Chapter Five - Still Life at Dawn
She ran out of the door at the first crack of lightning and the sound of thunder. Rushing to the car, she completely forgot that Pepe, our little mutt of a purebred poodle, often slept in the rut beneath the left rear tire.
I mentioned in the first chapter how the main character of any story is shown to be dissatisfied about something in his/her situation. Human beings are just built like that. It is the way of the world. No matter what we have it is never enough. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the world, and the humans in it, being made out of energy.
And I don't care if it was John D. Rockefeller sitting at his large dark mahogany looking out the window from the top floor of the Empire State Building having his nuts tickled by Marilyn Monroe while munching on a bowl full of them little bite sized Butterfingers; sooner rather than later, he's going get bored and wish it was Myrna Loy tickling his nuts and he had a handful of peanut M and Ms.
The only time I can ever remember of being truly satisfied with my own life was on Saturday mornings when I would sit on the back step with Pepe and watch the sun come up from behind the line of tall trees that Mr. Mirandola had planted in the middle of his property.
That was some golden shit right there, and I've never since felt sunlight feel so much like velvet as on those mornings. Pepe always sat on my left side taking it all in too. He knew those mornings were special.
I've since read a lot about how the alchemists have been searching forever to find the secrets of transmuting lead into gold. Hell, I knew the secret when I was ten years old, sit on your backstep with your best friend basking in the first light of morning sun. The gold them alchemists were searching for was almost always a metaphor. You couldn't drop it on the counter at the Candy Store and exchange it for anything, but I knew even that young age that it was something tangible and was worth possessing, something to long for and to anxiously desire.
I don't know if would ever had got bored and needed to change the view for a vision looking out of rocketship at the backside of Mars or Pepe for a canine equivalent of Myrna Loy, like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin. The golden moments never last long enough for me to grow bored with them. They were perfect while they lasted
When my brother and I walked into the living room that night, my dad was sitting on the sofa crying. The sofa was in the middle of the living room, and he sat in the middle of the sofa which caused his head to be haloed by the light coming from the bulb that lit our kitchen. My dad never cried.
We turned and looked at our Mom and she was crying too. Scot screamed at her something about killing his dog. Later, mom told me that he wrote the date down using a red crayon in the family Bible. "Mom killed Pepe."
It was just one of them things, one of them horrible, horrible things. Sometimes when I am mulling about in a blend of feeling both melancholy and morbidity, I realize that Mom had to have known immediately by the feeling of the tire as it rolled over Pepe's sleeping body. She had to have felt that feeling. I do know that in spite of her concern for our safety, she had got out of the car and told my dad before rushing off to save us from the lightning. Pop was left to deal with the wreckage. He buried Pepe in the backyard before we got home.
This thought sometimes comes up when Mom's being somewhat annoying about something. Before I let that annoyance turn to anger, I think about what she must have felt at that moment when she remembered that Pepe like to sleep beneath the car and also the moment when she learned her dad had suddenly dropped dead during the middle of the war, and also that moment when her husband of nearly seventy years collapsed and died on the bathroom floor after showering on the morning of their anniversary. It helps keep things in perspective.
My dad exhumed the body of our beloved pet that same night. He dug the body out of the wet ground with my mom holding the flashlight. Pop fashioned a small coffin out of some scrap lumber and lined it with a thick cotton towel. Mom wrapped Pepe's body in piece torn from an old sheet.That next morning, as the sun began to peek over the top of Mr. Molinari's trees, our family gathered by the side of a small hole in the left hand corner of our lot. We prayed.
Dad mixed up some concrete in a wheelbarrow and poured a small slab over the grave. Mom wrote the words.