Obsessive, almost maniacal scrubbing: floors, clothing, blankets, furniture, my car, everything. For reasons I can’t completely understand I have done this with unrelenting urgency for the past week and a half, save a couple of days when I pressed pause so I could be with HCB. Today I will close up the giant plastic tub of Clarence-the-Canine’s things after I add to it two clean, neatly folded sweatshirts, one a hand-me-down from another dog and one I bought for him at American Apparel during a work trip to NYC. We took some grief over that one, but I was frankly glad to have it when our early winter days dropped below zero and stayed there.
Then I will shove the tub to the back of the enormous closet that stretches the entire length of my studio loft. His leash remains in my car. Again, I am not sure why it is important that it stay there when there is no dog to ride shotgun, but it is. Today I scrubbed away unmistakable evidence that a dog was there (often) and vacuumed the seats and cargo area to a fare-thee-well.
In the spring I will retrieve Clarence’s remains from cold storage and bury him, along with a couple of other beloved items: the Kong he very nearly destroyed over the two-and-a-half years he was with me (in his never-ending quest to extract the last drop of delectable peanut butter), a couple of other special toys, his collar, my running shoes.
I know there will be another dog eventually. But saying goodbye to Clarence hit me hard–much harder than anticipated. Living without him is harder still. Goodbye, good dog Clarence: you came to me when I most needed you. The silence is deafening. I miss you so much, sweet boy.