by Jeff Goode
copyright © 2003
(LIGHTS UP on: DOGLOVER.)
After my dog Fluffy died, I didn't talk to my Mom for a long time.
I guess I blamed her for what happened. Even though it was my Step-dad's gun.
I didn't come out of my bedroom for weeks.
Finally, she talked my Step-dad into taking me down to the pet store to find a replacement.
As if anything could ever replace Fluffy.
He tried to talk me into getting a Siamese kitten. Or a Tabby.
But I'm just not a cat person.
And fish are stupid.
Anything you keep in a tank just isn't a pet. It's an exhibition.
Fishes. Turtles. Tarantula spiders. Hamsters.
Although I did like the Habitrail tubes though.
You could make anything out of them.
I imagined a whole Habitrail city filled with hamsters commuting back and forth from one part of my bedroom to the other. And I would be the city commissioner!
But my stupid Step-dad said,
No, you can get an aquarium, a wheel, and one piece of tubing.
And a hamster of course.
I didn't even care about the hamster. I just picked the one with the pinkest eyes.
I named him Hammy, after my Step-dad. Because he was always drinking Hamm's Beer. He didn't think that was funny.
When we got home I went straight up to my room.
I still wasn't going to speak to my Mom.
But I was really excited to get everything up to my room and set it up.
When I put Hammy in the cage.
He immediately ran to the hamster wheel and started working out.
I was pretty pleased with myself for picking out a hamster that cared about staying in shape.
He was on that wheel for a whole hour. And then two. It was incredible.
Hamsters look flabby, because of their fur. But underneath, they must be like a washboard, because he was on that wheel for three hours straight.
And when he finally got off, he didn't even break a sweat. It was unbelievable.
He must have noticed me staring at him with my face pressed up against the glass.
Because that's when he looked over at me. With those little pink eyes.
You know the kind. Piercing.
Like they've known you forever.
I can't explain it, it was like one minute we were staring at each other through a wall of glass, and the next minute...
We're were making love.
On the bed. On the floor. On the window sill.
We tried to make love in the aquarium, but my hips were very wide for a boy my age.
And that's when I heard my mom coming up the stairs,
I jumped out of the tank and grabbed my pants like you wouldn't believe.
When she walked in, I was completely dressed and sitting innocently at my desk. "Hi, Mom."
"Where's your new hamster?" she said.
That's when I looked over and saw he wasn't in the cage. And I realized...
He was still making love to me.
I begged him to stop. But he wouldn't. He was like an animal.
My Mom didn't know who I was talking to at first.
But then she figured it out and just started screaming uncontrollably.
They rushed me to a hospital.
I was crying.
"Please, Hammy, don't do this."
But by the time we got there, it was too late.
Hammy had died. In the act of love making.
They said it was some kind of 'fixiation',
But I just think he couldn't breathe.
It took me a long time to realize that Hammy's death wasn't my fault.
That hamster had a problem.
And like any addiction, it can take control of your life.
Addiction destroys relationships, friendships, families.
Until there's nothing left.
Hammy let sexual addiction take control of him.
And it cost him his life.
That was a powerful lesson for me.
I made myself a promise to never, ever be like Hammy.
...my dear, sweet Hammy.
(FADE TO BLACK)"Doglover" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR
First performed at No Shame Los Angeles on January 16, 2004.