I am a nice person. You’ve seen me in the street. I have nodded warmly. If you then said “how are you,” I responded “great,” or some other polite lie. I am a nice person. I take care not to back up too close to your car on street cleaning day, even though spaces are tight. I once thanked you for planting rosemary and sage in your sidewalk median where I can easily access them in a pinch. They have flavored many chickens.
But here’s the thing with you: every morning I want to crucify you. And your son, the one with the stupid haircut, his oafish teenage smile and his stupid god damn baseball hat– I want to crucify the two of you. I want to do it in front of your dogs while they’re duct taped to a bench or something. Restrained in some way that they’re immobile but not so distracted by the pain of their bondage that they can’t pay attention to the tableau. Which is you, in agony, radius bones splintered with galvanized nails pounded through some scrap two by fours as I take one of those little torches they use for crème brulee to the most sensitive parts of your body.
I want to do this because I need your dogs to stop barking, forever, and I could never physically harm them. What sort of monster hurts an animal. I only want to destroy them psychologically. And I assume fear of your household coming to harm is what motivates them to bark so much. And to start so early. Every. God. Damn. Mother. Fucking. Morning.
So I need them to see the sanctity of your home being violated in the most barbaric way imaginable. You will be wriggling and screaming. It will be tough to keep my aim with the little blue fire on your nipple as I maintain eye contact with your god damn border collie, who has a voice like the god of fucking thunder. Who starts in at six thirty every fucking day. And then never, ever stops. He has intelligent eyes. Which is great, because I will be able to read the nuances in them. The pain, the fear, yes. But also guilt. He is the protector of the house, and he allowed this to happen. Yes, I will say. Yes. This is your fault. You did this. And then I’ll turn up the torch.
I am a nice person. But this is what I think about between six thirty and eight thirty every morning as your dogs begin barking, in triplets– bark bark bark… bark bark bark. I am trying desperately to sleep. Every fan in my house is turned on. The air conditioner is loud; the bathroom fan is loud. I have earplugs in. I’ve tried many kinds. Silicon ones; the industrial foam ones where you twist them up and they corkscrew into your inner ear with a roar like a slow ocean wave and suddenly you can hear only your sighing breath and your heartbeat– that, and the bark bark bark of your god damn dogs. Despite the fact that all this white noise should block out a jet engine. I can’t hear the LAPD Black Hawk buzz my house with all these prophylactics in effect but I can hear your god damn motherfucking animals going crazy. “Sarge,” and I forget what the other one’s name is. “Cornbread” or something.
Sarge is the border collie, and I blame him for the noise even though the little terrier gets him started. Sarge is the one who circles and circles when you walk by your screen gate; the one who impotently tries to bite through the grating. He is driven mad by the fact that you NEVER walk him, you are NEVER home, you or your stupid ugly retarded god damn son– this creature bred through centuries to be interacting constantly with man and with his fellow beasts, watching for signals, steering the sheep away from danger, a creature who was made to be engaged with people, trapped there in that little concrete front yard of yours getting nothing every day. His big brain turns on itself. Makes him into a paranoid vigilante who screams bloody murder when ordinary people try to go about their lives on the sidewalk.
I tried to be friends. I tried to calm him down. It’s not his fault, I thought, as a I crouched down, murmuring, many times– it’s all right buddy. It’s all right. You see me every day. Don’t you remember me? If I could I take you to my house, we’d run around in the park every day! You know, the thousand acre park behind your house that I’ve been in constantly for four years and have never once seen your owner take you to. You could protect the cat out there, you could lord your genius over other dogs– yeah, fuck off, Cornbread, I’m not talkin’ to you– you could have the life you were born for. And he just bark bark barked. Circled frantically, smashed his fangs on the rusty metal and looked at me like he wanted to follow me into hell and shit on my soul while it burned. I kept trying though. Until one day when I walked past with a hamburger and he sat and fell silent and I thought: fuck you, you whore.
I am a nice person. But your god damn dogs, your god damn neglect of your dogs and the resulting disturbance to EVERYONE around you, which I know many people have complained about and you’ve ignored… I was reading about the Rwandan genocide. Neighbor killed neighbor with impunity, the book said. Brutal machete hackings were commonplace, and there was no accountability. I thought: that doesn’t sound half bad. Your god damn dogs ruin my day, every day. So while I am smiling at you hauling out my trash cans, I am really thinking about hacking you to death. And your pets. And your child.
Anyway. Thought you should know. See you at the neighborhood council meeting.