Friday, April 17, 2015

Shattered Rings and Scattered Dreams




It’s fascinating how dreams work, is it not? There I am, in an unknown town, in an unknown vehicle, driving to a house I have never seen before, yet it is all totally familiar. My mind made the whole thing up, none of what happened in the dream ever existed, except the woman, and around that one known, that one woman I haven’t seen since 1986, I’m driving to her house, in a car, in a town, and none of it ever existed but her. I know to park my car in the parking lot of the store next to her house because she likes for me to be discreet. She was married back in 1986 but estranged from her husband. I never thought she would go back to him but she did, and then left him for someone else less than a year later. But in the dream she was still married and still mine. Reality, it would seem, is not without a sense of irony.

It’s hard to describe a place you can only remember from a dream and only once at that. There are reoccurring dreamscapes and some of them I really love. Some of them are puzzles; I wonder why my subconscious would build something substandard or shabby. Some of oddities you would not see in real life, like the white house with white trim and a white mailbox. The only color anywhere near the house, except for the lawn, which is a very pretty lawn, is the red square on the mailbox flag. I stop and stare at that house every time a dream takes me there and I wonder if there is such a home.

There are also people in dreams that I have never seen before and aren’t likely to see again. There’s a dreamscape house that doubles as a daycare center, one of those unofficial businesses that is run by a woman who is good with kids. I stopped by there once to take something to her, and I never found out what it was, and there was a line of cars, five or six of them, waiting to pick up their children.  I thought that was a terrible thing, to have that many cars sitting out in the street but small towns allow that sort of thing.

I’m always the same age as when we met as so is she. I loved her hair, her smile, the way she moved around the room, like a fluid and the way she laughed. We argued the last time we were in the same room and I regret that, deeply regret it, and even though we’ve spoken on the phone a half dozen times in the last three decades I think it was that last face to face conversation I regret most. I said things I didn’t mean, but worse, I didn’t say what I felt. That is always a mistake when speaking to a woman.

In the dream we are young, and together and the time we spend is endless for it feels like there will be no end to this time when you are young and in love. She gets dressed and as I am getting dressed there is a knock on the front door.

It’s odd, because the man who has come over is someone I haven’t seen since I was a teenager. It was rumored he had an affair with his boss’s wife and for years people wondered did they or didn’t they? He is likely in his eighties now and I have no idea what became of him.  But she doesn’t want him to see me there. I get dressed quietly and leave out of the back door, but he’s leaving out of the front door at the same time so I think he saw me. It’s an odd feeling that is. To get caught doing something I shouldn’t be doing by someone I only remember because there were doing the same thing. Nicely placed, Sub Conscious, nicely played.

The dream ended as I left. I woke up and still felt guilty and caught. I could still feel the body buzz of really good sex and I still regret, even more deeply each time I think about it, the last time I saw her really was going to be the last time I saw her. She remarried and I lost track of her a few years ago.

So the dreams ends and I am sitting on the edge of the bed listening to Tanya the Destroyer complain about her captivity. She still sleeps in the crate at night. We tried letting her sleep on the bed with everyone else but she nibbled by nose at three in the morning and truly, no one enjoys that at any time of day. I wonder what it would be like to awaken one morning and discover that Tanya is part of a dream, or that the reality from which I draw most of my writing never really existed.  Perfectly meshed, the one reality is woven around another in my dreams, and for hours on end I live in that reality much as I do the one that most people would consider to be the “real” world. Yet we already know that our memory is faulty. We know we lose keys and cannot remember what happened to them. We forget phone number and we forget names as if the very essence of names forbids perfect memories of them. We lose track of those we love out of neglect or pride. This world we have decided is real makes nearly, almost as much sense as the world we crate in dreams and for all of those who claim they cannot remember their dreams they can remember very little from this world’s day to day living. Is this not true? Do you not see this each day?

Yet here we are.

Now, I begin a day again, the end of another week, and a woman I once loved is another day further away from me, another week removed from my life, and the possibility that we will never again see one another grows stronger.

In my dreams, I have seen her. And discovered in both worlds, love never truly dies.

