Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Yesterday I tried to hitchhike out of Phoenix going north to Flagstaff and failed miserably. This is a city full of indifferent people, and some that are cruel. But this is only incidentally about me not getting out of Phoenix. It is more about indifference and cruelty, with some compassion thrown in to make the story more palatable.
At about 2:00am, I was hiding behind some bushes near an on-ramp to I17, my chosen path to get to Flagstaff. I was tired and needed to rest briefly and it is illegal in Phoenix to stand or sit on a feeder road, hence the bushes. About thirty minutes later, I heard a shuffling in the nearby shrub. Immediately followed a whining. Being cautious I sprung to a crouch and went to investigate. It's hips broken and stuck in an angle forty five degrees wrong, a young dog dragged its broken body through the rocks and sand to get away from me. It was scared and alone, unable to defend itself from anyone; I would have run (as best I could) from me, too.
My heart dropped. Memories of a dog called Peanut me and my sisters had as a child came to mind briefly, except this time I was broke and without resources and couldn't beg my Mom to make it better. Peanut healed; I was certain this new dog wouldn't. Inspiration sprang to me! I would use my brand new prepay cell phone to call 911 and they could send animal control. Maybe a kind hearted worker would take pity on the dog and have the vet heal it. At the least it would find a fast and less painful death than the one I saw approaching.
After the call to 911, I tried approaching the dog (hereafter referred to as puppy because of the look of confusion in its eyes). At first the puppy tried to move, but I think gave that up out of pain. I sat down a couple of feet from the puppy and did what I could to show it I meant no harm. After a few moments and looks from the puppy that just pleaded me not to hurt it I moved closer, almost touching it with my leg, and my heart clinched tight. The damage was extensive. The hips were broken at an angle that only allowed her to drag her rear with her front legs, a trail left behind caused by her right leg dragging on the ground. Her right rear leg was broken in a couple of places, the bones protruding against skin that should have been soft, and her front left paw was broken and bent in toward her chest. There were countless scrapes on her body where her fur had torn off, and the outside of the rear right flank had a gash that looked like it could have been recieved in a knife fight.
We were sitting not twelve inches from the curb, and she tremble not only from the passing cars, but from spasms caused by the pain. Helpless; that is the only way to descibe what I felt at that moment. And I prayed for a miracle for that puppy. I lightly stroked her head and lied to her and said that she would be okay soon. In my heart I hoped that she would just go to sleep and not wake up; that would be the most merciful and likely outcome for her.
About two hours later she gathered her resolve and dragged her whimpering body to the bushes behind us. Not knowing what was going on I followed her into the bushes and sat beside her; I kissed the top of her head and told her I loved her. She looked up at me, directly in my face, and in those golden eyes I saw thanks; then she struggled to move closer to me and stretched her body against my leg. Then she moved away once more and curled up and started whimpering. I tried once more to move toward her, to stay with her till help arrived, but once again she moved away. I knew then what was happening, or sensed it anyway. She wanted to be alone while she died. I didn't want to leave her, but I sensed it was the right thing to do. I got to my feet and threw my backpack on; then she looked at me again. I knew what was coming, and so did she. I left with a sense that I'd been given a chance to make her death less lonely and more bearable...maybe. The final look I got from the puppy was one of recognition.
I walked away, and walked. And walked. People's indifference is so maddening to me. After all, indifference is the opposite of love, and cruelty is only a form of hate. Was this a precursor to what life has in store for me? Will I be damaged with no hope of salvation? One thing I have a feeling about: there is always Someone there stroking my head, telling me it will be okay, and telling me I'm loved. I just have to stop playing in traffic before it's too late.
FYI: this is a true story. It took place 03-16-09.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Last night I slept behind an abandoned building that had formerly housed a kickboxing school. Call me superstitious, but I thought that perhaps the energy of the former owners and students would help protect me while I slept.
I did sleep, although it was fitfully. Last night it was about 24-27 degrees cold, and I had to sleep on a concrete slab. I went to sleep in my jeans and short sleeve shirt and used my leather jacket to cover my head and the upper half of my body. I awoke about every hour to hour and a half, violently shivering form the cold. At one point my feet must have frozen, because I had a hard time feeling them when I awoke in the morning.
When I say awoke in the morning, I don’t mean that I woke on my own. What woke me was something landing on the top of the leather jacket right where my head was. I was startled awake and defensively threw my jacket up and away from my head, which had the effect of startling whatever had been on top of my jacket. When I glanced up (hoping it wasn’t some rapid dog or some-such) I saw a bird flying away to land on an electric wire. Upon landing, it turned back to me and cawed, whether in laughter or in derision I don’t know. Perhaps it was mother nature’s way of telling me that I need to wake up and get moving. Either way, I think that mother nature is not near out of touch with us as we are with her.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Ha ha!... I love this photo of my friend Son. It is so fitting of him; armed to the teeth to conquer life through art. Truly a renaissance man of life, and a traveler with a purpose (though we may not know what that purpose is).
Love ya Son
p.s. Son, if you’re reading this I need more beads. My other ones wore out from too much use! :)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The following is taken from the blog of a man I consider to be my very best friend. I think at some point in the past we knew each other and were great friends then. At times we have had the same inclinations or thoughts from opposite sides of the country. Besides other men in my family, he is the only man I have never been, nor ever will be, embarrassed to publicly or privately say “I Love You” to.
I am at the cusp of the end of one chapter of my life and start a new one. There is a sense of relief because at this point i feel so broken. It is not that i am in pieces. I am still in one piece but it doesn't feel like it is a healthy one piece. So change needs to happen; where it will take me i do not know. I only know I've slowly become someone i don't remember. Maybe I'm schizo or have multiple personalities, i really don't think it is anything that exotic. I've just lost something and i need to figure out what it is I've lost and why and how to replace it or regain it. In any case, change is the only certain thing and I'm looking forward to it whatever it might be.
His name is Son Dao, and I truly believe our bond is the bond of brothers. Here is the address of his blog that I lifted the above from. http://itwillpassreally.blogspot.com/
p.s. Son if you’re reading this, I love ya bro.
Why is it that when we are deeply in love with someone (you know the kind; love burning as brightly as the sun and so deeply felt that it overpowers you and feels like it could burn a hole in your heart) that the better parts of you tend to naturally pop their heads up out of hiding, and the winter goes away. Joys are deeper, laughs are easier, tears flow sometimes from the seemingly most idiotic things (would you believe an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?), and kindness takes over your actions against your will.
Personally I don’t understand it, even though I’ve had the luck to experience it twice in my life. Life seemed full of endless possibilities and no mountain couldn’t be jumped in two bounds, if not one. I wasn’t superman, but had a feeling while I was in love that I could overcome anything, even my reckless past.
Perhaps it was the heartache felt when it all came crashing down and the world seemed a little uglier than when it began. That bright burning sun turned dark and clouds formed to fuel the tears of my pain, and later my frustration and rage.
To this day I can still acutely feel both times when the sun went away and my world became a little darker. Have I bathed in it’s aftermath? Has my chosen misery doomed me from ever regaining that kind of joy? I pray not…