Almost all of my valentines are written to those who will never read them. Like my next-door neighbour who will never, can never, read my tribute to him. I love him. I don't know what he thinks of me. I cook for him. Sometimes he turns up his nose at my food and gives me a terrible look. Other times he gulps it down and begs for more. Moody is a mild word for his manner. If I try to get too close he scares me off. He makes so brave in the day. Doesn't he know I hear him in the night howling with loneliness? He must. He's howling to me. Just like the lonesome, doomed trains that played plaintive calls outside my railside rooming house. Zeus, Zuzu, the Rottweiler dog locked in his junkyard job all day, all night, all the year round.
There was a time when Zuzie got taken for a walk. But then the lemmings moved into the new housing development and he frightened their poodles and children. Then he turned on his walkers. Now he's locked into his work yard all the time.
I wonder if my icy-pawed friend ever tries to warm himself with memories of love. Not that bitch they threw in with him. He snubbed her sexually, while glad of the company -- a distinction I could see, but I don't know if she understood. No, Zeus for a short time years ago had a boyfriend whom he fancied so much that I was embarrassed every time I went to unlock my bike from his fence.
Because I love him, I consider Zuzu beautiful. I am hurt and shocked when someone calls him big and ugly. Zeus is very sensitive. I warned a friend not to talk with him in a condescending tone. He persisted and Zeus became very agitated, barking vociferously. "What, so you know about my life?! How dare you talk down to me!!" That's what I heard, anyway.
So moved have I been by dear Zuzu's big sad eyes in his big head pressed up to the prison bars that I have tried to pat him. He tried to take my hand off. That's his job. He thinks my six years of speaking sweetly and passing him chow is an elaborate ploy to get at the piles of metal he is guarding.
But just the other night I got a sign that, for whatever reason, he is working for me, too. A friend who came over for a pre-dawn Scrabble lesson told me that Zeus watched him walk up to my house and said nothing. But as soon as he opened my door, the dog barked an alert, which I heard. I promised then and there to go to the butcher shop and get Zeus some bones. I got the bloody-aproned butcher boy to pick me the big ones, which he handed me free of charge. I boiled them, threw them over the fence and have not seen Zeus so happy since he was in lust.
Late last summer, I missed my dog's bark. Zeus got sick, maybe poisoned by a sick man. I asked about him. I thought he would die. I cried so hard. I don't know if there is anyone else I would cry so hard for. I live with Zuzu. We are involved in a long-term relationship.
I'm told that someone recently placed a personal ad looking for someone like me -- as if! The best candidate to answer the ad would be Zuzu. Like me, he is solitary, unpredictable, misunderstood, sweet and vicious and stuck here with no way out.
I have no idea what people have together. A bunch of smut and fighting and watching movies. I don't know. My sweetheart is a Rottweiler. And I believe he, in his way, loves me, too. Plenty of women are way more deluded than I am and about men way less admirable than beautiful Zuzu, to whom I send this valentine on which I'll serve him supper.