The first time I tasted canned dog food was when I was running around the house pretending to be a dog because my eight-year-old brain had run out of ideas that would inspire my parents to let me get a dog so I started acting like one. My mother served me a mushy bowl of wet food on the floor but she snuck the dry food in the center, as though I wouldn’t notice! My parents had show dogs at that point in their marriage: two bloodhounds, two otterhounds, and an airedale named Teddy. Well, Teddy was his nickname but they all had dog breeder names, which sounded to me like the names of racehorces crossed with words from a shopping list. But those dogs weren’t pets. They lived in outside kennels and we weren’t supposed to even go near them, except when we were taking one to the vet and they were in the back of the station wagon with us kids. Then they couldn’t be avoided. The bloodhounds especially. They had tongues that must’ve been a foot long and were capable of holding entire buckets worth of slobber. But if you complained or made too much noise and disturbed my father or mother while driving the dogs to the vet they’d take you behind the building and smack the hell out of you without ever taking the cigarette out of their mouth. I remember watching the ash get larger and larger through a gluey fog of tears and thinking surely they’ll relent soon enough because they need to ash their cigarette. They took turns enforcing the punishment. If my dad thought my mom had gone easy on me, then she was likely to get it herself later. Their relationship was dysfunctional. It had obviously been that way from the start. They barely knew each other. So, might as well bring in some expensive show dogs and three kids into the mix.
I thought by eating the dog food I had been served that I had proven my willingness to take good care of an animal. When I got in the car the day before Christmas there was the telltale sign of white fur in the seats and one of our dogs had that color fur. Did they get me a golden retriever? I spent the day thinking of the perfect name for her. Or him. I spent the day being as good as I possibly could. I was polite. I did the dishes. The next morning I hoped to wake up to the kisses of a puppy. But there was just a think stocking full of all things tape and school supplies wrapped in newspaper. My sisters did better. When I say that my parents didn’t like me it means they really didn’t like me. I was the baby. My father had wanted a boy and then when things started to fall apart he wanted an abortion more. I suspect he attempted to induce one accidentally. My mother smoked two packs a day while pregnant with me and drank until passing out almost every night. I read all the dirt they had on each other in their divorce filings while my father was trying to convince the judge that my mother was not a fit parent deserving of much support because she’d only take the money and blow it on cigarettes and wine anyhow. True, she never went without a carton of Benson’s and Hedges 100s Gold whatever in God’s name those were. She went through them quickly. At times, they actually drove to West Virginia because cigarettes were about a buck cheaper a carton there for whatever reason. They bought cases of the damn things.
The fur I found in the car didn’t come from a puppy. My father had hit a deer, or rather, while driving a deer had tried to jump over his car. They showed me when I refused to believe them. The poor thing had left a puddle of bloody fur that trailed into the woods. “Bastard nearly took out my side mirror! Look at the cracked glass!” said my father, scanning the countryside for any sign of the creature. I think he wanted to make sure the thing had paid the full price for almost costing him a mirror. He worked in insurance and knew that the mirror would cost him out of pocket as it wouldn’t meet the deductible amount. He was pissed.
I finally got a dog here in Mexico. I found him on the street. He followed me home. I named him Sinclair. My girlfriend said she had found a great home for him. A farm! A great place for a dog and seeing how we weren’t planning on staying in Mexico for long, I agreed to it. A farm was the best thing for Sinclair. He’d be so happy there.
And then about a week after she had left me (and suddenly had money to support herself after living off me for a year) I found Sinclair eating out of the trash behind a Pitico. He seemed to recognize me but he didn’t trust me. He growled and made like he was going to bite me. His collar had worn down but it was definitely Sinclair.
I found out some horrible things about her from one of her friends that she had slept with while we were going out. She claimed he had raped her and then sent a link to the sex movie she had made of the incident. He was in another relationship and trying to have the movie taken down. She was a horrible person. Still is, I imagine.
I have a feeling today might be the day.
It’s hard to REALLY KNOW if you are going to kill yourself at any moment. I think that’s probably a danger sign that you might kill yourself at any moment though.
I was spreading dog food onto tortillas this morning and that was what got me thinking of the time I went around pretending to be a dog to show just how committed I was to the care of my pup. The two didn’t make logical sense any more then than it does now. It’s just one of those stories I have that I’m pretty sure I’ve never told anybody before. I feel as though before I can really feel ready to kill myself, I have to exhaust all of these types of stories. I’m not exactly sure why they matter.
Hopefully I can somehow exhaust all f these stupid tales and decide what to do. It’s like playing a game of 1,001 Arabian Nights with myself and I’m Schararazade (spelling?). Except there’s nobody but myself to try to charm with these damn stories. So I guess I’m trying to say that either way, I’m fucked. I will run out of stories and pull the trigger so to speak.
More likely, I’ll just do it.