“Would you please tell your coffee to stop attacking me,” Cynthia said. “You should have put more creamer in it,” I said. “You don’t have any creamer,” she said. “You act like that’s my fault,” I said. “Did you see that hippo in the paper?” she said. “Kind of hard not to,” I said. A hippo had escaped from its pen and loped through a fence, accidentally running over a lap dog that was barking at it. “Poor dog,” she said. “You’re a poor dog,” I said. “Don’t dehumanize me,” she said. I showed her one of my fingers. She said, “Why do you always have to be so mean.” Then Cynthia galloped through the front door and down the street. I could see her take a right up Lawrence and knew she was probably heading for the old water tower, her favorite spot to take a break after snapping off my front door and making a break for wider pastures.