Take Care,

Mike

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Dingo and I Face the Dawn




At midnight Tyger Linn gets up and leaps from the bed. We’re having some New Dog Issues and someone, and I know not who, has been peeing on the floor. I suspect it is Tyger Linn because Lilith is just too damn polite. I let the two permanent dogs out, keep Tanya in her crate, and go back to bed. Tanya isn’t happy but I know she went right before bedtime and she will be okay until I get up, which is about four hours away. I sense Tyger Linn’s return and she snuggles next to me, even though it is very warm for it to be very late. Summer is beginning to leave a few reminders of Her own.

At four forty-five I’m standing in the back yard with Tanya peeing. It feels like a sauna out here. The fogs is thick and heavy. The mugginess of the morning is oppressive. I can feel the sweat forming on my body. The air is so wet the body heat sticks to the skin and sweat tries to ship some of it off but it isn’t working at all. There’s a foul smell in the air as if everything that is decaying is jammed in the air at nose altitude.

Even the air on the inside of the house feels fouled. The fans only stir the humidity and there seems to be no relief. I take a shower and cut all the hot water off just to feel a sense of coolness a sense of aliveness that the very air seems to have stolen from me. The cold is a bit much but when I switch back to warm water I can feel myself sweating, in the shower, at five in the morning. Even with the windows open the bathroom fogs over and it is a portent of things to come very soon.

The black night is highlighted by white fog. I had a dream once, I had fallen asleep while reading, and in that dream someone blinded me with a flashlight that produced a beam of darkness. The darkness was very intense, so very intense that I awoke from the dream to discover I had rolled over and my face was turned directly into the reading lamp. The fog produces a blinding whiteness in the incredible dark. Blindness upon blindness and if there is a deer out there or a herd of deer, or even an ocean of deer, I’m going to hit them before I see them. I slow down and I hope I don’t get rammed from behind.

Fog makes people stupid. They go faster than they can see. They slow down slower than they have to, usually. And most of all, they forget it’s harder to see other people and they do not make allowances for being blind and for the blind. The fog is getting thicker and I wonder if it would be safer to return home, keep going, or find a place to ride this thing out. These thoughts occur to me as I see a pair of headlight coming down a side street that intersects with the road I’m on. She isn’t going to stop for the stop sign and she doesn’t see me.

I hit my brakes before she’s past the stop sign. I’m locking them down, foot braced, teeth clenched, hand on the horn, butt cheeks clenching the seat and there’s no way in hell the truck is going to stop on wet pavement. Without thinking about it I pull the wheel hard right, harder, and just as I’m sure I’ve hit her everything stops in time. Both sets of headlights are pointing in the same direction. We illuminate the house across the street and I can see tiny droplets of water drifting through the air. It seems obscene that Bach’s Partita in D minor is still playing. I can hear the woman beginning to scream.

“A Dingo got my baby!”

Okay, now this is weird and suddenly I have the feeling this has to be a dream. Did a woman I almost hit in the fog scream that a dingo had taken her child? The woman is out of the car and looking around as if she’s lost something and suddenly she runs down the road a short piece and comes back.
“I forgot my baby!” She screams. And she gets back in the car.

I have to back up to let her turn around and she’s is freaking out.

I have to follow her, I have to know what happen to the baby, or if this is a dream, and two blocks away I find her on the porch of a duplex tearing a baby out of a car seat. She left the baby on the porch.

I get out and this is a woman who is rattled and rolled. Oh my god I forgot my baby oh my god I forgot my baby oh my god I forgot my baby. She’s oblivious to me. She doesn’t care about anything else.
Finally, “I thought I left her on the back of the car, I knew she was dead, oh my god I thought I left her on the back of the car what if I left her on the back of the car?” She’s holding the infant and rocking back and forth. I think the child is still asleep.

I break the spell she’s under but gently. Is there someone she can call? Is there somewhere she has to be? She returns very slowly, but she looks at me as if she isn’t sure where we met.
“I ain’t never forgot my baby.” She tells me this and wipes the tears out of her eyes.
“Everyone forgets,” I tell her and it is true.
“Lord have mercy why did I go and have this young’un I can’t take care of nothing.” And with this the woman leans into me and sobs. Her body is racked with shame, terror, guilt, horror at what might have been, and most of all relief.
I still have the tears on me when I get to work. My shirt is damp with them. This is going to leave a stain on that young woman and it’s going to be a permanent scar. But her baby is still alive and she gets another chance, and another day to be a better parent.


Take Care,

Mike

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tanya's First Adoption Event.




