WHO IS MISS EGO?

“So, do you miss me already?”

“Of course, I do, Stan. But not just you.”

“What do you mean, not just me?”

“Of course I miss how you cuddled—“

“Good.”

“—and how you smelled, Stanley—”

“Wasn’t that wonderful?”

“—and how you ran up the stairs after coming from your outings with Leeann with such happy, excited eyes.”

“Those were the days!”

“But Stanley, where’s my alter ego?”

“Who’s Alter Ego? I don’t remember anybody like that coming to the house.”

“You know, Stanley, my alter ego, my other voice, the other Eve, I miss her too.”

“Who the hell misses her?”

“I miss her, Stan. I need her. Who is going to be that other voice?”

“Who cares?”

“I do, Stanley. You see, I have this one voice that comes out most often, but there are all these other voices, too, that don’t always get expressed. That was you, Stan.”

“It was?”

“It turned out to be you, Stanley. The dog who laughed at me, mocked my pretensions, made fun of Zen shmen, stole food from the Man, peed on everything in creation.”

“And here I thought I was such a good dog.”

“You were a dog with attitude, Stanley. You were cheeky and full of chutzpah.”

“I told you I was a good dog. But I still don’t get it. Don’t you miss how we put our heads together and nuzzled?”

“I do, Stanley.”

“Who taught you how to stop using those superfluous hands and use your head for nuzzling?”

“You did, Stanley.”

“Who tried to teach you how to sniff deer turds only you failed miserably?”

“You did, Stanley.”

“Don’t you miss seeing me sprawled on the sofa in the mornings when you come downstairs?”

“I do, Stanley. In fact, I still leave a light on for you even though no one’s there anymore.”

“Don’t you miss how I looked out the window of the car? I knew you were admiring me in the sideview mirror.”

“I do, Stan.”

“How about how I emptied all your trashcans in the bathrooms when you weren’t around? Don’t you miss finding the toilet rolls and used Q-tips all over the floor?”

“Actually, no, Stanley.”

“So who is Miss Ego?”

“Alter ego, Stanley. You were the voice of wicked fun and irreverence, you scoffed and capered and wisecracked, you didn’t care for not-knowing but you loved not-seeing, you made fun of my sitting—“

“Who sits and stares at nothing? Sitting and looking at the door to remind you it’s time for our walks, that I get. Staring at the car to remind you it’s time for a car ride, that I get. Sitting and looking at treats, ditto. Sitting and staring at the wall? Nah.”

“The point is, Stan, you died and took my alter ego with you.”

“Where could I have put it? I don’t think anybody’s lying here with me.”

“An alter ego is another personality that’s often hidden away, Stanley, and I miss it.”

“I thought you miss me.”

“I miss you, too. But Stanley, it’s nice to get to know all our alter egos, all these personalities we have that we don’t usually meet up with.”

“You mean there are more Alter Egos? How many more are there?”

“I don’t know, Stan. Probably lots.”

“Just how many dogs do you plan to get?”