My sophomore year of college proved to be one of those electrically-charged, the-most-important-year-of-my-life type of years. The previous summer I had lost my virginity. I was living in an art-commune with some of the most creative minds at my school. I was taking courses in writing and photography, and I was always on the verge of a breakdown.
After seven months I had lost most sense of reality, and had decided to move out of the house (which was less about art and more about drinking, dance, and orgiastic pleasure) and into a mostly deserted dorm building with my beautiful friend, Steffen. Steffen and I lived next door at the end of the hall on an otherwise empty floor. We took long study breaks and made fresh orange juice in the bathroom. We sat on the floor and cried during the Columbine shootings. I was studying Logic and performing in a stage version of A Clockwork Orange.
A summer drive in the country, and just like that he appeared. Racing alongside the car, smiling with tongue wagging in the air, he appeared and I couldn’t leave without him. I stopped the car, convinced him to come and see me with a ham sandwich, and we drove off together into the sunset.
Dorian was beautiful, which was why I decided to name him Dorian (after the man who was always beautiful). I actually decided on Dorian Oscar Gray, as both a silly acronym and a tribute to the book that established for me the power of gay love and desire. Basil Hallward was in love with Dorian. And so was I…
Dorian had a funny habit of crouching to pee, instead of lifting his leg. It was an idiosyncrasy that I found amusing, so I pointed it out to some friends. It was at this point that someone posed the question: “Why exactly do you think Dorian is a boy?”
“Whaddya mean? Why isn’t he a boy?”
“Only girl dogs pee like that.”
“Well, he has a penis, so I suppose he is just a confused boy. Kinda like me.”
“Have you ever looked?”
I realized that I hadn’t. I didn’t realize I needed to. So I looked. Hmph, I thought. Where’s his penis?
“Hey, I can’t see his penis. Where is it?”
“Nowhere. Dorian is a girl.”
Hmph, a girl. This is a problem. I can’t change her name. I like her name. Well, perhaps Olivia? Yeah, I can change it to that.
So Dorian Olivia Gray and I lived together for several weeks. I woke up early and walked her, then returned after every class for a cuddle or a play, and then more walks in the evening, and then when she napped I did homework. However, I realized that she didn’t have enough room to play, so she lived in the “environmental” house on campus for the rest of the semester. And at the end of the semester, we prepared to go home. Well, to my parents’ home.
Unfortunately I hadn’t finished my final papers, so Dorian and I moved in with a music professor, a friend of a friend. What was so interesting about this time was that Dorian would howl (as if a wolf at a moon) whenever I would leave the apartment. That, and the fact that the professor was trying to seduce me. But, the pure alto sounds of her howls helped me realize the extent of our connection.
Dorian drove home with me to my parents’ farm, and lived there for several more years. She was eventually run over by my mother, which was an accident that happened while Dorian was following her car to church. Mother was afraid that Dorian may be hit by the oncoming car, and so swerved to distract her. However, Dorian bolted in front of my mother’s van.
Before that tragic ending, however, Dorian enjoyed several years of romping and playing. Unlike Chip, Dorian enjoyed to roam, but not far from her food and shelter. The only sad thing was that I was a bad owner, and found it cute when she jumped on me or playfully bit. The problem was that she then jumped and bit everyone she loved. However, she bit me more because she loved me the most. I loved her, too. The only non-sister woman who has felt this love. Go figure.