Tanya’s first adoption event went better than I expected. She wasn’t as reactive as I feared she might be though she did lunge at a brindle once. This was at an inopportune time as there was someone asking about her as she did. I haven’t had a dog with this much energy in a while and it’s wearing me out. It’s like some sort of bizarre video game where I have to guard against the aliens destroying everyday items. I’ve lost three pairs of reading glasses in three days, three rolls of toilet paper, totally shredded and scattered on the floor, three candles, and I’ve found a glass candle holder in her mouth, and now Tanya is beginning to stalk power cords, which will end poorly for her.

Tanya has learned how to jump up and grab things out of the sink which forces me to do the dishes when I should, but still…

When we arrived at the adoption event Tanya pulled on the leash and I had visions of her popping out of her collar and me having to chase her down one of the busiest main roads in Valdosta. She did manage to remember her training and she did potty in the grass so we went inside. There were two dogs really making a lot of racket and Tanya is a little on the vocal side herself. One of the dogs was a large black border collie and I wonder why someone would leave one of this breed unattended. If adoption events have a weak point it’s there are sometimes too many dogs and it’s like having fifty kids in a room up for adoption. True enough, out of the fifty dogs eleven found homes so that’s twenty percent. But the noise and the crowded conditions took a toll on both Tanya and myself.

Dog Rescue is an odd community. We know one another by our current fosters, our past fosters, the events we’re going to attend, and by what’s happening with dogs. I’ve never seen some of these people except at adoption events and likely wouldn’t recognizer others without their event tee shirts. I finally bought a tee shirt so I could look like I belong there instead of like an adoption event groupie or something like that.


As much chaos as there seems to be in each event these things are actually ran very smoothly by a very small group of volunteers who do two or more events each week. First the crates are set up, dogs are brought in, fosters come in with their crates and their dogs, things are shifted around, dogs are barking, volunteers are walking dogs, cleaning up messes, trying to calm the vocal ones, and it goes on. Lives are saved, families are united by the presence of unconditional love, and every week the same small group of people keep on keeping on.


So there was a really nice woman and her mother who came over and spoke to Tanya. They wanted a dog that would make some noise if someone came to the door. Oh, this one can hammer down when she wants to, I assured them. We talked about how adoption happens and I told them that after two weeks, if they didn’t want Tanya anymore I would take her back, no questions asked. I can’t stand the thought of a dog I love being dropped off at the shelter and I love every dog that has ever lived with me. Everything was looking good, all the lights were green, but then the woman told me Tanya would have to be an outside dog. They had a small pen, but it was under a tree, and Tanya would stay there.

Things went from good to bad and from bad to worse and they got there in a hurry.

The mother explained to me that once they bought the dog they would do what they damn well pleased with her. I explained to her that she was adopting, not buying, and there were conditions to be met before we could allow her to adopt any of our dogs. One of these would be that the dog was an inside dog. Tanya was not to be caged or tethered but kept inside with people, as a family member.

The woman seemed to think she was buying a potted plant from Wal-Mart. She asked who was in charge and I told her there were at least three rescue groups present, but Tanya wasn’t a part of a group. She was my dog. I was fronting her for the Echols County shelter but at the end of the day, Tanya belonged to me.

And here’s the thing:  Foster parents have a lot to say about who can or cannot adopt an animal. We can refuse someone because we have the feeling it isn’t right. We’re not trying to find just any home for a dog but the right home, the right family, and if it isn’t right we’ll load the dog up and try again tomorrow, or next week or next month. I will not condemn Tanya to be kept in a small pen for the rest of her life, in rain and cold and heat and alone.

I will not adopt out any dog to those conditions, ever.


Dog Rescue isn’t about just getting them out of the shelter as fast as we can and getting them adopted out to just anyone. It’s about raising the bar for how pets are treated. It’s about spay and neutering, and getting people to take their pets’ health seriously. This is about we, as a species, becoming more compassionate and more empathetic when it comes to companion animals and if we have to keep a foster for a week, or two weeks, or a month, it doesn’t matter. The right home for the right dog under the right conditions or not at all.


The more I am around Rescue the more I see the same few people doing most of the work. The whole of Rescue in this area is supported on the shoulders of individuals who give up their free time and home space to save lives. As a species, as a community, as individuals, we have to understand our obligation to our companion animals is just as large and just as important as it is for those few.

