In case you’re wondering, Mocha is a Morkie — part Maltese and part Yorkie. The main benefit of mixing the two breeds is that it produces a five-pound dog with the lung capacity of a right whale. That’s my working theory, anyway, as Mocha takes a breath and then commences to bark nonstop at his food bowl for the next twenty minutes. Cute as a button, though.
Since we can’t leave until Mocha finishes his dinner, we spend our time rifling through the costumes and props that are strewn about the hallway. A set of plastic ram’s horns, feathered masks, fake-fur hats, stoles, gloves, and tails, shiny gold pants, a skin-tight silver shirt, and a plastic microphone are just a few of the items we pick through as we try to settle on the right look for everyone.
That it’s hovering just a few degrees above freezing outside doesn’t factor into our decision-making process, a choice we’ll regret in the fairly near future. For the time-being, our larger concern is that Mike’s father just burst through the closed set of double-doors I’ve been trying to ignore at the end of the hallway, and he’s demanding to know why the dog is barking so much. Complicating matters is the fact that I’m the only person in the hallway at the moment, standing in a pile of props and costumes and wearing Mike’s clothes. The look on the man’s face says I’m lucky he doesn’t own a gun.
“I think I make him nervous,” I say by way of explanation.
“Hey, Dad!” Mike yells from his bedroom as he tries to coax Mocha into taking the last few bites of his dinner. “Marc’s here!”
I offer a limp wave as the man scowls at me and ducks back into his room.
“Maybe we should go,” I suggest, nervously stuffing any props within reach into a reusable grocery bag.
“Yeah,” Miranda says. “That’s probably a good idea.”
I’m already halfway down the steps with my guitar and the bag of props, forgetting for the moment that I’m an adult because my friend’s dad is mad at me for waking him from his nap. Awkward, yes. But it did teach me that if you ever want to feel like a teenager again, don’t fall in love or anything ridiculous like that. Just piss off your friend’s dad.