The Color of Love, or “Bakelite Seafoam Green,” or Thank God for a Good Dog

There’s a whole lot that I want to share on this blog, but for now, this is all I’m ready for. I’ve actually been wanting to write a love letter to my dog for awhile, and although I didn’t expect it to look like this, it feels right in its way.


I’m in the bathroom, fingers squeezed across my face, eyes leaking. I feel a flutter against my fingers, look up and see Ceiba walking away. His whiskers had been visiting me a moment ago, his face briefly touching mine, a tender investigation of my sadness. I call him back to me, stroke him, thank him without words. I think about how tears taste. I wonder how loss smells.

– – –

I sit on the couch next to Ceiba. I read him a poem by Neil Hilborn.  And even though it’s the last lines that really get me, my voice breaks way before then. Luckily, Ceiba is used to my broken bits. He just listens.

This is the poem:

I have been wondering, mostly, if love
and sanity are the same thing. When I say
I am in love I am also saying the world
makes sense to me right now.

I know that love is not the same as knowing
everything, but because she is gone, because

about her there are unknowns that will now remain
unknowable, it is important to list what is mine
to list: she likes hazelnut in her coffee; she is a
better driver when the transmission

is manual; though she couldn’t name it, her favorite
color is Bakelite seafoam green; she loved me once,
though it wasn’t for very long, though it was
distracted, though it shouldn’t have
happened, once, she loved me.

This poem is one of multiple poems that are all called “Our Numbered Days.” Although more than one poem has the same title, each poem is different. The book itself is also called “Our Numbered Days.” And I never realized until someone pointed it out on tumblr (of course), but guess what color the book is? Though I couldn’t name it, it’s Bakelite seafoam green.

Love permeates everything. That’s why I need Ceiba, because he is my primary layer of love, my every day base of beauty, my living light on legs guiding me forward. Sometimes it seems like things shouldn’t happen but they do and sometimes it seems like they should and they don’t and sometimes it’s raining outside and inside you and then the real kicker is that your house literally floods twice, too.

But you know what? Just, thank you God for this good dog. I’m pretty strong and stable now, and most of my days are pretty good. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still days that knock me down and honestly, there are mornings when the only reason I get out of bed is because I have to give Ceiba breakfast.

– – –

Before traveling for the first time after adopting Ceiba, I bought a necklace with a brown and black colored Tiger’s Eye stone. I liked it because it made me think of him, and I let him wear it before I took it with me on my trip. Then I wore it around my own neck, so that it was as if I was taking a piece of him with me.

I like it when Ceiba wears my necklaces first, when I can carry his energy around with me, mix it with my own. I like that loving him is my favorite color, that before him I did not know this color, but somehow he worked better than antidepressants and hours upon hours of therapy and everyone saying that it gets better at some far-off unspecified point that you’re supposed to keep living for.

– – –

Ceiba is named after a tree, and he is my rock. I seriously don’t know how I would have made it through certain life events without him. Which definitely includes recently — I just had one of the most difficult weeks of my life, with one tough situation after another. My emotions have run the gamut from deep, heavy sadness to white-hot, chest-hurting-the-whole-next-day anger.

Thankfully, through it all, I have Ceiba. This makes me think of the One Republic song that says, “I had the week that came from hell / and yes, I know that you could tell. / But you’re like the net under the ledge / when I go flying off the edge / you go flying off as well.

Ceiba is one of my soulmates and there is something in his eyes that brings me home, connects me back to wherever I came from before this, enhances my essence, roots me right. He is, as he has always been, my anchor, holding me steady and keeping me from being completely swept away. He’s the one sure thing that makes sense when the rest of the world doesn’t.

“If we only live once, I want to live with you.”

Ceiba Sunshine

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