We have to do better by our animals. We have to do better by those who rescue.

Take Care,

Mike 

Monday, April 6, 2015

The State Of The Pack, April 2015

Guardians Of My Gate



Tanya the Destroyer has to find a new home. No, not like right now, but I don’t think she’s a good match for us, at least not right now. The pack has been destabilized by loss, by grief, and we, collectively, aren’t ready to fall in love with another dog right yet. There’s a lot to be said for this little girl dog, I mean more than just her ability to tear large things into much smaller pieces. But there’s also more work to be done here than can be done by a wounded pack. The family is not yet whole. It’s not Tanya, it’s us.

Yet Tanya is still a dog and she is still at least the greater part of a Pit Bull, and I am of the Pibble People. She loves to play and she loves to play hard, and I do so love playing hard with a Pibble. Tanya learned quickly how hard not to bite when playing with a frail human and she seems to enjoy showing off that skill, “See! I can bite you just hard enough!” and she means well too.

Of course, Lilith the Aloof doesn’t like her a bit. Oddly, Lilith is the one dog one earth none of the fosters, not even Tyger Linn, has ever challenged, even though Lilith is quite laid back. Tanya seems to want to prove to Tyger Linn she can push her around and this will end poorly. But no one messes with Lilith. A curled lip and a low growl is usually enough to send the fosters looking for the crate or easier prey.

Wrex was as close as I got to a foster dog with zero issues. He had come from a good home and they gave him up because their cat kept trying to kill him, poor puppy. But each foster since then has walked in with one or more issues caused by being alone, being abandoned, being abused, or simple neglect. Tanya the Destroyer is no different. She has no manners and isn’t used to trying to function within a family or a pack. Tyger Linn came in the same “gimme mine” attitude and she’s finally learned there is enough for everyone and everyone gets enough. Tanya still tries to steal food from her sisters and it’s a pain to try to keep her from it. Worse, she runs from me when she knows she’s done wrong and that’s a hard thing to keep a dog from doing. She also doesn’t like the crate and she uses an odd day even day system as to if she is leash trained or not. That I really do not understand. Saturday we walked around the property and everything was right in the world and she acted like she has been walked on a leash all her life. Sunday it was a scene from the “Exorcist”.

Since December Tyger Linn has gone from a combative street fighter who grabbed treats and ran like hell with them to a slightly feisty little sister who likes body warmth when she sleeps. It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of training and a lot of love to negotiate with Tyger to talk her out of her tried and true defense mechanisms and to bring her to trust that I will take care of her. The introduction of a quasi-feral Tanya who has no manners has pushed Tyger back into the street, just a little, and it has been destabilizing. We need to find this girl a home and we need to get back to our routine for a little while.

The fostering has to continue. Tyger Linn and Lilith both have to understand that fostering, and only fostering, saved their lives. Lilith was the first dog I got from a rescue group and Tyger Linn was my first foster failure. But Tyger Linn was either going to stay with me or be put down. Her issues were too deep to be adopted out to anyone without the right space and the right place.  Hickory Head is a great place for the damaged and the deranged to find a home, it would seem.


I don’t do a very good job at selling fostering as a hobby do I? It’s hard. Sometimes, the needs of a new dog, fresh out of the shelter and right off the streets confound all logic and reason. I don’t intend to lie to people about what all of this means. It is hard work. It’s never easy to bring a stranger into a family. There’s going to be some arguments and there are going to be fights. Tyger Lynn nearly killed Sam. Hell, Lilith nearly killed Sam. Sam nearly killed Lucas. You have to be ready for anything and everything all the time with a new dog.

Fostering is all the difficulty of owning a new dog with few of the instant rewards. You have to house train a foster, leash train a foster, you have to teach the dog to be nice, to sit, to listen to you, and then someone adopts the dog and all you have left is an empty crate and an aching heart.

But you will save lives. Every dog that leaves your home and leaves your heart finds a family. Every family that takes one of your dogs keeps that love alive. Every time you take a dog into your home there is another space open in the shelter. Every time you solve a problem with a dog or take care of one of its issues you learn a little more about how to do it right next time. You learn to live with those discarded souls that want only a home and a family to love. You are their guide. You are a guardian angel in the truest sense of that term. In a life where most people pass by strays and the unwanted never to look back, you are the front line between slow death and deep compassion.

