A Dog With Dry Skin

Once more this is a posting of one of my short stories that requires a pretext. I submitted the story as it is and it was rejected for content. So I submitted an edited version to The Great Hites Podcast The unedited version is being run here on this blog.

If you don’t want to read through the story you can figure out why any audio I record refuses to work on wordpress. Once you figure that out I’ll be able to post the audio recording of the story for you to listen to instead of having to read it. Until then you’re going to have to read it.

A Dog With Dry Skin
a short story written by Eldon KR

I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming. In all honesty I should have, and I normally would have. But I had been with her for so long that I really didn’t expect any of this. I had an addon for Firefox that would always reload the tabs that were last viewed when the browser was launched again. Occasionally I’d see things like price checks on plane tickets, rental cars, things like that. I never really thought anything of it. She told me she was leaving me in November. I was blindsided. Everything seemed like we were doing great. She didn’t actually end up leaving to go back to Texas until the second week of December.

The goodbye sex we had before I had to take her to the airport was more an act of pity on her part, I think. I mean, when two years of your life is getting back on a plane for home because she didn’t know what she wanted out of her life, you’re not exactly a stud in the sack are you? But I knew that she was leaving for a month before she actually did, so there was plenty of time for the “I’m never going to see you again” fornication. Except for the fact that for most of this time she led me to believe that I could fix whatever was wrong and that she’d be back. There was also the “I can’t believe you’ve done this to me I wish you were dead” hate sex after I found out that she’d been using my bed, and my car to cheat on me with some guy I knew down the road for that month she was getting ready to leave. The guy that I’d known since the first day I moved up here, the guy I went on odd jobs with in the summer.

Every time I was out in Indy to see my friend, or in class, or somewhere around town they were in my bed. Every time I was at home, she had to go get cigarettes. Or she just felt like going for a drive, or to Walmart. There was even one time when he was at the house and she said she had to take him over to Eric’s house to do some work. At ten o’clock at night. Yeah, the guy who had me spend most of the summer painting his garage and doing work on his house, let the kid use his spare bedroom as a bachelor pad because I was at the house. And she didn’t feel the need to tell me any of this was going on until she thought that she caught something.

I’d like to take this time to reiterate that I should have been able to put all the pieces together. And I know what you’re thinking, if she had already broken up with me why did it matter? Well, it mattered to me because I was led to believe that she’d come back, and that she needed a break, and her sister was about to have a baby and she needed to be there. Oh shut up, it was a really hard time for me and I was going to hold onto any small glimmer of hope that I could like a drowning man to an inner tube. Anyway, it mattered to me because this whole time this was going on, she was being sneaky about it. We were still sharing a room, and a bed. We were still sleeping together. Sometimes she still told me she loved me. I felt wronged.

I played Celldweller on the way to the airport in Indianapolis. It was a band I’d discovered that she actually liked. And the soundtrack would provide no awkward small talk, and no awkward silences. I dropped her off at the airport. She kissed me and told me she loved me. She said if I could find work and get the money that I could fly to Texas to kidnap her and bring her back to Indiana. All I could do was hold back my tears and tell her that I loved her too. It wasn’t until I got back on the highway that I started crying, and screaming, and punching my steering wheel.

My friend in Indy knew this would be a tough time for me and said I could hang out with him and his wife for a few days and we could get drunk, talk about zombies, and play video games. I’ve never been too terribly good with directions in a place I’m not at often. I find one easy to memorize route to get to some place and I stick to that route. If there was another place I needed to learn how to get to in Indianapolis it was usually just a different variation on that one route that I’d have to memorize. So it didn’t take me long to get lost trying to get to his house on the way back from the airport. That and it’s really easy to miss an exit on the highway at night when you’re crying. I’m not down with all the macho manly man crap. If I’m hurting on an emotional level then dammit, I’m going to cry.

Moving on, I called my friend told him I was lost. He gave me directions to get to his work from where I was because it was easy to get to his house from where he worked. Well, yet again I made a wrong turn and got all turned around and lost again. So he told me to pull off the road and wait for him in the parking lot of a near by White Castle until he got off work. I was sitting in this parking lot for about four maybe five hours. To keep myself awake to decrease my chances of being robbed I spent that time listening to the first book of the Archangel podcast. The sun was starting to come up and I saw. my friends car enter the parking lot and he engaged in an impromptu game of bumper tag to make sure I was awake before he parked his car. We sat in the restaurant and he ate while I talked. I followed him back to his house, got some sleep, and we spent the next few days pickling our livers and playing Gears of War, good therapy in my book.

The next week of December rolled by and I still wasn’t used to sleeping alone. It was the week of Christmas, my grandmother got me a membership to The Smithsonian, still not sure what privileges that entitles me to, but the magazine is pretty good. Christmas day came around, I say day and not morning because nobody wakes up before noon at this house without a legitimate need to. I walked into the living room and there was a cardboard box on the floor. I asked my mom what was in it, she tells me to lift up the box and see what was under it.

As I approached the box I heard a muffled bark from beneath the cardboard. Excited I lifted up the box and was shocked at what I saw. My mother had gotten me one of those robot dogs that you’d find in the toy aisle at Walmart. I was slightly annoyed by this, as it appeared to be a gag. I’d gotten a robot dog, instead of an actual puppy. I’d wanted one since I moved up here and I was finally living in a place that had a yard, instead of an apartment, or a dorm, or in a car. I went along with it anyway seeing as it was Christmas, and a gag gift was better than no gift at all. I didn’t get used to sleeping alone, and having a whole bed to myself until recently. Yeah, I had to brave through the cold winter nights alone. But now I had a dog with dry skin to keep me company.

Creative Commons License
A Dog With Dry Skin by Eldon KR is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


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