No humans love you.
Only the pigs love you.
You sit on a stump, watching the pigs watch you.
Sometimes, you draw them, but a lot of the time you don’t because nobody will see the drawings.
One day, you see a girl walking down the lane to your house, while you are watching the pigs.
She waves at you and comes over.
You are 50.
She looks like she’s in her 20s.
She says she came to see the pigs because she is new in town, doesn’t know anybody, and is looking for something to do.
You don’t say much of anything except, “this is Ernie...this is Herbert Walker...this is Jones...this is Mickey...this is Joanne...this is Beatrice”
“They’re good pigs, very good pigs.”
You are about to tell her you have to go inside and do something else because you are embarrassed by the mere fact of her seeing you and the way you are with your pigs, what with them being your only friends and so forth.
You are always embarrassed around women.
Somehow, they make you feel even uglier.
You cut her off, saying you’ve got to go in.
She says okay, nice meeting you, and then she goes away.
You go inside.
You sit in your armchair:
one of the few impulse buys you have made in your time on this earth.
You get situated and turn on the news.
They talk about lots of important things that are of no importance to you.
You fall asleep there, in your armchair, as the pundits chatter away.
The next day, you get up.
You brush your teeth.
You get cleaned up.
You do it for no reason.
You are not going to see anybody that day.
You feed the pigs. That is important.
Then you go inside. You get your sketchbook, walk out the door, and sit on your stump
However, this time you don’t sketch the pigs.
You, instead, draw a picture of the girl who came by yesterday evening.
You are so engrossed in your drawing that you do not see her come up.
“Hey,” she says.
You stammer out a hello.
“Mind if I sit with you?” she says.
“Sh-sure,” you say.
After all, it is a very large stump. Large enough for two butts.
And maybe another, if it was a super small butt.
The space where the third butt would be is empty, serving as a buffer between you and her.
She says some things about the pigs.
You say they are good pigs, very good pigs.
She says, “you know, you seem kinda sad.”
You don’t say anything.
“You seem like you haven’t felt happy in a long time.”
You break into tears. You croak, “yes.”
“Here - take this” she says.
It is a pill.
“What’s it for?”
“It’ll make you happier than you’ve ever felt in your life,” she says, smiling. “Here, I’m gonna take one too.”
You don’t have much to lose.
You pop it in your mouth.
“I’m just gonna sit here and read til it hits,” she says.
She reads, you sketch.
You sketch the pigs. You have put away the drawing of her.
You don’t know what’s going to happen.
After 30 minutes, you say you have to go inside.
She’s making you feel ugly again.
“I’ll come in with you,” she says, “seriously, you’re about to have the time of your life.”
She seems to know that she makes you uncomfortable.
You go inside. Both of you.
You turn on the news.
She talks about the news on the tv.
You say “uh-huh” a lot.
But then you start to say more.
You start to care about the news.
You converse with her passionately, as if she is your best friend.
She asks if you have any music.
You think music would be a good idea. A very very very good idea.
You pull out one of the 10 CDs you have.
Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits.
She starts dancing.
You really want to dance, but stay in your armchair.
“C’mon, dance,” she says.
And that’s all the convincing you need.
You tell her you haven’t worked in 10 years, that your great uncle left you the pig farm, and that it’s better than living with your parents.
She says she’s living with her parents, too. She has just gotten out of rehab and says that she’ll probably go back.
And when she says this, you and her both laugh your asses off.
At 5:30 AM, you are laying down with your armchair reclined, and she is sitting on your lap, her head against your chest, and you are both dreaming.
Today, you will be late feeding the pigs.