The Other Side of Pepper

December 14, 2016

There’s a dog in the street. A cocker spaniel, I think. His head is flat and a tire track runs down the middle of his back. When Marilyn and I were first married, we rescued a cocker spaniel from the shelter. It was one of those “bring us closer together” things. I spent forty-five bucks for the dog and then another hundred to get him fixed. To thank me for saving his life, he pissed on the rug. Marilyn’s always been into rescuing things. She’s the queen of lost causes.

The dog’s bright red tag says My Name is Pepper – Call Jenny, and a phone number covered in blood. Pepper’s hind legs point south and his front legs point north. He crossed against the light and now his furry body looks like a black and white S.

There’s a homeless guy standing by the dog, a stack of newspapers at his feet.  He’s a bearded Danny DeVito, but thin and grimy, selling the news for beer money. DeVito weeps dirty tears. He regrets not stopping Pepper when he had the chance.

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