The Barky Concept

The barky concept

This is the story about my dog, Barky, Felix, Barky, Barky never shutups. Barky barks 24 hours a day and we, get this, we Keep him! Keep Him! My mom loves Barky. So this is the story. This is the way that it’s gotta go. Barky’s got to get famous. This is the only way. Barky must be famous so that my mom can be rich and I can get my own room on the other side of the mansion that Barky is going to buy us. Because, trust me on this, Barky can never be quiet. Barky can never Shut up.

This was the plan. Make sure that my mom didn’t find out, but sneak barky out of the house between two and 6 oclock when she got home everyday. I would have to buy my own carrying case. I’ll take Barky to all of the agencies. Everything. He’s real tame. He’ll let me hold him, which is a plus. A plus so far. So Here we go. Get that perpetual barking on command harnessed into a few dog food commercials and we’ll be set. I’ll keep the money quiet until Barky’s really famous and we can get that house and then I won’t have to listen anymore to that dog!

2.

this is the plan. 3:30 got an appointment with Alpo. I know, I know, Alpo. What’s the odds of Alpo wanting Barky, but they need Barkies and I got one. Put out a few fliers and some other things and got a nibble from Alpo. So I take Barky in and they put him on the floor and first look to see how he is around people and he’s good on a leash too. My mom trained him, she wouldn’t take no shit. And here was my mom on the end of the leash right now, going through all the best motions to impress these people and wouldn’t you know it, through her dog of all things, all of my mom’s stuff, right here.

Anyway, we got through that one. That tall guy was the one in charge, I know it. You can never be sure though. Barky did alright. He barked of course, little son of a bitch, on cue, but that’s what he was supposed to do and it didn’t sound so bad once it was put on full form for the cameras. It’s like putting nickels in a slot machine, each bark a nickel, a chance at the big jackpot on a national Alpo commercial. Christ, they need new dogs all the time!

3
get in get out. That’s it. You make sure that you get in fast get the sound guy and the camera going. In the mood, barky! Rawf! Trademark! Another 2 grand in my pocket. Fifteen thousand short of getting the house and this dog out of my life forever!

4.

Barky did it. A Lil’ Nibbler’s Chunky Treat gig with two other dogs, not the best scenario, the one of the lap and the smile, but I’ll take it, $1,800 to the broker tomorrow and we’re in and that dog can go to hell.

5.
Been in the house five months. Can’t hear Barky anymore. Thanks God. People tell me to use Barky as my money making scheme in life instead of doing what I do. I tell them look, I could be living the high life with that dog there. We could easily pull down another five or six hundred thou together, but you know what? Fuck that dog.

End.

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Published in: on April 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

I Dream of Mountains

I dream of mountains.
Perhaps, this mountain or mountains are
the mountains of true dreams or
just another dream by day,
non-distant dreams like dreams
that have been dreamed a hundred times before
by others, and better.
No, these mountains are the mountains of wishes as well.
Wishes are the winds in these hills that whisper
they are not mine to judge.
They are wishes and winds,
whisperers of tomorrow today.

