Imagery #1

August 27, 2008

A Note to My Readers: I’m taking intro to creative writing this semester. Which fortunately (or unfortunately) for you means that I’m going to have a lot more material for this blog that isn’t related to:(a) pointless introspection or (b) science and politics. Here’s my first piece of the semester. It’s supposed to use imagery. It turns out, not so much. And keep in mind, I used a large amount of creative license. Things may or may not have happened this way. That’s just the nature of memory.

My dog had died. My dog had died but I felt nothing.

Standing on the back steps of my house, I could see my dog, Dixie, lying motionless. For the first time in my young life, I met death. But I could not cry.

Just hours before, before I had left for CCD, before I had gone about my day like it was just another day, Dixie had been lying on her side in the bathroom. She smelled like sickness. Like decay. She hadn’t been washed in months, and her hair was matted to her side. Standing at the doorway, kept at a distance by my parents, I could hear her panting. I knew she wouldn’t be okay. But I also knew that there was nothing I could do.

So when I returned home that night to learn she was dead, I felt dead inside. But I could not cry. I watched as my father shoveled earth that he would replace with her (its?) body. I heard the soft thud as each shovel-full was moved away. I looked on, even as my brother and sister and mother all cried. This was our dog. This was a member of our family.

As I wondered at my inability to cry, tears began to well up. And then they began to pour. I could feel their warmth on my skin, taste their saltiness on my lips. I began to cry. But not for my dog. Dixie was dead. I knew that meant I was supposed to cry. But I could not. So instead, I shed tears because I couldn’t bring myself to cry. I shed tears because, in spite of it all, I felt nothing.

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