The whole scene is too familiar. The whole scene is something I have down too pat. Kneeling in e examination room, the old dog sprawled on the blanket right before me. The old dog a bewildered skeleton, his body a series of cruel betrayals, his mind scattered to the wind. I scratch his head on his favorite spot, trying not to feed his fear with my own sense of sadness and failure. I don't even bother trying not to cry. Tears flow while I talk casually to the vet and the vet tech. Hold the old dogs chin and scratch as the vet finds a utile vein. Hold the old dog's chin as the plunger draws that first bead of blood into the syringe, dog's blood that floats and coils like hot wax into water, blood that is slowly forced back into the vein. The slow and steady compression of the blood and amber liquid, to stop the dog heart from beating. The steady depression that ends the old dog's life.
I am sitting and smoking, watching the wind kick up the dust. I am sitting and smoking, listening to music with headphones on. Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer singing a song by Bob Marley. Two dead men sing a dead man's song, redemption so far away it might as well be another country. Redemption so far away it may as well be from Mars. It is the way love leaves us, one way or another. The way our love leaves us, even when it stays. The list just grows and grows, encompassing all we lost. The wind just blows and the smoke whips wildly. The wind blows and everything snaps and sways.
It is the same each time, save for little details. The twitch of a leg, the weight of the air, the strange heat of some stranger's consoling hand. They shuffle the numbers, they shift the dates. Each small collapse closing up some doorway. Every tiny flicker another era past. Fingerprints pressed among the ashes. Toothmarks scratched upon old bones. So surprised at the prayers that found and failed me. The dog still warm as the blood stills and breath fails. Sitting in a parked car, watching traffic pass.