(Bad Girl Natasha, Hanging Out Beyond the Keep Out Sign, 2011)
Can you hear me?
How about now, was that a bit clearer?
When I am alone I just curl up in a ball. I have no one to look cute for, nothing to wag my tail to, just me being me, the me that isn't so eager to please, that lives to be petted, and that is quiet, to himself, as he just sleeps curled up, occasionally looking out the window, and waits, waits not for my master but for something, I don't know what, but I wait. Some days I wait for so long that I forget I'm waiting. Some times I try to imagine what it is that I'm waiting for but I'm never quite sure, maybe a man with ice cream cone for flesh and a face of melting ice cream, little clusters of chocolate chips for eyes. I want to lick and eat him out of existence. Maybe it will be another dog, this thing I'm waiting for, another Pomeranian as well, and maybe it will be female, and just maybe after we're done smelling each other's butts she'll like me. Just maybe she is my type, she's cool, beautiful, and makes me laugh. At night I bark profusely, completely out of control, my master yells at me, telling me to shut it, but I don't, I can't, and so he starts padding me, hitting my nose, and finally I stop. I want this something so bad I can't control it, maybe it is just being out there, outside, and that I stare endlessly, day in and day out, looking forward to something I don't know what is, but it is there, right in front of me. Maybe I'm blind. I close my eyes and try to imagine being blind. The world disappears and is replaced by my memory, I picture a chair being placed in a certain place, beside the chair is a couch, and beneath and before that couch is a carpet, and at the edge of that carpet is a coffee table, I am given an empty room, darkness and give it life, light, and furniture. I imagine the circumstance of being blind, there wouldn't be a seeing eye dog for me, for blind dogs don't have such things. I'd just bump into things where I was new to. Running would be out of the question, and I'd avoid outside, and hard surfaces, thinking that they were road, and roads being where cars drive on, where drivers may not see me and hit me. I didn't want to think of being die, that I would never see or get to this thing I've been waiting for. I want to know real bad, I wage my tail in distress, it is the only thing I could do. I feel powerless. And so I start to bark some more. My master is out so there is no end to my barking. I bark and bark until I lose my voice. All barks become dry and drier until there is nothing left. The motions of barking remain. I imagine being a mute dog, having to watch strangers come near our house or even into it, without me to warn my master, or to scare them off. I'd be able to watch this stranger step up the stairs and enter my masters room with something sharp in his hands, I'd chase him, tug at his pant legs but he'd kick me off, I was a small dog after all, I'll probably be broken from that one kick. Then I'd be mute, broken, and maybe even my eyes would go blind too, with no seeing eye dog to help me through the world of infinite darkness.
I wake up, curled into a ball, I see my master stepping out of his truck, he's got a lady with him, he's wearing his best and has sunglasses on, the same ones he wears, and only wears when he takes me to the beach, not anymore. Of course I try barking but it doesn't work, I'm the only dog that has ever lost his voice as I scramble in a panic. I don't like this, I don't like this at all. She's going to enter your room with something sharp, I know it, I know it. When my master opens the door I rush to his feet. He almost trips on me, not noticing me by his side, trying to save him from this stranger. He calls my name in a stern voice, I feel helpless and point my nose down.
"NO, Lucifer, no..."
I feel like I am powerless, I walk away because there is nothing more I could do, I tried, I tell myself, I really did try. I find my spot by the window, I try to go back to sleep but I can hear her talk, she's annoying, her voice too high pitch, she's a cat, I hate cats. I try to distract myself, I look outside, I look at the mountain, cyan chill, a steep face, the sky overcast, it is quiet. I can still hear her in the background, her high heels clicking on the marble, her and my master head up to his room. And as I point my head towards the stairs I see my master with a bottle and the lady with something sharp, twisted, a spiraling pin. I imagined the pain it would cause to be stabbed by that twisty pin, I run over to her ankle and give it a good bite. In my fangs I say, NO, you will not get that far, NO, you will not do him harm. I don't remember the rest, I just wake up concussed, at the bottom of the stairs. I hear heavy breathing upstairs, and as I enter my master's room, I see a trail of blood. I reach him, his arm reaching over to the phone which was knocked over at some point. I'm not sure if he had dialed for help so I did it for him. 9-1-1 with my wet little nose. A voice appears on the other end, and I try to tell her the address, what's going on, but she can't understand me, I try again, but she just seems to grow impatient. My master's hand pets me, his eyes are fading behind his eyelids, and I wag my tail. This is my way of saying goodbye, I curl up next to him, and want to die there right beside him. But I don't. I wake up surrounded by something cold and the night has come. My master was no longer there, just his body, and as I walk down the stairs I see the door is open. The door is open I repeat to myself, it is open, it is open, it is open. One paw then another, step by step, come on rear legs, let's go.
I go, I dip my head outside, I venture to another world. And though I witnessed my master's death, his last breath, the soul that carried me to where I am now, fed me, and everything, there was nothing I could do for him, not now, not then. I took a few more paw steps forward and said, "I am no longer waiting, I am going, going, and gone, gone gone."