It was early September, not hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk but hot enough to heat up leftover eggs on the sidewalk. I was knelt down, filling a juice jug with water from the sprinkler, a ritual I had been performing all summer in order to make my summer certified lemonade that was selling like photos of nude women to the recently pubic. To complete the full experience I presented the drink to customers not in glasses but rather hollowed out eggshells I painted red stitches on to look like baseballs in keeping with the summer theme. If it seems like I got eggs on the brain it’s because I was born around breakfast. Anyway, if you want to read about my lemonade, pick up a copy of Business Week, this story is about dogs.
As I was kneeling there I caught the scent of dog and my eyes immediately darted down toward my belt. When I had buckled it twenty minutes earlier, I thought I might regret wearing the one made of beef jerky but my leather belt was currently being used by my wife to measure how many of my waists could fit into the basement in case the cloning project got funding.
Before I knew it I was surrounded by at least 25 dogs of various breeds, some with collars, some without, some barking, some sniffing, all staring at me, mouths agape and hungry for preserved meat. I decided to test their focus by casually walking up the block toward the failed Asian fusion restaurant that had only succeeded in fusing the parts of the brain that detect bad value and mediocre noodles. Sure enough, the dogs were on my tail, snout first, their own tails happily flapping away as if fanning butterflies away from a pile of raisins. They weren’t necessarily aggressive but I didn’t like how all of them were so interested in me, a creature who didn’t speak the same language or even like the same type of girls as them.
I decided not to run because I didn’t want to provoke the dogs and have them start running themselves. To me, a dog running is like a bee stinging only a dog doesn’t die after it runs unless it’s old and has a bad heart, or if it runs into a bee and it’s allergic to bees. I made a mental note to call my next band Dog Heart and continued at a brisk pace toward the graveyard where I figured the smell of bones would distract them enough to lose them. If not, at least I’d be able to finally check out that cemetery I’d never been to.
I was sweating cats and dogs and could sense the dogs reacting to my new smell like a cat reacting to a sweaty dog, so I did a quick barrel roll and left a sweat stain on the sidewalk that actually kind of looked like a dog–I’m not sure though, it was a quick glance and I might have just caught the shadow of one of the dogs. I walked 16 steps (I know the exact number because I had already decided I wanted to tell the story and needed some cold, hard facts) and gathered enough courage to look back where I saw the mutts licking at pavement, just as I had intended. I ducked into a pet store and waited until the coast was clear. Before leaving I left my belt in an iguana tank and that iguana eventually went on to star in over thirty children’s stories written by this slow kid who lived above the pet store.