Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead
“Dear Pen Pal”
CB, a “handsome, though currently sullen” teenager, writes a letter to his pen pal -- a pen pal who never wrote back to him when he was a child -- and hopes that the pen pal is “still there.” He talks about a recent trauma: his beloved beagle dog contracted rabies, slaughtered the yellow bird who was his friend, and had to be put to death. After his dog died, says CB “the raincloud came back, and everything went to hell…”
CB and his Sister stand in the rain, in their backyard, in the rain, at CB’s dog’s grave. It is the funeral. CB’s Sister smokes. They quarrel about who should say a prayer. CB accuses his sister of being religiously fickle, and makes fun of the Goth, Wiccan identity she has picked up this week. They quarrel about who is more embarrassing, and how much CB’s dog actually liked CB’s sister. CB’s Sister storms off.
CB and Van sit on a brick wall. Van, a smoker who is pretty relaxed, offers CB a hit of his “kind bud”, and explains Buddhist theories of post-death existence when asked if he believes in Heaven. Van counsels that “we all have to let go of things from our childhood”, and brings up his blanket, which CB and Van’s Sister burned. CB explains that it was for Van’s own good -- “Three words for you, bro -- Pubic. Lice, Infestation.” -- but Van’s remaining anger ruffles his stoned calm. He tells CB that he smoked the remains of his blanket, and responds to CB’s horror by saying, “we all handle grief in different ways.” CB and Van talk about how much they miss Van’s Sister.
“Where Swine Live”
At school, CB talks to his friend Matt, who is “extremely attractive and just as obnoxious.” Matt is sorry about CB’s dog, but thinks that CB’s grief gives him the perfect opportunity to score with the ladies. Matt talks about a weekend party coming up, talks about sex, and talks about girls. Beethoven walks past and Matt yells at him, calling him a “faggot”. CB’s Sister enters and yells at Matt, telling him to