I realize it’s a straight up “Dick Move”, as my brother so eloquently puts it, to wake someone up and snap photos of them next to you immediately, but I couldn’t help myself. My dog TOTALLY wears his sleepiness on his face and it cracks me up. Thought I’d eternalize the moment in the datasphere.
From day to day, it’s just me and him.
And there are moments when…
Everything in the world seems to stop and stand still,
And the madness and chaos melt away to the edges,
And in those moments, I feel like his presence is a necessity,
And nobody else will do.
He’s currently mad at me for squeezing that gunk down his spine to keep him flea & tick free.
In some ways, the triggering event was as horrifying as it might have been if she had discovered the lifeless body of one of her own children in that garage – HIS garage – during the earliest hours of the morning on the day of her near-death.
In other ways, it was somehow worse.
The day before had been a bad one – a nasty beating and the brain fog that always accompanied them; there had been a lot of ugliness spat in her direction several times before dinner, and during the meal that she had begrudgingly cooked for him (her appetite had become non-existent and he made sure that she was perpetually dope-sick), she had sat across the table from him with her eyes on the floor, in a vain attempt to avoid the inevitable explosion that she had come to sense brewing and building beneath her husband’s skin.
By this stage of her “captivity”, the woman was allowed individual companionship with five living souls: The Ripper, Boo, and the woman’s three dogs – Sarah, Ozzy, and Vegas. This night, as the tension grew thicker by the bite of food stuffed into her husband’s mouth, it was Sarah, a chow-pit-bull mix that had come into this tragic situation alongside of a once-braver, stronger and more capable version of her caretaker: as an innocent – who lied loyally at the feet the woman’s defeated body, beneath the table on high alert. The dogs were each honed well to the man’s moods also; acting as canine tools that had undoubtedly helped the woman survive in the past.
Directly following his meal, her giant husband went outside momentarily; and during this brief period, the woman got down on the floor to scratch some neck and belly – a luxury that, outside of him, the monster of a man she had married allowed her to share ONLY with these furry, ever-loving creatures.
It had been then that her husband came back in through the back door, and she could tell from the sound of his steps that he was coming for her; she never knew why. Everything had happened so quickly: his boot to her belly, then head – repeatedly; any sense of true consciousness became likened to a strange swirling sensation that drifted drunkenly up and down with the motion of smoke trying to suspend itself in air…she notably forced herself to stay with the pain – to stay awake in defiance, to NOT let him knock her out unconscious again (the gamble of the outcome of a circumstance in which she lost consciousness was not one that typically landed the odds in her favor).
Yelling and clicking and cusswords.
Growling and snapping and cracking.
It wasn’t until a much later time (years later) that the woman would recall the image of her husband booting Sarah as well for trying to protect her. Sarah was a beautiful creature who died for her protective loyalty to the woman.
THAT EVENT HAD BEEN YESTERDAY…
It was after she finished cleaning up the bloodied back of her head under the tap in HIS garage, and turned to leave, that she saw Sarah’s body on the dirt floor – semi-covered by a canvas tarp – beaten to death. THIS had been the event that changed everything very quickly, as the guilt and sheer self-loathing that followed this discovery consumed the woman within a nano-second; she went insane from all of it: the beatings, the betrayal and violation, the death that she wished would be granted more swiftly, the death that he gave Sarah…and the reason why. She bolted from the garage and screamed at the top of her innermost warrior’s lungs for him to come outside and face her: a challenge she knew he would undoubtedly accept as pure entertainment (a thought that fueled her disgust and anger, self-hatred and guilt to the point of no return).
She had felt no fear when she saw him come to the window the next time; his composed face looking warped by shock and disbelief at her sudden demand for a duel with a man nearly three times her weight. She did not experience the “usual” fear when he started to pound on the glass from the inside and holler things she could not hear, but still knew would be the most venomous death threats he’d ever made to her. She did not see much of anything besides blackness and void of light; her thoughts unprocessed in a corner somewhere being protected by her own mind like a child’s. Her battle crying continued until he did finally come to the front door; the same time a police cruiser pulled up two driveways down and she began to run towards the chain-link fence in that direction.
She wasn’t running to her own freedom – she was running to tell the police that he was a murderer, to show them what he had done to Sarah – to make them understand why she’d lost her mind this way. She was beyond any point of caring about her own safety or freedom by that time. He bee-lined for her in the yard as she shuffled her battered frame in haste towards his position in the front door, her mouth sputtering blood, her lungs afire from yelling for so long and loud. Her busted and long-disrepaired jaw barely opened as it was, and she was beaten badly again the day before – hence, the lack of any notice of Sarah’s absence to begin with. She fell over her own numbed feet, and, feeling certain she had met her end, looked directly towards the gathered crowd on the other side of her front yard’s chain-link fence as her huge, loping husband closed in on her. She verbally managed to convey the message to the nearest police officer that she “was finally about to be killed, too…” before his final envelopment of her weakened, sinewy figure against the Thule Fog backdrop. The police and paramedics on stand-by acted without hesitation upon his quickly executed attack, focusing every molecule of energy present in the environment on her simple continuity of LIFE. PHYSICAL INJURIES SUSTAINED:
- Severe vascular injury/ies (with particular attention to the internal carotid and jugular) from forcibly displaced mandible fracture and blunt lacerations.
