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Afternoons with Puppy by Dr. Aubrey Fine and Cynthia J. Eisen

HeavyGlow Flash Fiction Anthology Edited by Stacy Taylor

Blue by J.D. Riso. Also available at lulu


oh my goodness

there is something so nice about someone you've known for so long.

this year, i lost one of my oldest friends. i took that friendship for granted and before i knew it, before i could appreciate that, she was (is) gone. i'd known this girl since 3rd grade. 3rd grade!

it's been about five years since i talked to her. and somehow, we had grown apart. she wasn't really the same person i knew since way back when. but our kids, our sons, were born less than 24 hours apart. it was her youngest, my only, and we were in the hospital at the same time. i remember having z and the next day walking down to the delivery room to visit her. she was asleep, dialated to five or six, and i had no idea that a "spinal" was an option. i had z naturally (with a little help from nubain)

susan wasn't "smart" by most people's standards...she didn't have the "book" knowledge. she dropped out in the 11th grade to marry delmon. but she could match anyone, word for word, in street smarts. she never, and i mean, never met a stranger. she talked to you like she'd known you all her life, and that was her greatest gift of all.

when her daughter was little, she was molested by a teacher. susan took that and ran, and the next thing you know, this "dropout" worked for the city's prosecutor's office as a child avocate.

her daddy was a truck driver, for a moving company. and they had a wicked german shepherd. the only way i could get inside her house was when her daddy was home. he was the only one who could control the german shepherd.

so one day, susan and i decide to skip school. we go to her house, barely two blocks from mine, and both the dogs are loving me, from outside the fence. as soon as i stepped inside, sam attacked me. susan is yelling and screaming, she's pulling while i'm pushing, and next thing i know, i am inside of her house. there is not a single cut/tear, nothing in my clothing. i pull off my sweater first, then my velour shirt and there is the biggest, nastiest hole. sam had ripped a hole of flesh from my shoulder. (to this day, still have the scar)

imagine, two teen-aged girls, we are FREAKING out, to say the least. so, without thinking, we drive all the way to downtown ft. smith, to where her mom works, for the water company, in the city building.

her mom of course freaks out, and thinks, my parents will sue them. i assure her they won't (my parents were not/are not like that. my dad rails against "frivolous law suits" even years later, when i want to sue the hospital for burning my son's thumb during an operation, my dad said "no way")

so her mom tells us to go to the emergency room and she'll pay for it. so that is what we do.

we, of course, being teen-aged girls, use the "dog" thins as an excuse to miss the rest of th school day. "we're too upset to go to school"

but later, susan and i are bored, so we decide to go to the "dog pound" something both of our parents would have definitely said "no" to...but we go anyway.

i have this huge-assed bandage on my shoulder and as we cruise through the dog pound, the guy starts to tell us what happens if a dog has rabbies. shots in the gut, dog put down...yadda yadda yadda...and susan and i freak! we were only 16 years old, at most.

so on the way back to her house, from the dog pound, we're cruising in her '65 chevelle. sweet little purple car, standard steering, up massard road. massard was a "country" road, if you will...full of hills and valleys and we loved to "lose our stomachs" over each hill. we would "fly through the air with the greatest of ease" and then laugh our asses off!

only the last hill we creasted, there was a mail truck on the other side. the roads were wet, susan slammed the breaks and we slammed, just barely, slapping the bumper ever so slightly, into the mail truck.

it was a black man. and he freaked. "i have to call my supervisor. i have to call him!" so we went to the rock house who's mail he was dropping off, and called the "supervisor"

susan kept saying, "my daddy is gonna kill me, my daddy is gonna kill me"

when the cop showed up, he asked "were you speeding?"

susan says, "no sir, we were doing the speed limit."

to which the cop laughed..."speed limit, yeah, right! thing is, it's raining, the 'speed limit' is ten miles less than what is posted"

susan and i looked at each other, and tho neither one of us said it (cause, back then, neither one of us would) we did a mental "oh FUCK!"

and so...the moral of this story is....NEVER SKIP SCHOOL!

love ya, susan!

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