Dead Dog

Dead DogThe two men were sitting at a crooked table on a sidewalk in a dusty South American town looking out at the dusty South American street.

“That dog is dead,” said the first man. He had one long leg stretched out in front of him. He had a black boot on his ankle the size of a basketball.

“He is just sleeping,” said the second. He had a little digital camera hanging from his chest. The lens was extended even though he wasn’t taking a picture at the moment and it hung down from the weight in a vaguely obscene way.

A yellow dog was lying in the street across from where they were sitting. The dog was out of traffic’s way but square in the footpath from one corner to another. The dog had been lying there since the time they first sat down and now they were on their second pisco sour and the dog still had not moved.

“He is dead. Stone dead. I can smell him from here.”

“Oh come on. Sleeping. Not even sleeping. Just lying down for a little rest.”

“Right in the middle of the crosswalk? At 2:00 in the afternoon? I do not think so. He is dead. Admit it

“You don’t know what a dead dog looks like.”

“Like that. Just like that. That’s what a dead dog looks like,” the first man said. He had on a red jacket that said USA on the back. “The fucking dog is dead.”

“You are just in a shitty mood.”

“You’d be in a shitty mood too. I could’ve beaten that guy.  I wasn’t even tired. I would have had him.”

“Bad break.”

“He was an asshole. Pure and simple. A total asshole.”

“What did they give you at the hospital?”

“Not enough. Its 48 hours and it still hurts like a bitch.”

“But nothing’s broken? They did the xray right?”

“Only because I made them do it. They were happy to just to put the boot on and let me go clumping off. .. What still kills me is that he gets rewarded for tripping me. He trips me and messes me up for weeks and so he wins?”

“Sucks. It was a home job.”

“Casa trabajo.”

“You think that’s how they’d say it?”

“How the fuck should I know? But I like it. Casa trabajo. It was a fucking casa trabajo, all right.”

“Well you can’t just sit and brood. You have got to do something. Don’t want to waste this time.”

“Well I am not going dancing. And I am sure as shit not playing any more.”

“Sucks.”

The first man said, “A fucking casa trabajo. I will bet ten bucks that dog is dead.”

“Make it a pisco sour and you are on”, said the second. He picked up his glass and inspected the bottom to see if there was any more he could drink. Finding nothing he waved to a waiter across the room and held up two fingers like a peace sign.

“Done.”

“By the way, how are you propose to establish that the dog is dead?”

“I propose to establish that the dog is dead by giving him a fucking kick in the ass.”

“How are you going to do that? Your foot is in a boot and you can’t walk without crutches.”

“It isn’t like he is going to run away. He is fucking dead. Besides. You can do it for me.”

“I’m not kicking any dog. I like dogs.” The second man lifted his camera and peered through the lends as if he was going to take a picture of the dog but he did not.

“Chicken shit. I’ll do it myself.”

“Besides I don’t suppose it is wise to go kick a dog down here. If the dog isn’t dead, someone take it the wrong way. Might be someone’s dog.”

“That dog is dead.”

“Even if the dog is dead, someone might think that a big gringo with a boot on his foot shouldn’t be going around and kicking dead perros just for the fun of it.”

“That perro,” he spat out the word, ”…is fucking dead. You are just a chickenshit tourist…

“Nothing wrong with that.”

“…getting pissed on pisco sours..”

“Nothing wrong with that either. Say do you know the one about the American and the hot dog?”

“What one?”

“So the American sees a kid in the city looking very hungry so he buys the kid a hot dog.  The kid says “What is this?”  The American says, it’s a “perro caliente”. The kid looks at the hot dog in his hand and hands it back to the American. “Whats the matter?” the American says, “Don’t you even want to try it?” The kid says, “I want a different part of the dog.”

“Ha Ha.”

The waiter brought two pisco sours to the table. They were in wide glasses and they had foam on the top.

A boy wearing dirty jeans and a tee shirt with Bruce Springsteen’s picture on the front came through the square on an old bike. He saw the dog in the crosswalk and aimed right at it. Just before he ran over the tail, the dog leapt from the dirt and barked furiously. The boy laughed and pedaled on.

The first man raised his glass and dipped it in a short salute to the second man before drinking. “Good call bro, that sure was one fucking dead perro, all right.”

“Fuck you.”

“Yup, one dead perro.”

The first man sighed and lifted his foot slowly and resettled it an inch or two away from where it started. He reached to the table and took up the pisco sour. “I’d have beaten his fuckin’ ass,” he said.

“Definitely.”

“I’d’ve beat’n his ass.”

-Jay Duret

jayduret@yahoo.com