White Dog

If you ever walked past the granite dealers opposite the Bosch factory you might see a rather fat three legged dog.

He’s fat and unkempt, look closely and you’ll see his black hide under the off-white fur. He’s not fat because he’s well fed, it must be a lifetime next to small sweet shops and living on discarded fried items.

He used to sit near a sweet shop down a nearby lane. There was a giant puddle always filled with stagnant water and a house that always dripped dirty water onto the street, from its rain gutter. Why did he move to the main road? There were no trees, only the long grey compound of the Institute of Agricultural Technologies. They had filled their campus with palm trees, like they predicted the worst of urbanization.

Maybe it was the other dogs that moved in, maybe the passers by got a bit tired of having to navigate the filthy streets, broken pavement and a fat dog. His new hang out was the small gap in the wall, the only spot where no one peed. There a small stall set up where the people from the granite dealers would come to eat after washing their trucks. He’d lie on the piles of sand that were always there. You’d only see him after 10 and in the afternoon when the city was as its most inhospitable.

Recently they built a wall and he only has the pavement to sleep on. A woman runs the cart now and she’s always looking out. She looks at something far away from her plastic seat and glass jars of home made snacks. She won’t flinch even if you walk the narrow space left on the pavement. The dog however will look straight at you with his jet black yes that stand out on his body like spilt ink on paper. His look is full of a defeated indifference, knowing food is unlikely but waiting anyway.

He has bad timing, most residents know that you should stay indoors rather than risk the city roads. But I wonder if he’s just keeping people company.

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One night at a park

The park was always in ruins. No one knew if it had ever seen better days but you can be sure that the colony’s respectable residents would never be seen there.

I would always scheme with the other residents about it. Especially that Naik. No one would ever think we didn’t get along. 

Living near a place with such a bad reputation can do us no good. The atmosphere is never right but these other fools will never understand. Everything that is bad happens because of atmosphere. It is why dictators who smoke get their countries in trouble. They make for terrible atmosphere. Just look at Cuba.

Now we must do something about those dam hooligans at the park. Everyone nods when I tell them this but are happy to sit at home with only the light from their TV’s  leaving their houses when the time is right. How many time have I told them of my plan? That gatekeeper is terrible. I keep telling him to get the other servants together and paint those dam fences.

Those rusty fences would give you tetanus if you even look at them. My plan was perfect. It was simple, and the intelligent could see that this rainy night was actually the best time for it. Just a few knocks on the head would send those idiots at the park away. They were better off at home rather than hanging out in parks so late. Well, so I thought.

 There’s the gateman now. His smile always unsettels me. It seems to be mocking me in its unusual whiteness. Maybe I should give him a knock on the head too, now that I know the measure of my blows. He wasn’t wearing a watch. More time would always do me good.

No, I just have to get back to the east gate. I was right, the atmosphere was perfect. In the rain all you could see was the blue and yellow glows from the apartment windows and the lamps that would only fliker like the insects that flew past them. 

I looked at my watch carefully.

Hmm. I didn’t mean to do it honestly, but I think it will be for the best. All I saw was him shuffling around aimlessly, suspiciously. I should have noticed that bent gait but I was a bit too excited to be honest. I took my walking stick and aimed.

It should have hit his arm buy he stumbled across nothing. That dam Naik. What was he doing in the park without me? I was the one of started the whole clean park business and now he goes off without me? 

I nearly felt my pulse go when his did but I realised that atmosphere was just right. I made sure to tap my walking stick extra loud and even leave a cough or two as the gateman walked by. I didn’t want to oversell it.

That fool was always blind, might actually take him a few days to find Naik. I looked at my watch carefully in the orange street light and memorised the exact time again. 

Who could know if I came home at 8 or 9? No one other than the gateman would know I was at the park and I would have many ready to testify how I sat by the TV all day. When the police come at least there won’t be anymore idiots at the park anymore.
 

 

The Wait

The dog at the station, how long had he been there?

I would have offered him something, but his stare was empty. I stepped back trying to figure out if he had died. Before us people milled about. The train didn’t want to leave, but really what was there to look at?

The din was like the ticking of a meaningless clock. Feet shuffled but the crowd never died. There were so many, only a blur without meaning. So I stood there and with the dog I listened. People moved but the station never changed.