Take Care,

Mike

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Real World Of Baby Alligator Teeth and Lunch in Slocomb Alabama



There has to be a way to tell, I think to myself, and I wonder about the different methods I’ve been told to use. I remember the first time I ever asked the question and someone told me to look at my hands. I stop walking and look at my hands. They’re not the same hands I have always had. I remember how I got a few of the scars but there are scars whose origins have been long forgotten. The first real wicked looking scar I got was when I was a kid was when I was bitten by a baby alligator. Someone told me that baby gators didn’t have teeth and this one gave lie to that statement. It was illegal to have a baby gator back then and I think it still is but my father had found it in the woods and brought it home to me. My mother was terrified of all things scaly so I had to invent a story of how I managed to get such a terrible gash. I told her I had tried to pick up the pieces of a broken glass jar and cut myself.  From that point the ring finger on my right hand would carry the first scar I would have in my life, the first one I remember having, and there is it, faded yet visible nearly four and a half decades old.

As a child I thought the waking world was some sort of weird production, some kind of play or movie, and everyone was an actor in character. I didn’t know why everyone was doing it, but I thought if I did something truly outrageous then it would ruin the plot and reveal the true reality. Could this be a product of adults trying to train children to behave unnaturally? I think everyone has these sorts of thoughts, even in adulthood, and that’s where movies like “The Matrix” originate. I always thought if I jumped in front of a school bus or suddenly ran behind a building I could catch the set unready and expose life as something that people were just making up.

My social awkwardness in my early years was partly due to my inability to take reality seriously. I didn’t think any of it was actually happening. It was all a movie, like those at the theater on Saturday, and sooner or later the movie would end, the credits would roll, and I would find out what was happening. I remember asking one of my friends one day if he knew everything wasn’t real and he was very confused. I remember my feelings being hurt that he wouldn’t tell me the truth about it. I set out at that point to find another child with whom I could confide and who would validate my theory. No one ever did. I was beginning to believe that they were all in on it. There was evidence this was true, you know. People would have fun and do whatever they wanted to do, dress comfortably and use whatever words they wanted to, but on Sunday they would all pretend the other six days had never happened and would never happen again. I am very surprised religion doesn’t produce more atheists.  Children are told such outlandish lies to modify their behavior and we never truly stop doing it to one another as adults. We have no regard for the truth if a good story is better. I was late because the car needed to be jumped off not because I drank too many beers and woke up late. Sorry I missed your call I left my phone in the car. Doesn’t that sound so much better than telling someone you just didn’t feel like having to deal with the drama?  Even small children, like those bitten by baby alligators know that a good story is better than the truth.  I have never truly lost this feeling, not even today, and that might be part of the problem. We have created a system of human management that is based on deception. It’s no wonder it’s a mess.  You have to agree with me, however, that looking at the world we live in, it’s hard to imagine we did this on purpose and with integrity.

I can’t help but wonder how many people who have committed suicide were having these same thoughts. Did they think when they pulled the trigger someone would burst through the wall yelling, “Cut! Cut! Stop action!” Or that maybe the gun wouldn’t really fire? Or that even if it did, life wouldn’t truly end, but there would be something on the other side that resembled this yet be devoid of some of the falseness? How do we know this isn’t right? We’re told that death is a terrible thing and we go to great lengths to stay alive yet religion tells us there is a heaven awaiting us once we are dead. I think fewer people believe in heaven than pretend to believe. But I also think it is a good story and we’ve been trained to believe a good story is even better than the truth, haven’t we?

When I was sixteen I took my father’s car on a Saturday afternoon and drove to a very small town in Alabama without telling anyone were I was going. I looked at a map and found a place called “Slocomb” and that’s where I went. I had never heard of the place and didn’t know anyone there. Surely, I thought, they couldn’t build an entire little town by the time I got there. Slocomb Alabama existed, sure enough. I got off the main road and drove down a few of the side streets and everything was exactly as it should have been or at least very much the same as my little town in South Georgia. But why? It seemed like something should be different but there were the same little houses with the same cars and the same trees and the same grass and even very similar looking people washing those cars and mowing that grass. In some ways, this seemed worse. To think that everywhere I would go there was so much sameness seemed trite and boring and sad. Clearly, a made up world had to offer much more than this and for that matter, wouldn’t a real world be more…alive?

