on the landing. Goodnight lovelies.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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