Arms outstretched, I flailed myself onto my father’s bed – a frail child, reddened face pressed pillow down, blood-filled and choking up a boundless flow. A prescient boy who – in one forceful blow of bloodied fur – had split-secondly parted with innocence through his precious Daisy’s collapsing in one heart-break of a vehicular thud. In this violent crash and my abiding loss, I proved an unprepared-for, crumpled casualty – prostrated foremost over this doggedly misunderstood, middle-of-the-road despair. A grievously unforeseen passing and a lasting responsiveness to one familiar mound of fated ephemerality on unfamiliar concrete that quickly drove a feeble, shaking frame to shed a fading freshness while ashamedly failing to fill Daddy’s sheeted indent.
My aunt had screamed “JIM!” as she ceased backing her sedan out of the driveway of his latest place toward one jam-packed M-119, where Harbor Springs broke away from Petoskey, her brakes slamming – as had those of the car that’s hood took my beloved mongrel of a presence present from my infancy – yes, that dedicated tail-wagging spirit taken from within warm doggy flesh – and, “NO!” – now, without, tearing me from any chance at childhood in that crushingly instant instance. My old dog. This new house. Heartbroken youth between shielding thicketed forest and threateningly unsheltered thoroughfare, harbored under ceiling and spread over bedding over box springs on this bedstead yielded to as much for its width –
As for this childlike appeal to any depth of perception of its occupant, whose last name his singular kid claimed with a given name as his only son’s middle one – this jilted James Allen, this forsaken forebear of a flowery heir so susceptible to felt sorrow and a flamboyantly begotten reflection of an airy facet of himself he would allow a blowing over by in a looming morrow rather than being swept under and in by this Adam James’ genuineness this mournful morning. Thunderously authentic, I was but a budding abstraction to the masculine parent – effeminate prey to a panic that crept over, under, and in – far predating me.
What was handed down at saddened seven was that dear Daisy ascended from that unsanctified street to a made-up hound heaven so that I could cross this threshold banished from inexperience past and bound to the cloudy experience of a prepubescence contained in the essence of a strained relationship betwixt this patriarchal figure and his peculiar descendant’s shared fear-fueled, latently located otherness.
His hated ex-wife’s sister hovering, attempting to mother me – the archetypal maternal of my Aunt Colleen belatedly consoling me, arched over my sobbing body and smothered soul expressions as my baby cousin Jenny quietly observed the deafening scene beside her – and the typically absently paternal in the periphery childishly muttering one rejection of a “Doggone it, Adam!” from the hallway – chastising with explanations about a silver fox, instinct, and a chase – that wretched furry mass may right well have goddamned been my figurative form on that unholy stretch of worn, boyhood-ending highway –
And as I stormed within myself and externalized what was less and less over Daisy’s death with every tremendous heave – and more and more were tears howled heedlessly under the heaviness of a precocious sense of a disposable protection – I was simultaneously inside of and divorced from myself, surrendering to a selfdom that would never be the same. A cryptic consciousness of the adult world’s pulling me away from my Alright Self as it strove to steer me apart from a full disposition to Almighty Transience – dealing with my position of whole humanness, stealing me away from a whole-hearted humanity – where and when and how I wanted simply to feel – feel freely and flagrantly and everlastingly!
The empathetic maternal had intended to drop me off to a mundane day, returned to the emphatic paternal, only for a beautiful beast’s dying to thwart plans and herald my push on into an aberrant era. And what I know now is that they knew not what they did, not having the know-how themselves to believe what we all already knew.
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