I was close to Ambrose, closer to him than almost anyone. He was accessible. He was handsome. His company was a great relief when I was lonely. I was never lonely for Ambrose, specifically. When loneliness struck I was lonely for what I couldn’t find. I could always find Ambrose. All things being equal, Ambrose wasn’t looking for me when he was lonely either. We’d discussed it. We did not have an urge for one another. No one could compare to our imaginations. We missed someone we hadn’t met. We did not tarnish a satisfying intellectual and emotional bond by displaying our genitals. We were good friends.
We snooped through Noah’s things, like thieves. We found his personal papers. We contacted his family. They didn’t come; they sent for him. It was odd. They had no interest in where he’d been or who he’d been with. Ambrose went back to his wealthy roots from time to time and his family had been to the yard at least once a year, usually more often. Noah’s family remained a mystery. They didn’t want Numbnuts II. Numbnuts went where he pleased. Spoiled when Noah was alive, with Noah gone, and Numbnuts’ status as an orphan dog, there were no rules. He got fat from lunch and table scraps. He took to tipping beers over so he could slurp the suds. Things got way out of hand. Before I went back to California, Ambrose promised me he would impose some restrictions on Numbnuts, put him on a doggy diet and dry him out. It was fine if we drank too much but a farting, ill-mannered, alchy, dog was unseemly.
I had to force myself on the plane back to the west coast. I was comfortable with the person I was when I was home. I was a little too edgy for my own good when I was gone.