Saturday, March 12, 2011


It was 8 pm on a saturday. The crisp autumn wind had beaten my face raw changing its pale white complexion to nearly a tulip red, while the family beagle waddled the minutes away taking his sweet old time. Before he chose to leave his droppings on the strip of land between the sidewalk and the curb, one of many oddities "Buddy" held to, I dragged him around the block two or three times, each pass coloring my face a slightly darker hue than the last. I looked up towards the sky while the dog began sniffing the base of a fire hydrant.
"Look at that Buddy," I said shaking the leash a little to keep him moving. "Can't even see a single star. Just the moon."
I walked for a while, head tilted back, attempting to locate Orion's Belt through the hazy glow thinking all the while that my dad's traffic light tirades may have held an inkling of truth. Our neighborhood was becoming overcrowded. It's a funny thing how small suburbs end up as members of "joint cities." Somebody wealthy dishes out wads of cash at a local university, changes the name, builds new facilities everywhere in the surrounding area, and presto the peaceful small town atmosphere is traded for an ever-increasing, population nightmare full of dopey college students looking to get smashed every Thursday.
The wind picked up once again, and while Buddy took it as a cue to stop walking altogether, I fiercely debated just carrying the little pain in the ass home. If it hadn't been for the evening's second crap attack, I probably would have.
"Holy hell! What are they putting in those kibbles?" I looked down at Buddy. He whined.
The smell was noxious, and so I slowly bent at the knees keeping my back straight so as to reach down without placing my nose any closer than necessary. Directly to our right, a blue civic was parked along the curb, and as I bent down in this awkward kneeling pose a strange crimson glimmer appeared on the inside of its windshield. Less than four feet from my face a small blonde-haired girl, couldn't have been much older than twenty-one, was slumped over the wheel with an enormous gash in the back of her skull. The array of splatters on the dash and windows bore a testament to the severity of her injury. I stood up, bag in hand.
"Oh @#$%!" I wasn't lamenting the full plastic bag.

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