Monthly Archives: December 2013

Nothing prepared me for Dino’s day. Nothing could have. What would?

How can anything simulate the feeling of a living, breathing entity, whom you care for on a level nearing your own blood, ceasing to exist before your own fucking eyes?

I saw him breath slower, as if he were simply going for a big snooze. Droopy eyes looked over at me, like he always did before he went to sleep–just to make sure I was still there I guess–and I could have sworn he winked one of his big browns at me. Then he took one long, deep breath, let it out in a puff. I laughed. He blew his big hound-dog ears up with a last breath; Signing off with a knee-slapper, classic Dino. I didn’t know.

Then he wasn’t doing anything. His belly wasn’t expanding anymore, he wouldn’t respond when I called his name. I screamed it. I patted his plush head like I would when he was under the weather, thinking maybe he fell ill and didn’t want to bother with my antics.

“Should I get some water?” I thought to myself.

In his later years, I would bring little bowls of water when he had one of his bad spells and didn’t want to move around much. The vet would always say it was just an infection and simply needed some antibiotics and some old-fashion rest for the pooch. Never failed though.

It made me think this was just another episode I had to watch. All I had to do was call mom, she’d get the meds from the vet and I simply had to wait, and try to comfort him, right?

I’d been wrong before.

When it finally hit me, when I let myself understand what had just taken place: Panic mode.

I ran around the house, not knowing what to do, calling random numbers hoping someone of importance picked up the phone.

911, no help, pet hospital (no car), parent’s place of business…

After several attempts of the operator trying to understand my garbled request, I got my mom on the line. Me: frantic, crying, shoving words in between heaving breaths.

“Dino, I think, I think he’s dead! Mom, please! Please, you gotta help him! Do something! Send someone! The fucking cavalry, a doctor, a med student! Someone! He looked like he was just going to sleep. But he never woke up! He never woke up, mom! Don’t you understand?! He wouldn’t move… ”

I remember her sounding almost unaffected; as if she had been expecting it all along.

“Sweetie, please, calm down, you won’t get anywhere with that foul mouth. Now, he was twelve years old! He lived a full life for a Basset and at least he went on his own time. Just be happy you were with him in the end. I’ll be home soon, dear, then your father and I will take care of things, I promise. Just please, try to stay calm…  Honey? Are you there? Sweetie, please say something… Franky!“

I heard her, loud and clear, but my mind was in turmoil. Something was happening. There were too many emotions to poke at and as I was attempting to find some morsel of the English language to communicate to her what I felt, I blacked out. That was all I remembered up until several hours later…

It all started the day my dog died… his name was Dionysus, my mom named him. She’s a big philosophy geek, he gets mentioned in text a lot.

I didn’t mind the name so much when I found out who the guy was in Greek mythology. I thought it suited Dino well; he was a born party animal! I mean, he made a lot of noise, ate far more  than his fill, and went after just about every schnauzer, terrier, poodle... Let’s just say he got more action with those dogs than I did with my upright, smooth skinned counterparts. And he only got to explore the world on walks in the neighborhood or in his sneakier fence tunneling operations.

Shit, I was supposed to talk about something…

Oh right!

Depression. And I mean DEPRESSION.  Capital-D. Who could have guessed that would do it? Dino’s passing. Better question, who would’ve said I was anything BUT depressed before the fact?

I’ve faced deaths in the family, love interests turned mortal enemies, friends betraying friends, hell two of our family’s faithful companions had been put to sleep before we even adopted Dionysus.

I’ve cried in remorse, fucking terribly, balls to the wall baller-session after my Grandma passed away (my dad’s mom).  Drunk, and putting a cherry on top at an open-bar for my friend Sandy’s graduation (No one was carding, I indulged); literally pouring down the shame.

I was thinking about the day before my grandma left for Europe; again. Once again, her and my grandpa made the annual visit. She had made that trip so many times, I thought nothing of it. It was just another few thousand frequent-flyer miles and a carry-on full of California staples to share with our eager relatives across the deep blue. I never saw her alive again.

I started crying after toasting my last swig to her. I thought a lot of how my Grandfather might have felt, watching his wife fade away, helpless, but being there for her. I know he was strong, or tried to be. You can’t blame anyone in that position for freaking out , but I like to hope he said some loving reassurances to keep calm. Never giving up hope, trying to get to the hospital in time. I tried to imagine the last smile she may have given him before letting go, just to say “it’s okay. They have Bingo in heaven. I love you”. I hope. I also never drank heavily again. Thanks Grandma.

I’ve been down in the dumps, yes. No denying that. And you wouldn’t believe me even if I swore otherwise. You might say I was depressed since the day of my grandmother’s passing.