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dink

Dink Merrick was always bouncing, even at the tender age of five. He would pound his hands on things. Anything could be a drum. Then he would lose interest and move on, jump on, really, run down the stairs, run up the stairs, find his mother, Rhonda, who was always tired, and tackle her from behind and wrap his arms around her before being shooed and chastised. But nothing would stop him from his ever present need to move. His attention span was zero. Any toy he played with ended up broken, usually thrown against a wall or stomped on. It could be anything, a large truck going by outside of his window, a telephone call from downstairs. His imagination would take hold of any and everything and his body would follow with a totally incomprehensible action, usually destructive, that eventually led Rhonda to take Dink, whose real name was Robert (Dink was given to him by his father) to a doctor who called him hyperactive and put him on little red pills that worked for a little while, but still couldn’t quash his ferocious restlessness. The doctor asked Rhonda if everything was alright at home and she said yes. A lie. Steve Merrick hit Rhonda everywhere except her face.
Dink’s best friend was Richie who lived two doors away. His mother often asked Richie’s mother, Ann, to watch him while she was at work at the little diner on the highway, the first diner on the road that would take you on up into the Smoky Mountains, a favorite vacationing spot for anybody from Millsville, with it’s expansive beauty, rivers, streams and massive hardwood forests. One day he found a dime inside of Richie’s couch. His mother was upstairs at her sewing machine. Richie saw the dime and immediately claimed it for his own since it was in his couch. Dink disagreed vehemently and said “finders keepers losers weepers” and the two tussled for it until Dink broke away, ran out the front door and continued on until he got to his house, the precious dime still in his little palm. He went to his room upstairs and dropped the dime into his little yellow piggy bank. He then shook it back and forth and listened closely for an accurate accounting of his individual wealth. Not too bad, not too good. He placed it back on his shelf and looked around. He wouldn’t talk to Richie for a long while, he figured, now that he knew how unfair and spoiled his former friend really was. He went to his train set on the floor and turned it on, watching the little Union Cargo train with four cars go round and round. He quickly tired of this and then went downstairs and opened the refrigerator. He made himself a bowl of cereal and ate it and looked at the clock. Although he couldn’t tell time he sensed that his mother wouldn’t be home for a long while. On his way home he had first carefully checked, looking through the neighbors bushes, to see if his father was home still working on the truck. Had he been home he would have gone back to Richie’s and given back the dime. The old Ford was in the driveway, its hood open, tools scattered alongside on the old cracking cement, but his father wasn’t there. The little, rickety Datsun that his father hated with gusto and that he shared with his mother was also gone. Freedom.
But now there was nothing left to do but watch television. He missed Richie’s friendship and was lonely there without his mother. Being an adult wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. He turned on the television. He watched old cartoons on the old cartoon station since it wasn’t Saturday and there were no new cartoons to watch. They were funny anyway and at one point he stood up and bounced up and down on the couch as he watched the show. He was in the air when his father walked in and stopped and just stared at him. Jumping on the couch was strictly prohibited. Jumping at all was strictly prohibited anymore. His father said nothing, but just looked at him. There was something in his eye. His mouth was open like he was a stupid man. Dink knew he was in trouble, but there was something more. His father looked at him in such a way that he knew that he would get it good this time. His eyes were hollow, almost dead. His face was twisted around and contorted making him look like a monster that he once saw on t.v before his mother made him turn it off. His first thought was a question. Is he going to kill me? He thought that his father would kill him, not just beat him as he occasionally did when he was bad, not one of those hard hand beatings on his rear and his back and the back of his head hard until he was dizzy or belt beatings that would last it seemed an hour until he was purple and blue under his clothes. Dink, upon looking at his father, believed with all of his heart that the end of his life had finally arrived.
He ran for his life, darted up the stairs, directly into the hall closet where he closed the door behind him, opened the clothes hamper lid in the pitch black, forgetting about the light bulb on the string, and climbed in. He felt himself shaking, shivering at the thought of the look in the eye of his father. Never had he seen such a look. He began to put the few clothes and towels in the hamper over him in case his father searched it and relaxed his body so that he would sink as far down as he could possibly go. There was suddenly a crash downstairs. Then another. His father was kicking things over again searching for him. Then there was a thud and a scream. Then another thud and then another scream. He was punching the wall. Then another thud and then another scream until his father let out a high, piercing wail that sent a sharp shiver down Dink’s spine which made the lower part of his back physically hurt. He listened intently inside of the silence after the wail. Where was he? Dink couldn’t tell. Then he heard the footsteps. His father was walking up the stairs. Then silence again until he heard the door of his mother and father’s room open. The door did not close and he heard some drawers opening and then closing as though his father thought he was in the drawers inside the sliding closet. Then silence again. Nothing. He remained inside of the clothes hamper, shivering, his teeth chattering together. But still there was no more noise from his father. He hadn’t even left his room. Dink was too scared to cry.
