The beginning is a bit fuzzy. I'm sketchy on the details. My stepdad, Greg, is there, or is somehow involved. He used to bring home many random dogs when I was younger. In between drunk binges, calling me names, fucking my mom loudly, being inappropriate with my friends and me, and being neglectful of me and his own daughter, there was usually a dog around, being added to the "ignore, mostly" list of things to do. So perhaps that's why I took the dog. To make him proud. To save it from Greg. To save it from my mom, who would certainly roll her eyes and begin plotting the creature's departure. Maybe I took it because they were always taken from me. One dog, brought to me - a gift! - as a little black and white puppy, weaned too early, cried all day, had burnt toast breath, and left urine/feces puddles literally all over the house, all day, was taken away quietly while I sat in my room. I never even had a chance to say goodbye. I'm not sure, or don't remember, what happened to him. I hope he was returned to his nursing mother, but I doubt it.
Maybe it was this fear of losing another dog, tied up outside of some random place, that prompted me to take him. I'm kneeling beside the dog, a young Husky, though not a puppy, with bushy hair and without the characteristic light blue Husky eyes. They're green, or maybe a light brown. I'm hugging, petting, talking to him. His tail wags wildly and he is excited. We're instantly in love! Greg factors in somehow, I think, cursing while smirking some fuckin' ole drunk bastard, he don't give a shit about this dog, Brazee, leaves him tied up here all the time. He's been out here for pretty near 3 days now. Re-assurance that the dog needs someone. Suspicion that greg is playing on my naiveté and kind nature towards animals. Regardless, it's raining, or maybe cold, so I unwrap the fabric leash from the thing it's tied to - a railing, perhaps - and take the dog, who is overjoyed to be coming with me.
And then we're at a circular post, in a city, the kind you see downtown, or on a campus, where folks put posters, flyers, notices, far away from the small East coast province where my interactions with Greg always occur. And we have no leash. I see three before me, suddenly, all broken in various ways. A small chain leash, the one from my Fetish Fantasy Series Compliance Kit, that has a special knob on the end, which fits into an ashtray, a duster, a toilet bowl cleaner, a dildo... but no hook to attach to the dog's collar. I cant remember the second. And the third, vaguely fake wood, with some sort of weird beading reminiscent of dollar store jewelry, which, while broken somehow, can be MacGyver'd into a functional leash. I grab this one. We head home.
And we're in my apartment. The same one I live in now, but more like it was when I moved in 9 or 10 years ago. And minus the windows. The dog runs in. He hasn't pooped on the floor yet. I'm so happy. So excited. Suddenly, I realized how unprepared I am. There's a litter box, I think, then slap myself mentally. What's a dog gonna do with a fucking litter box, dumbass? Dogs need to be walked. I look under the sink, opening the ill-fitting cupboard doors, seeing the old, ugly, dirty, white-patterned, sticky-tiled floors, and search for cat food. Cat treats. Hopefully the canned stuff. Though I haven't had a cat around for over 6 years, I find 2 half-empty bags of cat food. Oh, no. One of them is cat treats. I give him - the dog is a HE now - a handful. He doesn't eat. I set a bowl of the cat food down, thinking a dog would love cat food... the dogs on youtube do... ok, the dog in The Ultimate Dog Tease did... but he doesn't touch it. Wasn't he tied up for 3 days, outside, unfed? Unloved? Why isn't he eating? Suddenly I worry. I think about mom. You live on your own, mom's opinion doesn't matter. Maybe he needs to poop.
We're out and about. And now it's winter. Maybe late fall. I need to report to prison because I am doing weekends for something. Possibly drug-related. Ironic, since I am white, and don't sell, or really do, drugs at all anymore. Daniel, this hot guy who added me to facebook, is there, outside. I kiss him goodbye. Is he my boyfriend? Literally the kind of boyfriend I dream about. Beautiful, smart, political, feminist. Once inside the prison, I remember! THE DOG!! I left him outside. Tied up. HOW COULD I?? Somehow I have a cell phone. In prison. I frantically text my best friend, Yosef. It's not working. I want to call but I only have a texting plan on my phone. I go to the prison pay phone. Call him. No answer. Again. No answer. Again. Nothing. It's taking my quarters. 50¢ each time. I decide to go to the lobby area - WHY THE FUCK IS THERE A PRISON LOBBY AREA IN PRISON - to check if I can see the dog. What if I reach Yosef and the dog is gone? Purebred theft is a common occurrence these days. I make my way to a a large windowed room, and across from me, through another window and an adjacent door, I see him. Leashed. Waiting. Looking hopeful but uninterested in passersby.
Now it's Chicago, a place I've never been, and he's in front of a pizza place with lights and heating lamps and slices in the window, with me 2 windows over, in prison. Definitely winter. Fat snowflakes are falling on him. I want to cry. I tap the window to get the dog's attention. When he spots me, his face lights up. He gets up, wags his tail, and sticks his tongue out. I speak to him, futilely, through the glass. HI PUPPY!! IT'S OK. IT'S OK. I'M GONNA FIGURE SOMETHING OUT. HEWWWOOOOOO! How can he recognize me already? I only just found him. How does he already know my face through glass? I realize then, that there is a door directly beside me. Someone pulls it open from the other side, but lets it go, not coming in. I could just... walk out... I know that the door on the other side is open, somehow. I just know. I look up at the motion detector, and mistake it as a camera. There are no guards. No fences. No guns pointed at me. I could literally just walk out, not even in prison clothes, but in my biking shorts, sneakers, and t-shirt. I would freeze but I could save my dog.
But I don't. I can't. I am afraid. Shattered, I try Yosef again. Nothing. I venture over to the reception area - WHY THE FUCK IS THERE A PRISONER RECEPTION AREA IN PRISON - and it's sort of like a commissary, but looks more like Sephora store. Lots of expensive-looking makeup, flowers, perfumes, and accessories. I go to the lady behind the wall and ask: How much longer do I have? Because I left my dog outside. She is unfazed by this unbelievable stupidity, as if folks regularly leave theirs dogs tied up outside for entire weekend prison stints. Well, she begins to calculate, you've been here 39 hours so far, so... that's 3 days... plus the time interest that accrued from you being late... that's 7 more days.
That doesn't add up. Or make sense. But my dog... someone is going to take him, like I took him. Is there any way I can make that time up next weekend? Or later? Can I just bring him home? Set some newspaper on the floor, a big dish of food, and come right back?? I will come right back. I come every weekend. I swear! I'm crying now. She is even less fazed. I don't even think she hears me. I remember that I forgot to give the dog water. Is that why he wouldn't eat?
I go back to the window, but there is no lobby. No easy phone access. No more cell phone for texting. This is prison. I can't see the dog. Why didn't I just walk out when I had the chance? He was right there. The door was RIGHT THERE for me to walk through.
I begin to plot my escape. There is a man, in a suit, maybe a lawyer, or a mobster, or a hitman, and we're in some gold-accented car in an underground garage. They know nothing about a dog, and no, I am not free to go, and no, they are not taking me to any pizza place.
AWAKE. Phone buzzing. It's Telus. My minutes and text plan have expired, please visit telus.com to recharge.