Thank You, Charley | Teen Ink

Thank You, Charley

June 14, 2012
By EmilyLH SILVER, Tarrytown, New York
EmilyLH SILVER, Tarrytown, New York
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

You wake up at noon to a licorice nose prodding at your face. It’s Charley, your disheveled Wheaten Terrier. He needs a walk and he needs it now. His pleading, squeaking moans turn to deep rumbling parks as his brown eyes say I DEMAND YOU WALK ME THIS INSTANT.

Alright dude, calm down! I’ll get ready.

But what Charley doesn’t understand is that just around the corner, a nameless, shirtless construction worker is dazzling like he’s coated in honey. His tattooed arms are shaking as he powers his electric drill deep into the concrete. Drilling, drilling, trembling, sweating. The ripples of his muscles carve caverns and crevices into his chest and back, like a roadmap. They do this every day. And everyday you think about tracing each ripple with your fingertips, and every day you wonder where they may lead.

Now, what look should you go for today? The I’m-going-to-a-formal-affair-and-had-to-walk-my-dog-last-minute look? Or the I-was-partying-last-night-and-just-woke-up-looking-effortlessly-sexy look?

But your afternoon schedule is vacant, and you certainly were not partying last night; unless “partying” means re-watching episodes of Breaking Bad with your mother and two dogs.

Regardless, you decide on the latter look. Flannel pajamas with little sheep on them are replaced with tight yoga pants that guarantee a perfect butt. You put on a skimpy camisole and tousle some product into your hair, the label of which reads, “For that just-got-out-of-bed look!”

How bizarre it is, you think, that such a product exists, and even more bizarre is the fact that you bought it. But that’s just the way it goes. You put forth hours of effort just to look like you put in no effort at all. You have one set of pajamas for sleeping in, and another for looking like you were sleeping in when you weren’t. And you spend money on hair products that make your hair look like you DON’T spend money on hair products.

Charley is getting impatient. It amazes you that despite his scraggly hair and yellowed teeth, he is still so handsome, so gallant. With his springy prance and full beard the color of toasted barley he looks kingly, regal, carefree. You’ve resorted to bathing him only when absolutely necessary. You care about his hygiene, but the way he writhes and wriggles restlessly just make it impossible. For him, there are far too many mailmen to bark at, fields to frolic in, and loved-ones to greet to waste time on matters as trivial as appearance!

So you can’t help but smile when, stationed immediately across from the most beautiful man you’ve ever seen, he takes the world’s largest dump. There is no pretending not to notice as his squatting body evacuates gallons of explosive diarrhea. Mr. Power Drill is front and center, viewing Charley’s display in all its splendor.

And after what feels like fifteen minutes he finishes, looking utterly pleased with himself. He shifts his body wait backwards, rear in the air and beard to the ground, as if bowing.

If the universe was like a kaleidoscope, a sea of multicolored fragments that, as you turn the lens, morph into beautiful, perfectly balanced, perfectly symmetrical images, than maybe things would seem less out of control. The energy expended on infatuation would be reciprocated somehow, with a smile, or a wink. Efforts would be rewarded, crimes punished, and love requited, never in quite the same way but always symmetrical. Always predictable. But our universe is more like a bunch of puzzles all jumbled up, so the chance of any two fitting perfectly together is tiny. And even if you do find these pieces, it’s only a tiny fraction of an otherwise incomprehensible image.

And when you think you might score with the construction worker, through no fault of your own, one unforeseen factor makes it impossible. And you realize that, when it comes down to it, even the sheerest camisole in the world cannot stop your dog from dropping a giant turd directly in front of the man of your dreams.

So when this happens, the only thing you can really do is smile, kiss him on his licorice nose, and say, “Thank you, Charley, for helping me get my priorities straight.”

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This article has 1 comment.

nlarue said...
on Jul. 18 2012 at 6:02 pm
You and Charley are the best! I can't wait for you to be published one day, even if (actually especially if) it is about ebola or meth or horses. 

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