Hachikō makes a mad dash for it, but with a snap of the lead, she pulls him back. The day grows old, and while the sun still shines, the heat from its searching rays is diminished. The sky is sepia; as sepia as the buildings that flow over the horizon to foreign lands of which we know are out there but have never seen and probably never will. It’s a sad thing when you think about it, yet our story is for these shores and these shores alone. It was born on the side of the road many years ago. A road we still walk at times like these when the day is about to die and the mysteries of night threaten to come into bloom like a firework exploding before the whites of watchful eyes. We intended to spend the evening inside. After our meal of chicken and chips washed down with more cold beer, I envisioned taking tasteful photos of her flowering sex and then exploring said sex with my tongue before a slow descent into hard liquor and the bowels of existential musings. It wasn’t to be, though. Upon eating, she grew excited at the thought of taking the dog for a walk and visiting places around town we’d encountered on our journey through life together. I dragged my feet and complained; said I was no mood for a trawl through memory lane. She wasn’t taking no for an answer, though, and when she bared her teeth calling me all manner of names under the dimming sun, I knew it was pointless to resist. I have to admit, however, that the second we stepped onto the sidewalk breathing in this humid stink that never seems to shift, I grew excited at the thought of what sights and sounds awaited us. Neither of us knew which way to go, so we let the dog choose. Asking him where he wished to visit, he let out an excited bark before dragging Meeko along at high speed in the direction of the nearest park. Naturally, I dawdled behind, lost in some thought regarding what it means to be human when to be human—in the grand scheme of things—isn’t a big deal at all.
“What are you doing?” she cries over her shoulder, “stop bumming about and hurry yourself along.”
Shaking away the melancholy, I flick my cigarette into a skip full of bricks and an old, piss-stained mattress. It’s a good place to ditch our own. I make a mental note to do it when we get back.
“Hachikō!” she complains, “stop pulling on your lead. I shan’t tell you again. Naughty boy!”
Smiling to myself, I quicken my steps on the broken paving slabs beneath my feet as the traffic chugs alongside me. Soon enough, I’m by her side as the dog slobbers ahead, sniffing out the trail of some scent that takes us zigzagging through streets I usually avoid through fear of either becoming lost or battered to death at the hands of someone as sick as living as I so often am.