I stopped at a small cafĂ© and ate lunch. I ordered a hamburger and French fries and it was a terrifying experience. I might have been sixteen but I looked a lot younger. Who was I? The waitress had to know. What was I doing there? I never thought that I would have to explain myself. I told her that I was heading to Dothan but took a wrong turn and wound up in Slocomb. How could I tell her the truth? How would she deal with a sixteen year old who thought the world was made up? She kept looking at me as I ate and I could not get out of there fast enough. But Slocomb, even with its aggressive waitress, was real. I was more than a little surprised. The waitress was an elderly woman, thirty or so, and I wondered how and why someone could live so very long and still be there? Did she not yearn to escape this place? Was performing Inquisition ( I never expected it) upon sixteen year olds all she could look forward to in her life?  Did the whole town just buy into the sameness as real and ignore the idea of difference in the name of tranquility?

Why are things this way?

I stopped walking and just stood there thinking about all of this. I was odd that the scar reminded me of a time when I thought everything wasn’t real and about my first real venture out into the world to find out if it was or wasn’t, yet both cases were tainted with my own deceptions. I couldn’t tell my mother about the bite because she would have insisted the gator be killed or released back into the wild ( it was anyway) and of course, telling a waitress that I thought she lived in a made up world would have really gone over terribly. Even as I was looking for the real world I created another one for the people I thought were making things up. It was some sort of mutual deception, a form of dance where everyone pretended to hear music that wasn’t being played.

The woods are a lot nosier than they have been in the last few months; Spring has arrived and the birds are singing about it. The frogs have cranked up, too. There are bright green leaves in the trees and their rustling can be heard now, full and fresh, and of all worlds this is the one I think most real. Winter and all the coldness dulls the senses and numbs the mind to life but Spring leaps up at a soul from every corner of the earth and sky. I watch for snakes now looking to see a slithering shape in the grass and at the water’s edge. I have no fear of these creatures, but only a fascination with their lives. There are no animals I can think of other than snakes that do is much good and who get blamed for as much harm as the snakes. We have created a false world for them also and refuse to accept the reality of their lives while imposing our own upon them. Is there any wonder that children grow up refusing to accept what is told to them?

Even from a distance, even over the scents that Spring tosses around in the woods and fields, I can smell her cooking. Black beans that have been simmered with cumin is upon the air and it mingles with the flowers and trees. She will have been cooking the beans for a while now, very slow and the heat very low. This is a patient woman in the kitchen and she likes for things to come out perfectly. The rice will be boiled soon, and it too will be cooked slowly and for a while. I know her mind well enough to know that there is some time to spare before everything is ready and she would like to share that time with me. The windows of the house are open and I take a deep breath as I walk through the door. Beans cooking, the smell of a candle that has been lit, and the scent of a woman in the house, making it a home, all of this can been seen with the eyes shut and it will stay in memory forever because this is what memories are made from.

I wake up and as I begin to emerge from sleep she is still beside me but as the surface tension between the worlds break she is gone. It’s unfair, I think to myself, my first thought of the day, because I didn’t get to speak to her this time. But that world doesn’t exist, does it? Only this one does, right? No matter what we know in our hearts to be true as children there is only one real world, as the adults remind us, and this is it.

Now that I have to be an adult I cannot help but wonder if I was right about some things, not the alligator’s teeth, mind you, but what was real and what is just a made up story for us to live.

Take Care,

Mike

Friday, April 3, 2015

Full Moon Female Mutts



The Girls have decided the full moon speaks to them. Oh, it’s not bad enough that they have suddenly become restive at midnight, oh no, but now they have teamed up against me, and they launched themselves onto the bed, each one in turn, then leapt back off again only to run to the window. Of course, Tanya the Destroyer, nestled away in the crate, begins whining to be allowed to get in on the action. So at midnight I have to get up to let the Girl Dogs greet the newly full moon.

