Tom Hardy and a Puppy Talk About Odd Pieces

image of actor Tom Hardy and a grey pit bull puppy licking its nose, standing on a Hawaiian beach with a rainbow arcing across the sky above them

"Tom," said the puppy, licking its nose, "do you ever think that it's strange that we're such good friends, what with you being a human fella and me being a puppy and all?"

And Tom said, "No, puppy, I don't think it's strange. I remember my friend Liss telling me a story once about her grandmother Mil, who was a passionate jigsaw-puzzler, with hundreds of the things crookedly lining overstuffed shelves in her cellar. Mil always kept a card table with a semi-completed puzzle on its top which she would carry from room to room, so she could do her puzzles while cooking dinner, and later while watching re-runs of Fawlty Towers. Sometimes her puzzles would have an extra piece that didn't go anywhere; the puzzle would be done, but there would be this one odd piece. It was almost always a middle piece, instead of an edge, so it wasn't until the puzzle was complete that the odd piece out revealed itself. Mil kept these odd pieces, throwing them all into an old canister, as if one day, perhaps, they'd all make a puzzle of their own."

Tom continued: "When Liss was maybe six, she tried putting all of her grandmother's odd puzzle pieces together. Mil told her: 'If you stick those together, they might not come apart, because they weren't designed to fit.' And Mil was right. They were tough to connect together, but even tougher to break apart. I think some people and puppies are like that. Odd pieces. Struggling a bit with making connections, which can be brutal — watching the beauty of connection lay itself across the faces of people to whom it comes so easily, over and over, and always just out of your reach. But once we connect, in our odd way, we stick."

And the puppy said, "I like being an odd piece. I'm glad you're an odd piece, too, Tom."

And Tom said, "So am I, puppy."

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