Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dead Dog

    It is raining on the north end of town. There have been streets, houses, and alleyways here for over a hundred years. If you drive on the streets it still resembles a city. If you are walking, it begins to resemble a forest or a jungle more and more. One can shift through the pocked mark concrete. Nimbly weave through dilapidated sheds and chain link fences that have long since fallen into disrepair. One can become familiar with their surroundings so long as they keep walking. Keep scanning. The dirt. The trash. The metal. The ice. The trees. The weeds. The sun. They are not planned, but they become one. They were never meant to become one, but they are adapting. Keep scanning.
    The section of sidewalk next to the church. Next to the cemetery on sixteenth street. It has broken out of place recently. Shifted up against the will of the concrete. Scan it. Note it. Adapt.

    A young boy, no older than fifteen stands in the rain. He is lanky and awkward with thick glasses and gaudy old tennis shoes. He is standing in the alley behind his house. He is either smiling or wincing. He asks if you have seen his dog. He says it is a good dog. He keeps smiling at you. He says that it is medium sized, blond, good. He keeps his composure, but he knows that if he has lost this dog he will not know what to do with himself. A good dog like that would be too trusting. Too unaware of what it is like. To be a stray dog. Nevertheless he keeps smiling at you as you walk away.
    Out of the alley. Wait for cars to pass before crossing. Shortcut through the lawn of a community center where older women and older men try and save the world one child at a time. Smile even if they yell at you for walking on the grass.

    I saw a dead dog on the side of the road. It was medium sized and blond and its blood streaked dark across Schuyler avenue. It was hit by a car. A man flapped a black plastic bag open like he was putting a new bag into a trash can. He was laughing with a co worker. I imagine you would have to laugh if you had to deal with that on a day to day basis. I cried about that dog. A dog would never cry for another dog. They don't understand. I cried for the boy. I felt better. I understood.

Aaron C. Molden

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