Friday, June 8, 2012


My neighbor Mike was standing outside watering his car (as Darla puts it), spraying the dust off because on our street everything gets layered with the stuff, but really he was just checking out the scene.

Hey Mike, what's going on.

Mike lives in the same house he grew up in: a duplex with his wife and his son on one side and his mother and grandmother in the other. God bless him. His grandmother is one of those old ladies who you only ever see behind the screen door and she's usually yelling. She really gets set off if you touch her trash can. I think she sits in a chair by the door listening for someone to lift the lid and then she's up behind the screen yelling in Spanish.

I'm just looking for a poop bag, Mrs Perez, hi! (get back inside, you old crab) Beautiful day!

They have a dog, a miniature pinscher named Gwenyth. She's the loudest, and smallest, goddam dog on the block. I'm pretty sure she thinks she's a full sized Doberman and it's too bad she's not because she would have been a beautiful champion. She gives it her all with the barking. Her bark is so aggressive and vicious it actually causes her tiny body to become stiff and lift off the ground. I love that sassy little thing. Couldn't hurt a flea.

I'm still standing with Mike while he's watering the car.
Where's Gwenie?
She's inside resting.
She's on her period.
She's bleeding out her whistle.
Mike! Jesus.
For real.
She's like 16 isn't she?
Happens every year.
Wait, isn't it-
Fuckin dog. (he says it with pride)
I thought dogs...I mean, don't they--
Bleeding all over the place.

I watched him watering. He seemed a little melancholy. He must have known then that something wasn't right.

A few days later I saw Gwenie walking around two blocks away from my street.
Hey Sassy!
She looked up and growled at me but I wasn't sure if it was her or not, so I went straight to Mike's house and knocked on the door. Gran yelled from the back of the house, Who is it? It would have taken half the energy to just walk to the door but this is how she does.

I think I just saw Gwen over on Kensington.
She died.
Yeah three days ago. Ok see you later.

She closes the door in my face before I have time to speak. I just saw her a few days ago! I walked back to the other street to see if she was still there or if I had seen her ghost. I'm hoping it was, I like to think of her walking through the neighborhood, itching for a fight.

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