Survivors of the Z’s- Graham Jackson, Edinburgh, Scotland THE DOG WALKER
A man’s best friend. That’s what they’re indeed. I didn’t just have one though. I had three. One German shephard, three year old Bruno, one Japanese Akita, six year old Elvis and one Rottweiler, she was five, her name was Jessie. Three powerhouses. One leader. Guess who that was. The bitch wore the trouses.
She was a hot piece of ass to the lads when they all first met. Unfortunately. The males got their bollox chopped off and the female got gutted out and then that was that. No more flirting. No nothing.
I’m a fifty five year old man that’s been married three times, but I only have one child, Evelyn. My beautiful Evelyn. Daddy’s little girl. Daddy’s little princess. She was heaven to me. One look at her and a smile, even in the darkest of days, would stretch my wrinkled cheeks to their limits. She was thirty. My dear old Evelyn. Married. Kids. A good husband who worked his ass off to provide. She worked too. She was a teacher in math at the Krameford University in Glasgow. She had always been my smart little angel.
I had taken out the three stooges for a walk. My three companions. My three loves. Always at the side of me enjoying there regular walks. They were never on leads. They were too smart for that. They knew what cars were and they knew what damage they would cause. Or what damage they would cause to the cars. I never felt in danger in any way when they were with me. Even though I’d probably kick somebodies ass anyway. But, you still feel a little bit of fear. Doesn’t matter how big or small you’re. Alone walking at night. Watching your back is natural. But, when you have three big doggies at the side of you, well, nobodies going to think about trying anything.
“Bruno, come here,” I told
He moved away slightly and I had to tell him to get back in line. I was strict with them. I had to be. If you was soft they’d walk all over you.
“Bruno, come here”
Finally he came back and got back with the others. He was the curious one. The youngest one. The one with the more adventurous mind. The others were sensible and always looked at him as if to say
Calton Hill was always the place where I took my companions. Never would I take them anywhere else.
Sometimes it’s good to go other places. But, the view of the city just gave the walk that bit extra.
For my mind
The dogs would sometimes bugger off and leave me to look at the delicious view and would come back in a blink from my voice. That was our relationship. They would play in the dark and I would think in the dark. The dark would consume me and the four of us would run free in it.
“Let’s go boys,” I said
Just up the hill was the viewpoint. My viewpoint. Our viewpoint.
And let the dogs run free. They knew it was their time to wander and that’s what they did. They disappeared and I heard them playing. Barking. In the distance.
“I know you’re up there,” I said, “mother, your son is happy, I know you want me to find love, that’s what you said right? I’ve done that, I don’t need people, I have my dogs, the dogs that you loved as much as I, they protect me, I hope you’re ok up there… I’ll never forget you, tell dad I said hi”
The night lights of the city surrounded me. Each turn was a beautiful sight. I breathed. In and out and listened to the quiet. Then. It was time to go.
I whistled, “let’s go”
Nothing. No movement. No noise. I whistled again and again and there was nothing.
“Bruno… Elvis… Jessie!”
Apprehension began to grow. I was very protective over my dogs. If anything happened to them I would’ve been a loose end to the world.
I wasn’t used to them ignoring me.
“Where the hell are you?”
Finally. After many calls. They had arrived at my side once again. My head could only shake, but a smile arrived after. I was happy to see them.
“Don’t do that to me again guys”
My mum. It wasn’t long.
It didn’t seem that long ago since she passed. It never will feel that long ago. It was four years since she left the earth and joined my old man.
She was a great woman and my father was a great man. Both. Oozing with inspiration that I fed off. Both. Loved like nobody else. Both held me in different ways. My mum. Consoled me and pumped love back inside of me when I was down. My dad. Kicked me up the fucking ass and got my engine up and running again. Both. Did the job and both
KEPT ME MOVING
“A man never earns a buck when he’s crying son”
That’s what the old man used to say. It always did the job. Always had. Always will.
“Find yourself a woman who loves you or I will find you one”
That was my mum. That’s for another time.
I closed the door and shut it behind me. The dogs abruptly ran to their water bowls. My phone buzzed. I picked it out and looked at it.
“Fucking touch screens,” I said
It was a message from my daughter. A video. I had to download it first and when I did I watched it straight a way. What I saw made my bones shake. She then began to ring me. I picked it up. Her voice seemed shaken on the other side.
“Have you watched it?” She asked
“Yeah, are you sure this is real?”
“Yes, it’s on the news, what’s happening dad?”
“I don’t know Evelyn, I don’t know”