Tuesday, November 20, 2012


When I lived on the farm, a dog that killed a chicken, had to be put down. The first kill gave them the taste. The next kill wouldn't be for a meal. The dog runs through for sport, snarling, and snapping, and killing indiscriminately. And there will always be a second time.
The chickens may have been passing through, but they were bound for the the table. No dog was worth more than food.
We couldn't waste money on a vet. So they got the business end of a gun.
After the age of about 10 this duty fell on me. People from the city were always dumping dogs at my grandmother's house. A load of #8 bird shot from 40 or 50 yards out would send a new arrival down the road.  If not, I had to drop it for real.
I did what was asked, and what I was asked was to take care of our survival.
Don't believe what you hear about tying the dead chicken around the dogs neck like an albatross. That's like trying to get a person to lose weight by tying a steak and baked potato to their head. Dog's will eat a fucking diaper and go back for seconds.
I had to snuff maybe three in my life. But if they killed a chicken, they had to go.
This brings my mother to mind. My father and grandmother would confer about the fate of the dog, and  issue an edict.
I was like a sniper under cover, waiting to get the green light to pull the trigger.
All while my mother stayed in her room and mirror gazed.
Every single time that there was an event that bookmarked a snap shot of my surroundings,  she was always sitting in front of the mirror.

When my father snuffed it, she was in front of the mirror.
The few times she was there in a dog/eat/chicken crisis, in front of the mirror.
Before, during, and after dinner, she would be sitting in front of the mirror.
When she caught me flipping her off,  she had been in front of the mirror, and that's where she went after she smacked me.
In the three years her murder charges were pending,  I never saw her in that house when she wasn't primping in front of the mirror.
Me and sis would have gone the way of the chicken eating dogs, if the Barbarian could have gotten  away with it.  And she would have gladly pulled the trigger. If she could have shot us from her seat in front of the mirror.

If you watch Dexter, this will be redundant. This week's show ended as the principles found themselves wishing they were any where else but living the life they are living.  The show closes with a Dexter monologue, and him referencing an earlier conversation with a Russian mobster about Argentina being a good place to disappear and begin again.
Dexter said:
"Everyone wants an Argentina, a place where the slate is wiped clean.
But the truth is, Argentina is just Argentina.
No matter where we go, we take our damage with us.
So is home the place we run to, or is it the place we run from?
Only to hide in places where we are accepted unconditionally.
Places that feel more like home to us.
Because we can finally be who we are.


mulderfan said...

"No matter where we go, we take our damage with us." I said something like this at AA last night. I don't think I'll ever truly be well. Guess in the end the bastards win.

q1605 said...

It's pretty hard to pour the foundation after you have the rest of the house built.

Tundra Woman said...

Yeah, but where you use the word "Damage" I use the word "Experience."
We were old when we were young. SOMEONE had to be the "groan-up" here and by default, it fell to us. We didn't have childhoods, adolescence, early adult life and for many of us, we've been "Adults" forever.
Mulder, they DON'T "win" and I respectfully disagree. When we walk away, we're no longer playing their game. That's why they pull the crap they pull, want us "back there" where they THINK we "Belong." We're a threat, we've "unmasked" them. They project THEIR belief we're out for retribution when nothing could be further from the truth. That's what THEY would do; "I've got something on you and I'm gonna use it." Through out their lives they set up the parameters: From their deaths, they reach beyond to ensure their retribution carries on in the form of their Trusts or Wills.
We stop the Legacy.
To me, we DO "win." Although that was not our goal at all. The reality that we survived is pretty much a testament to our integrity, an unwillingness to cave on our own moral and ethical imperatives.
IMO, we're so far beyond them in every way, far beyond that which their small, petty minds could fathom. Yes, we paid a horrible price, but we still didn't compromise and play out their pre-determined scripts.
I don't know that we "win" but I do know we triumph by living our lives in authenticity.

mulderfan said...

Thanks for that TW. Having one of them lurking around put me in a bad place but I'll pull out of it!

q1605 said...

Yeah, damage was just a quote from Dexter. I considered it a right of passage. There was nothing cruel in what I was asked to do. It wasn't like I was shoved out sniveling and being called a pussy. For whatever reason, that first time I had to do it, I did it. I had always held the flash light if it was night. Now I was the one front and center.
Trust me. It's been going on as long as people from the city has dumped their dogs in the country, and will continue as long as people from the city dump their dogs in the country. We would feed them and try to find them a home. Some became pets. Some broke into the chicken house. Woe to the hound that broke into the chicken house.
But the times I had to do those things I can remember what all was going on. That's my real point.
I know who was where, and I know what they were doing. There is nothing to blur my memory.
And the Barbarian was always laid up in her fantasy world.
I don't feel any sense of winning over my mother.
There are varying degrees of loss and whether she knows it or not, she had more to lose than I did.

Tundra Woman said...

Aye, but she feels she's "won" by virtue of having presided over more than one death at her onus. Smug bitch.
But her paranoia gives her away. And whether or not we wanna believe it, La Mere, Chanel or Maybelline ain't gonna save us. Or cover the rot that comes with aging: The lines, wrinkles, sagging and re-arrangement of our bodies is beyond our control if we live long enough.
And that's what I think is just fine: When everything on the outside starts falling apart, everything on the inside comes together in ways we-or I-could never have imagined.

q1605 said...

They haven't checked my ID at the beer store in twenty years. And she is 25 years older than me.
She can probably get some swinging dick to hit it, but it'll probably cripple her.

Anonymous said...

Yep, she's the rabid dog snarling and snapping that you avoid for safety's sake. For myself I refuse to define myself or my life by anything she has done or ever will do. She's just one of 7 billion people on this planet and means no more than that. Yes, it is more like Experience. and Happy Thanksgiving to those who have that holiday!


vicariousrising said...

Love Dexter. Are you watching tonight? I've a number of friends who are huge fans of the show.

q1605 said...

I wouldn't miss it.