After our twin sons left for college, my wife and I adopted a shelter dog named Howard. He was a schizophrenic mutt that barked and chased things we couldn't see.
Last week, I was walking him at midnight when I passed by some neighbors' open bedroom window and heard them having sex. Of course, I stopped and listened. They were making efficient, well-practiced marital love. It made me happy and jealous. It had been at least 18 months since I'd seen my wife naked.
Then Howard had one of his visions and started howling.
So I was suddenly a 58-year-old man running through my quiet neighborhood with a little banshee in my arms.
I miss my kids. They'll never live with me again. I miss my wife. We don't know how to be anything but parents. But I have my crazy dog. And as he howled through the night, I howled too. My dog was howling at ghosts, but I was howling for all the humans I'd already lost.