Dink stayed in the hamper. How long he did not know. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. He had no idea, but he knew that he wasn’t ready to make a break. His fear of the dark was gone. The dark was the last thing that he had to be afraid of anymore. The dark was now his only friend. The phone rang inside of his father’s room. His father answered it. He couldn’t hear what his father was saying, but he could hear his voice. He was talking to somebody in a grown up manner. His voice was low and steady. He seemed calm now, as though the earlier destruction was for fun and now he was bored again. His father stopped talking and once again there was total silence in the house. After a couple of minutes, the phone rang again. His father answered it and once more there was that voice, a new, calm voice that spoke once again in a grown up manner. Far in the distance Dink could hear the blare of sirens. There was a fire somewhere. Had his father set the house on fire? Was he going to burn to a crisp? He smelled no smoke, but he wondered. The sirens got louder and louder and then suddenly stopped. He then heard the sound of feet on the carpet downstairs. He thought he heard a window break as well. Then another. They were fighting the fire downstairs. He had to go. He heard voices and movement up the stairs. His father still talked on the phone in that same calm voice. There were other people in his house, but none of them spoke. His father’s voice was the only voice when suddenly he heard another man’s voice.
“It’s okay, Steve. Don’t bother with it, old friend. C’mon, there, pal. Let’s just end this thing, okay?”
End what thing? Who was this man? He was not the only one in the house this was for sure. He heard the fireman radios static and electric downstairs, the serious sound of people doing serious things. The man spoke again.
“John, let’s do this my way now. Give me a little bit of time. I know Steve. Right, old buddy? We got you covered, right? We’re going to be alright. They’re going to step away for a bit.”
He heard footsteps moving away from his father’s doorway, but they did not move back down the stairs. How many firemen were in the house he couldn’t tell, but he could sense the buzzing. He could sense the danger and it made him sink lower into the hamper, even if the house was on fire he was not going to move. He was undiscovered.
The silence returned. He could hear the man and his father talk as though they were having a conversation, but he could not make out what they were saying. After awhile the fear subsided somewhat. His heart stopped beating a million miles an hour. He was tired, so tired and he felt his eyes close. Just a moment after he felt this weariness he fell asleep. It was a hazy sleep, a soft sleep, the kind that children were supposed to sleep. He awoke with a start thirty minutes later after remembering that his father was in trouble and he needed to help him. He had not burned to a crisp. His father was in trouble. Something had happened to his father. Although he did not know how long he had been asleep and because of the silence in the house he climbed out of the clothes hamper and pulled the string on the light bulb. The light hurt his eyes, but it allowed him to find the doorknob which he turned slowly and silently before peering into the hallway through the tiny crack of the door that he had opened like a spy. Nobody was in the hallway. His father’s door was open, but there were no more voices. He opened it further and searched the hallway to the end. There was nobody at the top of the stairway. Everybody must have left. He opened the door just enough to get through it and slowly made his way to his father’s door. When he was fully in the door frame he saw his father sitting on the floor, his back against a dresser. His legs were spread out in front of him and his head was resting upon a shotgun, the barrel keeping his head up like a crutch. His finger was on the trigger and a police officer crouched next to him. His father then moved his eyes slowly towards Dink and the sadness in the look immediately made Dink cry.
“Oh, God,” his father said, and the police officer said. “It’s okay, Steve. It’s okay.” But then Dink briefly lost consciousness, just for a split second, for he had suddenly accelerated at an unreal speed. He flew forward and hit his head on the wall as someone ran past him, pushing him over as though he were a rag doll. He turned over and saw that an older boy had run him over and was now beating his father mercilessly. He curled over on his side, closed his eyes and plugged his ears to drown out the horrible screams, like a girls, that were coming out of his father’s mouth as the room filled with police officers trying to get the boy off of his father who could do nothing to protect himself from the viciousness of this other child. After a moment they were able to pull the boy off of his father and held him like he was a dangerous full-grown man. He was breathing hard. He wore no shirt or shoes and had shampoo in his hair. This boy’s eyes were like the eyes of a scary monster too and they would not leave the form of his father who was now in the hands of two police officers. Another police office hurriedly removed the shotgun from the room. His father’s body wilted in the prison of the two police officer’s firm grips and he watched his father cry too, just like him, as if they were agreed that the world had finally come to an end.

Published in: on April 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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