Of course, it’s not really full until the fifth of this month and I wonder how much more of this I am going to endure. I drift off to sleep, kinda, and have an odd dream where I’m watching two people have a conversation, like I’m watching a movie, but sitting right there with the two. One man is much younger than the other man and he’s just out of jail for burglary. He’s trying to talk the older man into giving him some money. Now, the odd thing is I can read their minds, or at least their intentions, as if someone has told me what they’re saying really means. The younger man wants to lay around and play video games all day and let his mother support him. The older man is dating the younger man’s mother and has talked her into cutting him off entirely. The young man pleads for money, just to feed his two kids, he says, but the reality of his desires is money to buy pot.
The older man has a plan and a plot of his own. He hates this young man and he despises the life that he leads. He has a friend in law enforcement and knows all about the young man’s robberies and knows he’s on probation. He plans to give the younger man enough money to buy pot and booze with then have the police raid his house. Secretly, he wants the younger man back in jail because he has a crush on the wife of the younger man and plans to use his ability to support the kids as a lever to get her to have sex with him. With the younger man in jail, he plans to keep the woman kept desperate enough to be a sex toy for him.

It’s as if I can feel what each man is thinking; the younger man’s desire for self-medication to the point of oblivion is a nearly palpable thing. He needs a fix and needs it right now, in the moment, and that is where he lives. He really has no concept of responsibility and it isn’t that he doesn’t care but rather he doesn’t have the means to do anything about the situation and therefore doesn’t think about it at all, or at least he tries not to. The older man is a long range planner and savors the idea of ruining the younger man, jealous of his youth and envious of the younger woman he sees as his for the taking.

There’s some real oddities here. The older man has researched the situation very thoroughly and has discovered the younger man isn’t the biological son of the woman he’s dating. She married the younger man’s father when the younger man was fifteen and divorced him two years later, but the younger man stayed on with the woman because his father wouldn’t support him. The two children the younger man keeps telling people he needs money to feed aren’t his either. They’re from a previous mistake the woman made, even though she is only nineteen.

There’s choking sounds. The dream fades away and Tanya the Destroyer is barfing up what looks like a hay bale. She apparently ate enough grass to make her sick and now I have to clean out her crate. Where are Lilith and Tyger Linn? It’s two now, and they come wandering back in to see what all the fuss is about.

I clean up the mess and get Tanya back into the crate. Lilith and Tyger Linn decide to stay with me. Tyger Linn lies down on top of me, with her chin on the side of my neck. I know I cannot sleep with her there but I like hearing Tyger Linn breathe. I stay still long enough for her to drift off to sleep, he breath becoming deeper and deeper, more rhythmic. I roll over gently and both girls spring to life and race towards the back door as if what I did was some secret signal to storm the gates.

Sigh.

Out they go, but in stays Tanya. I toss and turn for a bit but the dream sticks in my mind. I start fleshing out the story a bit. The older woman’s name is Karen. She works at the bank and is trying desperately to keep her job but her son jeopardizes her livelihood with his criminal behavior. The older man’s name is Carl. He’s a retired cop who got out through a back injury in a car wreck but his health is good enough now to do odd jobs on the side. The young man’s name is Gene. His wife, or at least the woman he lives with, is Eve.

So Carl tries to get his friend in the department to bust Gene. They talk about what they can do and it will be incredibly easy. Carl decides to wait, to make sure that it’s done right, and he drops in on Gene’s trailer. Gene and his friends are drunk, playing a video game and Carl loves it. There’s the odor of pot in the air and the kids are wandering through a maze of drunk post-adolescent males. Eve is clearly pissed about Gene’s behavior and Carl sympathizes. He is smitten with Eve. She’s nineteen, lanky and full breasted, with long black hair. Carl offers to take her shopping for food and Gene doesn’t notice they’re gone. During shopping trip Carl decides he can do better than just keep Eve as a pet. Now he decides that he can take her as his own and live happily ever after.

The plot changes.


Tanya whines pitifuly and loudly and I realize I was asleep. It’s four now. I get up and let Tanya out of the crate and she leaps up on the bed with me. She cuddles with me, biting my nose, pawing my face, but learning slowly that these two things are best left undone. Tanya snuggles against me, pressing her body into mine and is delighted with some individual attention.  The coffee maker kicks in and the Two Moonies return from their journey. It’s time to get up and feed these Lunatics. The plot will have to wait.