- Multiple Maxillofacial traumas requiring numerous surgeries necessary for her jaw to work properly again.
For months, the woman would remain too incoherent to be aware of any of the events that took place that day, or the fact that her husband had escaped the scene, despite so many people being physical there, right nearby, saving her life from his deathly grips at last. She would spend the next year with the burn unit patients in a hospital to physically work right again; and then they would start to try and reconstruct her face. It would be over a decade until any detail of that day (and the days leading up to it) would return to her mind with any true vividness; like any other memory she keeps; the entire element of Sarah having somehow been washed away with her painful, daily skin debriding in those early days – until only about six months ago, while she was writing a section for this blog.
And so, it had been finding Sarah’s battered and bloody body in HIS garage that turned me seemingly insane with guilt and self-loathing…I essentially begged him to come outside and kill me…and he did in some ways.
But, not in the ways that matter most.
NOTE: Thankfully, Oz and Vegas were unharmed during this incident.
Even in death, my longtime companion Ozzy is the healer that he was in life. Ozzy was not only my shadow; but for all of the years leading up to our separation, he was Boo’s as well – probably more so than mine back then.
His recent death was a long-anticipated blow to the very heart of my little dwindling family (now just me and one more old dog left now).
And it was even more tragic to have to tell Boo of his passing over the telephone; when I can’t hug her and rub her silky hair to ease the loss of her childhood friend. I know that this loss is very big to her, and very painful – and on top of all of the other bullshit that she is dealing with throughout her own inner-boxing matches with a very serious death wish, she will be dealing with this from her imprisoned sate of being, in another place, 724.9 miles away from my ability to comfort her. It’s rough…
Ozzy was always like a buffer in our household, especially when Boo was still at home and we struggled so to simply function as a “unit”, as different as she and I have always been. Ozzy was the peacemaker, the reminder that life is precious and full of wonder and fun. Ozzy’s gusto for life was unmatched, truly. He oozed happiness, he often would wag so hard and with so much cha-cha that we would joke about him “taking off” like a helicopter. He was friends with everyone: dogs, cats, birds and people, alike. He loved my daughter like a fat kid loves cake; he put up with lots of yelling, temper tantrums, crying, and every other intense emotion attached to a child’s out-of-control behaviors leading up to her leaving for court-ordered “treatment”. I watched him truly mourn the loss of her when she left, like a statue in the front yard for days on end – searching, waiting for her to return…confused about where she had disappeared to – wanting to fond her and bring her home. Oz was with me through that entire nightmare that followed too; thank the Gods – lest I be the murderer on death row for killing the man who ruined my daughter’s young life through his own pedophilia. Oz was the unspoken voice of reason in my inner-ear, always calm and loving and attentive – very human, for a dog.
Somehow, leading up to Oz’s death, Boo and I hadn’t been speaking since her return from her last hoorah beginning around New Year’s, and lasting until mid-February, when she was found on a highway in New Mexico somewhere out in the middle of nowhere with no clothes on and delirious from sunstroke and dehydration. I’ll spare you the ugliest of the details surrounding her physical state, but suffice to say – she was in BAD shape – once again. I am not angry with her; I am not forsaking her as my only child because of her behaviors by any means…
During Christmas and New Year’s and the following months of her total absence, of wondering whether she was dead or alive or being tortured somewhere by some drug-crazed, 45-year-old, sick fuck who values his can of beer more than her precious, beautiful life; something happened to me, something changed me – something died in me during those months. The ability to function and carry on normally dissipates when your kid is missing in action. The things that you are able to accomplish typically revolve solely around trying to ensure her safe return. Things get out of the normal scope of reality that you live in; things fall apart in and outside of your reeling mind and siphon-pumped heart. Things get hopeless, your heart becomes hollowed out like a tree…life embitters you to the point of near-insanity. There is no one to blame or take hostage until she is returned safely; there is no ransom to pay off – just emptiness and pain and fear – lot’s and lot’s of fear and anxiety.
She has been back in custody for a while (since early March), and I have been at a loss with her. I didn’t go when my parents went to see her for her birthday (she’s 17 now!!!), as I knew in my heart that something bad was going to happen, and it did. I don’t trust Boo; I can’t trust Boo – I have been burned so many times in the face of the loyalty to my “mini-me”…I cannot muster even the facade of trusting her anymore. It’s like the vampire that never stops sucking my life-blood from me, totally and completely futile.
Anyway, with Ozzy’s death, my initial instinct was to call Boo immediately; to have her know right away, and to have her hear it from me. All of these months without speaking to her became irrelevant with his passing, and the need to tell her was a pressing vice inside of my saddened heart right away. I called her; I told her about Ozzy. She cried and cried and so did I, as I am unable to control my own emotion when it comes to my kid – she is THE ONLY human on the planet that controls the water works on me in this way. Our tears gradually become laughter as we reminisced and remembered things about him; about our long history shared together with such a gift of a family companion: Our “Oz fest”.
So after so many months of increasing distance and no words besides letters between us, Ozzy, “my boy”, even in death, from the grave, has managed to pull the strings that can only draw Boo closer to me once more – through his very passing. It’s really resonating with ,me – this concept…it makes me both very sad and happy all at once.