Allergies

Two weeks before I was planning to visit, Lopez sent me a video via email. The subject line said “Getting Ready” and the message was, “Yo. Here’s what you can expect when you come to my place.” The still image on the video link showed Lopez wearing only a pair of black briefs and holding a vacuum tube like a baseball bat in his hands. His face was locked in a crazy wide-mouthed smile, slightly blurred. His wife Reggie stood as a silhouette in the background, her locked arm propped on the hallway door jamb as she watched whatever he was doing. Her face suggested the video was something I probably shouldn’t click on while still at work. But I did anyhow, with headphones on of course.

I positioned my laptop so that anyone walking past my cube wouldn’t see my screen, and good thing, since he didn’t keep those briefs on very long. Maybe thirty seconds in, and after explaining that he was about to vacuum his dogs, he peeled off his underwear “like he always does” saying, “I hate getting stray hairs on ‘em.” Then he whistled for his two huskies, Lem and Freebie, and they went all limp on the run in the living room, rolling onto their backs as Lopez used his foot to switched on the pull-along Hoover like my mom had in the 70s. The steel tube’s long, tapered attachment sucked at their fur, sending the both dogs into doggy ecstasy. Lopez did some sort of dance as he worked, gently running the nozzle up Lem’s belly then under Freebie’s scruff. He was shouting, but I could only faintly hear his voice over the roar of the light blue machine. I can’t lie, I watched every second of the thing. Twice.

Lem and Freebie aren’t those short haired huskies that you usually see, they’re those super fluffy ones that shed piles and piles of fur every day. Remind me of the Iditarod or something. Like really expensive Alaska dogs. If you ask me, the upkeep must be a total pain in the ass. Now don’t get me wrong, I love huskies. I look at photos of them online like I used to look at porn. I love how they talk to each other in that whining howl and how they argue with their people. Cracks me up every time. Lopez says Lem and Freebie do that husky talk once in a while, but most of the time they just bark like any dog does. Nothing special.

Lem and Freebie barely made a sound as the vacuum pulled swatches of their coats. They just laid there smiling. Lopez was careful not to go all full-frontal, and I guess I appreciated that, but still I found it odd that he took the time to record, then send me the two minute short. I mean, we’ve been friends for years, and good friends no doubt, but you can bet your ass that there’s no way in hell I’d ever send him anything like this. But he did and well, hey. That’s Lopez I guess.

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