Lycanthropy Part III
Updated: Jan 26
November 3rd, 2013
“You need to get out of the car”, my friend David told me for the 5th time, his stressed brow perspiring despite the coolness of early November. The passenger side door open, he leaned down towards me with a mixture of gentleness and nervousness. “I love you – you know that – you need to get out of the car”.
I sat almost perfectly motionless, seatbelt still fastened, my shoulders shrugged in defeat, my head pointing downwards, my dripping eyes fixated on the worn and dirty off-colored floor mat in front of me. “I can’t. I just fucking can’t”, I spoke for the first time since pulling into the parking lot of the veterinary clinic. My eyes readjusted and the blood – his blood – on my cotton pants. The fabric housing my upper legs displayed angry red, erasing the simplicity of the once blue and white plaid. In the back seat, a second friend, silent, while holding the limp body in his arms, carefully held my canine son’s head up to avoid blood squirting from his neck. A towel, messy and crumpled, on my friend’s lap, soaking up the devastation of the moment and of the previous hours.
Car crashes, if loud, sudden, and violent, can sound like gun shots. When a body is hit by a car, it sounds more like a quick and forceful bang on aluminum – not much different from the clap of momentary thunder. And then I heard the screeching brakes.
“Does somebody have a dog?” I heard the voice somewhere in front of me (but not yet seen) as I ran from the porch to the street below. The car drove off with a fast start. I ran into traffic without looking, my arms reaching for my little boy. Cradling him, I walked to the sidewalk, initially not realizing several neighbors were exiting their apartments, a few walking in my direction.
Lycan looked up at me, with his beautiful, soulful, and confused brown eyes, wagged his tail four times (I know because I counted) and then stopped moving. That is when I noticed his neck squirting blood. I moved his blood-soaked head to the left – and the stream of blood became a trickle. “Hey man, what can I do?”, my downstairs neighbor asked – he looked horrified, yet ready to jump into action, while standing next to his girlfriend, both of her hands, one overlapping the other, clasped tightly over her mouth and nose, standing on the sidewalk at the end of our sloping driveway.
“I don’t know, I just don’t know, I just don’t know” I repeated, my gaze, at first, not leaving Lycan’s face. “I just don’t know”, then I looked at my neighbor – his expression communicating his worry – his expression hinting he was afraid I was about to absolutely lose it. To lose my sanity and all mental grip on the here and now. And, at that very moment I did. I absolutely fucking did.
Only 15 days away from the scheduled eye surgery meant to save his sight, I sat on the porch step, my body rocking back and forth, with Lycan’s dead body in my bloody arms. My neighbor sat next to me, quiet and uncomfortable, watching me as I rocked back and forth. Only a few feet from us, a solitary dandelion – with a stem of healthy green and a full head of white seeds waiting to take flight. “Do you see the dandelion?” I asked. “Yeah, I see it”, my neighbor answered. “It’s alive. It’s fucking alive. And I hate it”.
“We’ve got this. Thank you”, I heard my friend David tell my neighbor. David and my friend Ronnie (they arrived together) stood near the edge of the parking lot asphalt a few feet in front of me, both immediately and fully understanding the situation. “He won’t let him go”, my neighbor said – then turning to me - “I’m so sorry.” I then heard the squeaky door close behind me as my neighbor, his angelic wings firmly mounted upon his back, returned to his apartment.
“You need to be careful when you hold his head” I choked out, as the veterinary technician took Lycan from Ronnie’s arms. “I need you to be careful with him”. The technician left the room and I sat, or more fell, into the silver metal chair behind me. David sat in the chair to my left, leaned over, and gave me a hug. I crumpled into his arms, and we sat there like that for several minutes.
My canine boy was dead. It was my fault. And I’ll never be okay again.
The dandelions have become invisible. And I have no hope of ever seeing them again.
This is the final installment. Thank you for following the story.
Lycanthropy: Part I: https://www.jimmybroccoli.com/post/lycanthropy-part-i-a-poetic-expression
Lycanthropy: The Prequel: https://www.jimmybroccoli.com/post/lycanthropy-the-prequel-a-poetic-expression