Service Dog I could be a Schnauzer, a Black Lab, or a Dalmatian, but I’d prefer to be a German shepherd, and you could name me after a Greek god or your great grandfather or that punk/funk band you really like. When we go out, I would start wagging my tail like a pendulum in heat and you could dress me in one of those neon orange vests with the silver stripes (maybe neon yellow on special occasions) that says in big block letters: SERVICE DOG.
GIs came home after WW2, raised hell for a while, then found a wife and looked around for a house. Markets provided prefabricated house kits, delivered to your lot. Pre-fabs. Buy them on the GI Bill. Put them up in a few days. Crackerbox houses. Square, plain, two bedrooms, kitchen, bath and living room. Plywood. A few of them are still around. Crackerbox houses.
Between blankets and sleep, sleep and death rolls hard red apples, day old bread, liverwurst, fingerless gloves, frayed shoelaces, nine pregnancies, six live births, red-brick walls, tarnished forks with bent tines and a topless jelly jar where flies procreate. My thighs wake to cold.
Not snow-cold children pray for with carrot nose snowmen sledding down hills. Not ice cold cubes clanging against sides of a sparkling tumbler swishing an orange rind, maraschino cherry, barrel-aged rye, and a sugar cube. Not chills or sneezes.
I walked up the pavement and there, much to my delight, was a tienda, a store selling beer and wine and hard liquor, jammed full of people. I bought a big 40 oz. can of Tecate’. There was a quaint little park almost directly across the street from the store. I sat down at a bench, intending to pull out my weed and pipe and have a little toke to go along with my beer.
In Salem, the winter fog settles at sundown like gauze, blinding and oppressive, a cold, wet blanket of Fuck You For Being Here. On such an evening, I imagine John Fahey in some shithole welfare hotel, perhaps the Holiday Lodge on Hawthorne.