Take Care,

Mike

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Under a Near Full Moon




“Watch!” she whispers but there really isn’t anything at all to see. She slips out of the bed and onto the floor. Lilith and Tyger Linn never stir at all in their sleep. She eases past the crate where Tanya the Destroyer lies in repose and Tanya, ever alert and weird, doesn’t make a sound. Damn, how in the hell does that woman ease about like that? I hear a small sound as the back door opens and Tyger Linn raises her head at this, but sleep pushes her down again. I count down backwards from one hundred and put one foot on the floor. It’s a gradual shift of mass from the bed to the floor, like pouring a heavy liquid out of one container to another without spilling anything. Sound is the spillage here and I manage to get upright without waking anyone.

The moon is beginning to crank up. This is my first month with Tanya and there’s a lot to learn about this one. She’s needy as hell and hates to be in the crate, but she is also hyper energetic and it drives the older dogs away. It also keeps me from sleeping at night so into the box she goes. Tanya is going to be a good dog one day but right now she’s like a little black waterfall that keeps sloshing around everywhere she goes. Liquid again, Mike, you cannot escape the analogies with that.

I know better than to start and stop, to try to cut the journey into pieces so I hope that I can make it past the crate on the first try, not too slowly but not too fast and I think I hear Tanya move but I keep drifting by as if I don’t exist at all. The moonlight creates a shadow in the living room and as I put out a hand to make sure… ah, yes, she has moved a chair into the travel way. I like that about her; full of surprises and this sort of thing. I move as silently as the dark around the chair and check to make sure she didn’t get some dishes out and stack them in the way. No, the way is clear and that’s an invitation of sorts. Flirting is a lot different with this one.

I stop at the French door and the woods are bathed in silver light. There’s enough water in the pond for it to be reflective so there’s a lot more light out there then there would normally be even during a full moon. The door is cracked open and I smile at this: trap. I feel for the top of the door and find a full shot glass. That makes me grin in a very big way and I wonder what she was like when she was alive.


The porch isn’t cold but there’s a lack of warmth that tells me the mosquitoes aren’t going to be bad tonight. Last night I went out into the yard and the frogs were so loud they frightened Tanya. She doesn’t know what to make of the noise so she hides from it. Tyger Linn rushes towards trouble and Lilith, well, she’s not into drama. She sits tight and waits to see what will happen next before she flees or fights. Of the Three Girls, Lilith is the most stable and the oldest. Tyger Linn and Tanya are still very much puppies.

There’s a clear spot in the woods full of bright moonlight and a blanket. She’s sitting there, nude, looking up at the sky as if getting a suntan and her skin glows under the approving Luna. The night is filled with the sound of the frogs, loud, overbearing, full of life and energy, like a rainstorm on a tin roof, drumming and thrumming and humming, a thousand piece band in discord but harmonic. I sit beside her and I can tell she’s smiling even though I can’t see her face full on from the angle where I’m sitting.
“Now bad at all, Mike” she turns to me and her face is half hidden by shadow yet illuminated, “you got past the waterworks!” She leans back and she is smiling. If you cannot believe in beauty as an intrinsic part of the Universe you have never seen a nude woman bathed in silver light.
I lean back with her and she pulls me closer. “Look!” she says and points up into the crowns of the trees where green lights flash on and off. The frogs are not the only creature bent on mating tonight. We watch the lightning bugs dance on and off and listen to the roar of the crowd. A slash of light arcs across the sky and she squeezes my hand tightly.

The worlds blur when we kiss. This world, the world in which all things we know to be solid and true melts at a certain heat. We become more like the frogs and the light created by falling stars and we forget to wear clothes and hide what we feel. There is something about being with a woman and being out in the open, being close to the earth, feeling the night air, tossing shadows in moonlight and adding to the sounds of Spring at night, under the moon, elemental and primordial.

Later, the moon has moved in the sky and the shadows are shifting. The frogs are not as loud and the flashing lights have ebbed a bit, too. She sits up and I can tell she isn’t smiling now. She has to leave soon and neither of us wants to begin that right now. There is another sound in the woods, foot falls that are hesitant and unsure. She gets up and walks towards the sound and I already know who it is without looking. I lean back and close my eyes. Now, is the time that it begins to shift and I realize that I have caused part of it. Fear, pain, loss, regret, and weariness flood into my soul as one door closes and another opens.

Tyger Linn is at the window, ears up, alert and steady, Lilith stand on the bed waiting and Tanya whines from her crate. The coffee machine kicks in and the girls head towards the back door. I didn’t realize I had left it open last night.

Take Care,

Mike