Not really in a dangerous way though (my therapist claims otherwise these days). It was this dull aching that never subsided. It didn’t freeze me in time so that I couldn’t see the future anymore. But I guess I wasn’t “okay enough” with the idea of a no-grandma-filled future. I had trouble accepting it. But a switch flipped; like any prideful alcoholic, I claimed myself to be a functioning bag of self-loathing. I picked myself up by withered handle, found a little thing called Mary Jane, and shit, life, went on; down some pesky river in Egypt.

Writer’s note: I hope to post an update to this story once a week. With a full time job and school to commit to, it will be difficult I am sure of that, but I will endure to the end. May you all enjoy and have a wonderful New Year! 🙂

Regarding faith, I am not one to pass judgment on others in life, especially when it comes to religion. Religion is not something I actively take part in as a member, but I do take lessons from all religion (attempt to at least) and try to apply them to my own life as a lot of the values appreciated in Christianity and Catholicism, even eastern religion, falls into line with what I consider morally just. I simply find it more pleasing to explore the boundaries of life and what it means to me. Limiting myself to a certain set of guidelines, in my opinion at least, takes away from what I can learn from my time here on earth. The good and the bad, I find both necessary to explore. Not to enforce, but to understand. I
I do however, feel a sense of a higher power in my life. Whether it is the Christian God, or the Greek Gods,  Karma, or my own God (Good Orderly Direction. The term came up in a writer’s workshop book and it stuck) I feel some presence. I can’t claim faith in any religion, but I do understand the necessity of their structure in our lives. I think even if Heaven and God, or Zeus and his clan etc. are all myths, they still provide a great structure for people to live by and allows them to live peacefully in a society that is working towards a universal goal. Which is usually eternal life after death (Death, being a major conundrum for humans in general). What I mean is it seems that they all attempt to deal with the difficulties of death for us, so that we can more easily focus on living virtuous lives without excess, or worry of what will happen to us posthumously. With faith, comes answers. Something humans have been craving for thousands of years.
And I do believe it has helped me through inclement weather, faith, in whatever presence I feel. I believe that having faith, in any respect, is something the human race needs. Be it in a God, or yourself. Otherwise we are simply bags of protoplasm waiting to go 6-feet under, or to leave a lasting impression on humanity for our own vanity. Both may lead down self-destructive paths. After-all, you’d be hard pressed to select a great influential figure in the history of intelligent human existence if they had no faith in themselves or some other higher power. 
Just my two-cents on faith, and what it means to me.

Fleeting glimpses of a rainbow follow the storm

It scurries behind cumuli, shy

Aware of our curious eyes.


It bares the castles through nights we forge

In dreams telling of better days,

Of peace, of unity.


Through technicolor peculiarity, we’re entranced

Pawns immobile in a Giant’s hand.

Without choice, but to trust and…


/begin rant

To the city of San Jose, fuck you very much for spreading the “joy” of the holidays with a fatty-fine for my having to park in front of my grandparents house as we celebrated our Christmas Eve tradition. I hope you realize you have a major congestion issue and should resolve it instead of dishing out fines to hard-working citizens just trying to enjoy a fine holiday with the people they love, minus the goddamn government sticking their head in for their own piece! Can’t you take a break for one night? Who needs parking authority on occasions such as these? Think!

End rant\

He finds a seat at his favorite watering hole

Orders a whiskey, three fingers.

Gets approached by a group of suited gentlemen

Pin-striped blazers, fedoras, greasy hair.

Too tired to talk, and too distracted to wonder

Why these dapper gents offered a wing to fit him under.

They tell him, “The game is rigged! You’ll never win

Without an edge, or lady luck’s enchanted grin.

We’ve got the booze, the broads, the corrupt feds

We’ll show you a good time, you’ll never regret it

We’ll break the house, and toll the bells to no end

Kid, we’ll go places, you’ll never forget it

I just need you for a minute, walk this bag across

The street to that gent’ in the snow-white hoody

And let him know, ‘the family’s got the goodies.

Keep in touch’ Simple as that, ratatat-tat”

He knows, this is his mark. He downs the whiskey tumbler

Slides off his stool, and adds a parting phrase

“Silly Rabbit, tricks are for kids” as he smashed the glass

Upside this gangster’s head. A golden shield, in full view.

The ranger’s .44 Magnum pointed at the rest of the stupefied crew

Some assholes just never see the badge.

I wrote this today while thinking about the recent Fallout 4 hoax and some mythical ranger scouting a bar in the wasteland to find the person responsible for it…