THE ADVOCATE 385
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
My laptop beeped. It shouldn’t do that. I keep the sound on “do not disturb”
when I work.
I lifted the lid and looked at my law school application. The screen was
back at the top of the form. I scrolled through the part I had completed
before my father appeared. Biographical information, educational history,
volunteer work, names of references—gone. I got to “Why do you want to
be a lawyer (in 200 words or less)?” In the box were these words, which I
hadn’t typed: “You don’t. And that’s okay by me.”
* * *
That night I lay under the covers surfing theatre programs on my phone
by lamplight. From the corner of the room I heard familiar paw pads and
toenails click across the hardwood, followed by a soft thud onto my bed. I
knew without looking that there would be a depression in the covers. I
heard the “thump, thump” of a tail and the squeak of teeth gnawing a tennis
ball. Is there any better smell than moist dirt and warm fur? I reached over
to pet Yorick’s syrupy body.
My hand bumped against the spine of a book, face down on the bed. I
pulled it to my lap. Hamlet. A dated Penguin paperback with soft, orangerimmed
pages. It smelled like an ancient library, with a hint of Wint-OGreen.
I read the words underlined in pencil: “Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I