I should be writing about a woman whose mother killed her father and then while awaiting trail the mother committed suicide. It’s an absurd comedy of sorts with menstruating girls and plenty of bats and an Indian who is the narrator.
Or maybe that girl in Poland who the Nazi’s executed in a prison yard right after she wrote a prayer on the wall behind her. I saw a video of the prison and it is still standing as an ugly monument to inhumanity.
But, really, I should be writing about Gumaro. They found him at the base of the park steps. He’d crapped and pissed his pants and he lay for all the tourists to step over and he was like a pile of human excrement. Somebody called the cops and they hauled him away. If he’s dead, this would be the second drunk who has died on me in the past four years. The other was Javier and his faithful dog Lycia. I saved Lycia but I couldn’t save Javier. I found out a few days ago Lycia is dead too. I can see her eyes looking up at me as I threw chicken down to her on the sidewalk. Javier died of alcohol poisoning and hyperthermia, or so they say. I passed him once while he was out of it at the base of a tree, his hands moving about like birds taking flight. The police where there and his eyes called out to me for help, but I kept walking. What could I do? Please don’t arrest Javier, even though he is trying to drink himself to death. I mean is that even a crime? Look at his eyes. Could you just leave him alone? Would they have been sympathetic? Maybe. I’ll never know.
Instead, I’m writing about Flaco. That means skinny in Spanish and Flaco is indeed skinny. He is a Boxer. I normally don’t like Boxers, but Flaco is different for me. He is living in a fenced in eight-by-ten foot entryway to a small house on my street. His family doesn’t feed him enough I guess, or maybe he has a life-long case of worms. They have put a little pillow at the door. When one of his family comes home, he jumps straight up in the air. Up and down, up and down as they walk into the house. I think there is love there, but it is hard for me to see. Whatever the case may be, he has taken on massive emotional proportions for me. He represents all of the failings in my life. The missed opportunities to help someone. The pain and suffering that I could not prevent because I was too busy and lying to myself and others. It is hard to be a decent human in this world.
Flaco starts whining when I am half a block away and I stop and rub his body for a few minutes until I feel self-conscious and walk away and his eyes follow me, just like Lycia’s used to and those eyes are the eyes of Gumaro and Javier and all of us are dying in our own way.
There are too many pitfalls. Uncaring traps that we set for ourselves. What should we do in the face of blood and tears, not Churchill’s, but some kid who is cutting themselves because they hate life. What should we do about every misfit and girl gone to the slavery of prostitution and drugs and disease. Every OD, every suicide, every unfair act. What should we do? Like I once said in a poem I wrote a million years ago, when I was feeling a lot better, “I’d like to know. Can anyone tell me?”
This is only a temporary breakdown, I’m sure. I can get over it. Love. Duke)