Archive for December, 2011

Rubio–December 27, 2006

December 28, 2011



Wednesday, December 27, 2006:
My favorite novela, the novela watched by one of the largest TV audiences that year, ended that night. Montecristo, loosely based on the Alexander Dumas classic, The Count of Monte Cristo, had kept me company for most of 2006. It showed at about 10 P.M. or thereabouts Monday through Friday. While Rubio had been getting sicker and sicker, getting lost in the story–which had a mature woman falling in love with a priest subplot–made it easier for me to deal with what was happening in my life. I turned off the TV and got Rubio ready for his evening walk. I could see that he wasn’t in the mood to go. I was the one pulling him out the door that night instead of the other way around. The lights in the hall by the elevators were bright–too bright. I looked down at him and said something like: We’ll be right back, Rubio. It’ll be over soon. I petted him.  It hurt him to go to the bathroom. Sometimes people walking by would turn around as he yelled in pain. His feces often came out with a great deal of effort. I didn’t want it to be painful now. The elevator came. It was empty and we didn’t have to deal with my telling people he’s friendly. That used to stress me out a lot. Rubio was a German sheperd. He didn’t look menacing, but our neighbors were not always the kind of people to understand that. The last year of his life I made it as easy on him as possible. Rubio was very intelligent and he picked up on most everything that was important to him and me.

On the sidewalk, he did as much of his business as he could. With what was left of his strenght, and that strenght was considerable, he pulled on me to take him back home. He was tired. He was exhausted and he didn’t want to deal with being uncomfortable. I opened the apt. door. I let go of his green leash. He rushed to his thick blanket, the red and black checkered blanket. He stayed there until the early next morning.


The Last Time

December 27, 2011

The Last Time It was 7 in the morning and you asked me to go for a walk. I said sure and got dressed. When we were outside, I saw that you wanted, yet didn’t want to go anywhere. You pulled towards the main door of the building, then you pulled towards the sidewalk and the curb. The temperature started to go up. It was going to be another hot and humid summer. We walked one or two blocks and you relieved yourself as much as you could. I kept thinking that something wasn’t right. Before, when you were healthy and in your prime, you couldn’t wait to go out the door. In the elevator, you stared at the zigzaggy door and sighed when it opened. But now you were ill. You forced yourself to do your business and it was home again. You rushed back to your refuge, to the place where you felt safe. That morning, the way you pulled on the way to the big door told me you just weren’t interested anymore. It was time to go.


December 20, 2011


I know. I understand perfectly. I know you didn’t mean to do it. It was not your intention to vanish. Your loyalty and gratitude were most touching. I enjoyed your company as much as you enjoyed mine. You were gone—you had to leave—and  there was nothing to be done about it. It was out of our control, yours and mine.We were merely living beings.  It could not be denied. My heart broke. I couldn’t find you where I was. I was told I would have to wait a long time to see you again. We will embrace and be together again. The wait period is incredibly onerous.

You, 3 Years

December 15, 2011

You, 3 Years How can I believe that you have been gone from me for so long? 3 years are more than an eternity, dear little one. 3 years are weeks and months of not being able to forget you—of not being able to forgive myself. I left you behind not knowing that you were going to die without me being near you. I remember the long, very long, walks we took together all over our neighborhood and the surrounding area. You knew the best places. I thought you had been born in a mansion and that somehow you had wound up on the street, just another stray dog. That night that we went for a walk at 10. It started to rain and we had to seek refuge under the awning of a furniture store. We stayed until the rain stopped. You smiled at me with your trusting eyes and I smiled back. We were soul mates.


December 13, 2011

My Obssession

New! I must have everything new! That means new books—copies of my favorite books that have never been read before. New books mean success, something that is not poverty. And new clothes—not Salvation Army stuff, but clothes bought at real department stores, stores like Neiman Marcus orSaks Fifth Avenue. I don’t want used anymore. I don’t want shabby or worn. That’s for not for me. But it is how I have lived for the past 10 years.

Cossack in Other Lands

December 7, 2011

Cossack in Other Lands

He was a Cossack from the Don River. He was strong and powerful. When I think of him I remember his smile, his brown eyes and his thick glasses. I can feel his arms around my waist  when I was a little girl. I can see his hands touching the top of my head. I see us together in one of the expensive cars he used to fix. Most of the time it was aMercedes, a Packard or a Cadillac. Again,I hear our conversations while we waited for the light to change. The words were magical, like our upcoming trip. We were so excited about going to live in theUnited States, theland ofDoris Day and Sandra Dee. I would have followed him anywhere because I loved him. I would have done anything he wanted.

The Blue Apron

December 5, 2011

The Blue Apron Her little wrinkled face smiled at her. The old woman wore a blue apron tied around her waist. It was a Sunday at noon. The homemade tomato sauce needed just a pinch of pepper. Without the pepper, it would have tasted just fine, but the cook couldn’t resist. Out of her apron pocket came a small plastic bag. She opened it and sprinkled the pepper on the sauce. She waited and then tasted it. Here, she said offering her the wooden spoon, see if it’s right. The younger woman opened her mouth and closed her eyes. More than delicious, Tia. No one is as good a cook as you.

The Specter

December 5, 2011

The Specter

Strange to say. Strange to think about it after all this time. 3 years is a long time. The specter of the streets is around. It is there when the woman thinks about her future. Will she go back out? Will it happen soon just when the snow season is about to begin? In 2008 it was hard enough to get around during the long summer. Staying awake was nearly impossible. People looked and stared. The red cart was a godsend, the gift of a person shenever saw again. The streets are things to fear. All that asphalt overwhelms.




22 Cents Make a Millionaire

December 4, 2011

22 Cents Make a Millionaire

 First she saw a dime. A few steps more another dime. 2 pennies near the curb. She picked up the coins looking right and left to make sure that no one was watching. It was almost 5 and getting dark. I can save these coins, she thought to herself pushing the red cart. A little more and I can get myself a cup of hot coffee. Who’d want anything cold on  a night like this? She smiled and put the coins in the pocket of her blue jacket. Yes, this windfall makes me feel that I’m rich. It’s better than eating sour cream in the old days when I had a house.








Tell Me Lies

December 2, 2011

Tell Me

Please, please! Tell me that things are going to be fine—better than ok. Lie to me. Pretend that something will improve and that I won’t feel upset anymore. I am intolerant of stuff not agreeing with me. Years ago I used to put up with that sort of thing, but now I just want to let go of it. I often can’t. It will be for a few minutes—the relief that your lies will give me. But those few minutes will be peaceful, a mental vacation from worries. All those constant worries that make my face frown.