Life is a mess, Stanley.

You’re telling me!

Just look at all this stuff that’s fallen in the winter. We used to go up this path and now look at it, blocked and jagged and no good.

We could try to get through sideways. I’d make it, but not sure about you. You’re gaining weight! You’re getting bigger

You want to get somewhere, cross the road, but things fell in the way, things got hurt, they died, they didn’t work out, and they leave a mess right in the way so you can never go straight.

Love is a mess, too.

What do you know about love, Stanley?

What don’t I know? I love Minnie. Take a look at the way that beagle looks at me. She adores me.

How long has this been going on, Stan?

Three months. But lately she’s changing. She doesn’t come so close anymore, she doesn’t nuzzle me, doesn’t follow me on the road. Before, even when she drifted away she always knew where I was. Now she goes sniffing elsewhere.

So do you love her because she’s Minnie, or do you love her because she adores you?

I love her because she adores me. Why would you love anybody otherwise?

I didn’t realize patriarchy was so alive and well on your outings with Leeann.

Look at you. You adore me. You feed me. You walk me. You take me to Leeann. You brush me. So I love you back. Nothing messy about that.

That’s very heartening, Stan.

But is that good enough for Minnie? No, sir. Now she wants to talk to me about her problems back home, as if I care. As if I have to worry about how she’s left alone on Saturdays or that she’s not allowed to jump on the sofa. She’s become a feminist, I tell you!

Is that bad, Stan?

It’s messy. When it gets like that, I’m out of here.

Anybody else out there ready to fall in love with you, Stanley?

Only you. But don’t get too pushy and demanding on me! I need someone simple: cook and walk. Anything else gets too complicated. We’re an item as long as you do that.

What about Minnie?

I’ve forgotten her already.