This is How You Save Me
Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
- Anne Frank
If you slice it open, the lizard belly of the night, the warm guts spill out looking like furniture and ceilings and walls. Lying there in it, bathing in that mad sauce, we zoom in and we see this kid asleep next to his dog. Floating in the miasma. On the same busted raft they’re always on. The dark entrails march this way and that/ bumping into each other with the soft charm of clumsy drunks. They pick sides. They say nothing but grab one another by the shoulders, part moral support, part “You’re supposed to be over HERE, bub!” Gentle placings. Lamb shoves lamb. The room rises up around our heroes and takes the form of the room down the hall.
It’s Piper and Angus then.
Alone in the Christmas lights.
Two lives, wildly adrift in space, disguised as just another couple of fellows sleeping hard in a house on a country dark street.
Angus wakes first. He opens his eyes and understands the moment better than he wants to. The feeling is familiar to him although this narrator cannot feign that he has ever felt it. Is it cloud shadows rolling down a broad green hill? Is it a slow vile nutcracker squeezing the walnut of your brain?
I have no clue.
Maybe the early stages of a dog seizure are mercifully tender. Maybe they lift the dog’s chin, raise his sleepy eyes, and blow the tiniest puff of poison into his left earhole. And just like that the dance begins. The long and complicated waltz of death.
Piper, for his part, is profoundly passed-out. The world is Piper’s milk-mustache pal, and at this ripest age of 9 he keeps parts of the jungle in his fingernails and parts of the desert in between his toes. In sleep, he is slight, skinny, almost clear. His ribs are perfectly defined against his rice paper side. It is a vulnerable scene and one would not be remiss to suppose that this alone is enough for a dog such as Angus to feel the urge, come evening, to watch over the boy.
And so it goes.
Stars slip across sky. Deer stand at the cornfield’s edge. The creek moves through sleek brown trout swaying slightly in the dark. And the dog up in the room begins to shake.