Dog Honey

When I was a kid and I got sick I had a friend who used to bring me tea sweetened with “dog honey.” Okay he was not my friend, he was my father. Okay, honestly, my Mom said he was my father, but I truly doubt it — that woman lied a lot!

When he got very, very old and couldn’t get out of bed and wondered if I should confront him that dogs don’t make honey. I wondered even if I should pick at the issue with the tip of a finger! “What are dogs?” I asked him the morning of the day he died. He didn’t answer much, not ever, and certainly not then, but I think he said, if I remember correctly (and I truly doubt it — my memory lies a lot!) dogs are the ones that walk.

Luckily in my job in the decades after that I had access to a computer which had Internet and I could do a little research on what it was that walked, what were the ones that walked, and I learned that bees (the ones that fly) are not the only ones that make honey! I was a lucky boy! Fine, man. But ants make honey, earwigs make fun, lacewings make honey (okay they fly) and something called Stellar’s Boring Beetle makes enough honey to feed a brood of grubs.

COULD THAT HAVE BEEN WHAT MY FATHER MEANT BY DOGS? The ant, the earwig, the lacewing (well probably not cause it flies) or Stellar’s Boring Beetle?

Maybe dogs do make honey, if that is what he meant by dogs! And then I could be happy again, and not worried all the time! Lucky boy! I could be! Lucky man! And somebody would finally want to marry me, cause I wouldn’t be broody and anxious all the time.

But nobody wanted to marry me it turned out because I have a gigantic nose. And also gigantic ears. And an annoying personality (constantly asking for reassurance and then making fun of whatever reassurance you provide). The trifecta of not-want-to-be-married-to-that traits! Poor me! Also self-pity. Ears, nose, personality, self-pity. The Four Unmarriagable Traits.

So I turned lonely. And lacking anybody to attack I turned inwards. I attacked my Comforting Idea. Because, why the fuck would he call Stellar’s Boring Beetle a “dog”. Because it walked? Because it made honey? But my Dad was an unemployed paper box salesman! He didn’t have a computer with Internet! He didn’t know about obscure beetles that could make honey to feed its brood of grubs!

Oh Shiva, Lord of the Dance! Tell me, what is sugar? What is sweet? Is sweet whatever keeps the cell alive?

Is the love of the dog that brings comfort to us a form of sweetness?

Is the love my friend — or perhaps father — brought to me — sweet?

Was he the dog?

Was that his honey?

Oh Shiva if you know the answer to these questions, send me an email, or an old-fashioned letter with a stamp on it, or a text, or a divine signal, of whatever kind you choose, even if it is one that someone like me will almost certainly miss, having my mind on lower things, like a moment that is a bit more peaceful than its fellows, or the whir of insect wings in the early morn.


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