Wednesday, June 04, 2014


I was woken by the shrill barks of my dachshund, Skipper. The sun was halfway up, so it must have been at least five, maybe six. My mind was still somewhere between sleep and consciousness, and I shouted, "Who's there?"

I keep the frosted sliding doors to the bedroom closed at night because, as much as I'd enjoy Skipper's presence in bed, he sheds tiny black hairs that cover everything, including blankets, and which creep up my nose and make me sneeze and my eyes water something fierce. So he sleeps in the apartment's main room, which is an amalgam living room-kitchen.

"Who's there?" I shouted again.

Now Skipper was barking at me. I got up and could see him, a little black shadow, low to the floor, through the foggy glass, his snout pressed against the doors' divide. I slid open the doors and petted the little hellion.

"G'mornin', pup. Who's hungry?"

I filled his bowl with food and refilled his water bottle. Then I went into the bathroom to simultaneously have a smoke and take a shit and meditate.

There was no threat; Skip probably just heard the milk maid outside or someone taping flyers to apartment doors and got overprotective, as is his species' wont.

I took a shower, got dressed, and was ready to leave for work, but just as I was stepping out I received a text message from my boss:


I was a little annoyed by the late notice (If I'd known the day prior, I probably would have called up some friends to go to the pub); but a day off is a day off, and I was happy that I'd be able to catch up on all the things -- washing dishes, doing laundry, browsing adult websites -- that I usually reserve for the weekend.

Best of all, instead of sitting at my desk for eight hours, I could lie on the sofa with Skip and have guy time. Maybe watch some Liam Neeson action movies.


I made breakfast, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. There was no food in the apartment; like Mother Hubbard, my cupboard was bare, save for a lone can of Van Camp's Baked Beans with Pork (spoilers: there wasn't any pork) that I was saving for the Apocalypse. Whatever, day off, eat like a hobo.

I added some Tabasco sauce to it and half of a container of Papa John's Garlic Dipping Sauce that had been sitting in the fridge for a couple months. I considered further adding a packet of Burger King ketchup, then remembered that I'm an adult.

What resulted was...interesting. It looked like vomit. It had the consistency of baby food/vomit, but it actually tasted pretty good. For hobo food.

After that I watched the news for an hour or so and began to feel drowsy, so to wake myself up I asked Skip if he might be interested in taking a walk along the riverside. I don't speak Dog, but his reaction was something along the lines of an enthusiastic "You bet!" and a sarcastic "What the fuck do you think?"


It's always cathartic for me to see Skipper run. I named him Skipper because when he really gets going on a run, he has a hitch to his gait that is probably imperceptible to most people, just like you can't see exactly how flat stones are skipped on water, which way they'll move, or even if they'll continue to do so. Sometimes he'll propel himself with his hind legs only, then he'll switch to four-wheel drive, and sometimes he'll go light speed.

Today, though, he kind of just lagged and sulked. We walked a mile or so and then he stopped, whined, rested his head on his forepaws and nodded back toward home. So there we went.


We got back home and I wiped Skip's feet off with baby wipes and then walked toward the bedroom to take a nap. But just as I was about to open the sliding doors, Skip barked his ear-piercing alarm again.

"Fuck, what, guy?" I said, annoyed. He had no further comment. So there I went.


I tossed my phone on the bed and opened my wardrobe to fetch a light shirt. There was a man hanging inside, his face fat and purple, his lower half soiled and brown.

Shocked, I turned quickly to get my phone and call the police, and that's when I saw another man, just as dead as the man in my wardrobe, lying on my bed. He was naked, also soiled, and a Post-It note was attached to his forehead. It read:

Ha! Get away? Never going to get away. I'll find you. Make you pay. Make you pay forever.


I was investigated as an accessory to the crime, but the charges were soon dropped. Who those men were, what had happened between them, and how they both ended up dead in my apartment I didn't want to know, nor do I now.

But I still catch chills whenever I hear Skipper bark, and I always let him sleep in bed -- in our new apartment -- beside me, his shedding be damned.

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