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Stannie the Dog - Short Story by Jim Meirose

Summer air music drift. What’s that from, where’s it from; it’s saxophone practice must be because it’s slow awkward and halting et cetera it’s from that slanting down sagging apart tiny empty blue house forever; but somehow it something I’ll remember one day too. That house there with that worn-out sign once shouting DOCTOR SAX MUSIC STUDIO—ALL INSTRUMENTS inside that rusted solid chain link all around we know the place boy we go past quite often but what’s wrong with the place? For years it’s been nothing but now this music says it is; sure, there’s never been sax there but someday there will be or maybe there once was and the wind must have hit me just right today to bring both together and that’s probably why we’re hearing it now. It’s just one more mystery we’ll never answer because it’s not worth it there’s odd houses old signs weird construction we’ll never understand red snow fences dead tall cattails punk’d up smoldering hot humid twilight curly-up smoketails that just blinked on blinked off at that one instant of agetime imperceptibly leaving just a subliminal impression God is the master of subliminal advertising yah look how smart we are media is all just baby milk-suck play not only not breaking the finish tape but not even close to the starting line yet but the sax lines coiling not good music but good memories not because we never remember the place after only when it comes at us again we never start investigating asking questions or finding out what and can’t even wrap ourselves around the question long enough to get hit with the Yah there’s a real story there a different one a long old one still being told but—sax duets twining and intertwining writhing and coiling even at beginner speed arouses yes for sure but oh, the only time we’ll ever be there long enough boy, is if your bowels move and you stop glance up nod and go back squat push hey—there you go baby, there you go—take your time sweetie. Fat notes coiling and uncoiling panting and panting and coiling again—Hey! This old house—I never really studied it before but it’s pretty damned interesting I wonder who Doctor Sax was—hey, hey, babydog—that’s one healthy dump there—I bet he’s either in heaven or hell can’t possibly be on this planet anymore who was he where it he there’s a story here hey where’s my pen—

Hey that dog took a hell of a shit, pronounced Dr. Sax. That dog never shits they walk past here a few times a week that’s a real pretty dog but it never shit here that’s something so unusual so very very unusual—here let me see let me—

What—what? Why’d you stop playing? We were clipping along pretty good there. What dog? Where?

Out there, said Doctor Sax, leaning to the window and laying the big saxophone down across his bare thighs—bare because the luck-of-the draw-weather Gods decided last week to twistup the summer-dial to maximum-hot; even though they are only a couple of dozen of the hundreds of unknown low Gods which the big shot super-God that delegates all the conference calls and unnecessary business travel and all that lowercase dopey pop to, the low Gods who grip the world-spin control handles attached to the planet which are really quite simple much more so than what the most blessed planetary scientists otherwise known as super-smart highly paid tenured insulated from reality pseudo-hypnotists can dare to let the common lowing grazing and dopey herd believe; which pseudo-hypnotists also generally hole up in packs on the uppermost floors of the brick and mortar astronomy and physics or Earth sciences departments of universities or research centres or large wide sun-drenched spaces, such as big public dog parks on weekdays—

—or alternatively roads public squares parks those can lead you there too but—

—but not weekends; only on weekdays because on the weekends, dog parks are clogged down with bored bearded and botoxed dog owners who spend the whole work week corporately hypno-tranced eight to fifteen hours a day for worship of the smaller herd Godlike quite preciously well-dressed and spoken demonic ass-kissers at the laddertop, during which workdays the dogs the hypnotized ladder-climbers have acquired in order to make their home look all doggie-mother and flat-topped very very Range Rover and massively bedroomed and fifteen and a half bath blessed anal retentives all underdone chewy and flat-topped fresh Nordic-minded proper and respectable proper colored inedible apple pie sweet-rotting condemned to die by the toss of the trash after the perceived eternity of mind-crushing rejection by tall beings passing way at the laddertop, the place that at bottom they know they aren’t assholes enough to ever ever reach, whine pine and—

—or beaches government buildings public libraries sidewalks don’t forget they will lead us there too—

—but no please go away yes and they moan in cages or boxes or ice cold winter garages bare to the brutal rude reality of the bare femur which is just the first of the many cold hard dry bones of life, suffering enduring almost to what will seem like the sharp point of death but which is far worse because that’s just the end of the beginning after which everything gets super-worse, pain; as humanlife goes on being suffered and endured and put up with up to and onto the sharp point of death, only to find depending on circumstance much too complex to be deeply fathomed by any shallow mind which are the majority so it’s a waste of good energy not badly-cholesteroled but goodly-cholesteroled which such yes no can never be allayed by dose upon dose of Tomatso-prescribed insurance-covered Simvastatin, otherwise known to some as the descent into hell—but either way dog or not the end of the workweek always arrived and in the dog’s case the drag to the dog park occurs the next afternoon which is analogous to the steps followed in multiple prison cultures where guards fear to intervene of toilet torture which is to press the victim’s face down in the bowl and wait until just one semi-moment before their drowning and then yank up their face which was drifting into death, but now will jolt and struggle and panic and praise God with one single sameword then suck in the air choke and struggle knowing this another corporate-gifted merciful Friday night has arrived leading to a choking gagging recovering Saturday five or six hour sunny dog park visit, a seemingly calm Sunday morning with an additional short dog park visit, but with definitely uneasy undercurrents leading to terror of Sunday afternoon the grip of the head-hair slowly grows the slow leading of the dog toward the cage box or garage the push to the bedtime of the re-approaching yellowish water surface with suggestions of dark things lurking beneath—

—or public thoroughfares parks malls beaches also too yes quite too—

—no not, not now, no no, wait your turn—hey; Wow this is quite a painting Julius yes it is Patti I can sense the message the artist means to convey but it seems that every time the meaning begins to gel it’s like some flush-handle’s pressed—the scene swallows itself magically down in a pure clear sensual cork-swirl but not for lessons; the hand pushes the head in the bowl the face hits the water; the dog crate door or room door or cold garage door is shut and the first of the next five tormented days begins all torture for the dog half torture half ass-kissing for the human both until the fifth day which end unendurable but then, the cycle begins one more time, again; hey, look, Stannie—he’s searching around in his clothes for something—he didn’t pick up the dog shit yet though—he better or I’ll need to ask your indulgence and go out and give him the what for.

Maybe he’s just looking for his doggie bag. He’ll probably pick it up.

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