Memory Motel: A Rock And Roll Fantasy, Part One Section 10- Runt Of the Litter
Part One: The Crash (Continued)
Chapter Three: Blue Eyes
She had expected to live her entire existence in borderline poverty in Prague and she didn’t. And she was happy for that, to live the life she had read about and watched on TV and all that with, unlike most things on the planet, no side effect.
Ron was an older man but he was also a real woman’s man, a man with a history and ability, he understood sex and Karolina was pretty sure he understood her and while on some level Karolina was easy to understand, in some ways she wasn’t. Ron just knew she was scared about life and her physical attractiveness wasn’t helping.
Karolina was too aware of the randomness of life. Both her sister and brother had died in a freak accident when they were just children and while she knew her parents had nothing to with it except they were poor enough to allow it to happen , an electric heater carelessly left near the bath they were sharing, and Karolina at the door of the bathroom, walking in with her Mom by her side and the moment always frozen and never changing, the electric heater always falls in and the smell of burnt flesh and her sister and brother charged alive and hen charged apart, a moment in time. She was si years old at the time and carried the memory still as fresh as if it was yesterday, in later years she became a vegetarian not out of any moral compunction but because the smell of roasting meat made her imagine it was her sister and brother she was eating.
What bothered Karolina about the death, and what scared her so much, was its complete and total randomness: there was no way to fight it or stop it or deal with the complete randomness of life. A minute later and she would have joined them, been one more coffin. She’d told Ron about their deaths though not in such a dramatic fashion and he had grasped its significance. Karolina , pregnant back home had passed on the tour and without a doubt, she would not deal with Ron’s death well.
I sat on the black guy’s head, my face in my paws as the plane swooned, steadied, swooned again
Ron and Karolina had married and Karolina had agreed to have n children, “I’m too old, darlin’” he had told her a cloud of cigarette smoke. “I can’t do it any more, I don’t have the fucking energy fpr children. I’m too tired, can you see me going through that again? I can’t do it, I can’t even think about it I swear…”
“Ronnie…” Karolina purred, “I will raise him” she knew she wanted a boy, he will be Ronnie Junior, yes? A beautiful boy, though he will have my nose…”
“…and how do you plan to work that out?” Ron asked, lighting another cigarette and sipping on his seventh cappuccino of the day. “What if the poor bastard gets my hooter?”
“Be serious, please. You have children, it is for me just a part of my life. An important part.
“Well, wait till I die and marry someone else and have a child with him”
“I am very serious.”
“So am I.” He put out the cigarette and walked towards the tennis court, angry for once, angry at what he had settled before they married. “I won’t do this, I can’t” he said to himself, muttering and poisoned on a glorious afternoon. One of the maid, Patricia, looked at Ronnie, curious, Ronnie was never the sort to wander around with a scowl on his face. Working for the Woods was a plumb assignment in the Hamptons, they were the rarest of rich folks, very very nice. Also, no wild parties and no spoiled children, and an easy going atmosphere at the mansion. Nothing really ruffled. Patricia had married a Yank when they were both students at Manchester University, followed him to New York, and now here. They were not very happy and Patricia was planning to divorce him though she wasn’t certain when, this job was a godsend, she lived in the mansion and they were all but separated, and that’s what she wanted till her Green Card came through,
Patricia watched Karolina run past her towards her husband.
“Then what, I need something?” Karolina shouted and that’s when Ronnie thought of a dog. He didn’t say anything but he thought that while it wasn’t really a substitute, they were both animal people. By the way, flash forward five years the couple would have the exact same conversation, more animated, though this time Karolina had done her homework and with a sense of impending doom, with his sperm in banks from the UK to the US already, he acquiesced to the inevitable. A child which Ron would never meet while alive.
So yeah. I said earlier I have neither foresight nor can I change time’s arrow in the slightest, this Universe has the laws it has, and I made them, and if I don’t make keep them assume total chaos and that’s that. And all of that is true, and I don’t know exactly what will happen when we crash but I am aware something will happen and it will be something that has never happened before. It will break ironclad laws of science and why? Just for the hell of it, just because of a dub bet I made. Another rule, I can become a being anytime between conception and birth, I knew this was very important and I joined the other puppies a couple of hours after conception and stayed there for the 65 days it took .
Usually, I decide whether to hang around before birth based upon the sort of life I’d just had. Sometimes it is nice to just float with nothing much to do but grow. Obviously, the embryo isn’t thinking as you think of it, but as must be clear by now I really don’t use my brain for thinking. (no wisecracks), my thoughts come from elsewhere.
I know you might believe that over a billion years of being alone is lonely but when time doesn’t matter, and in some parts of the After Math it doesn’t matter at all, it is a drop in the bucket, it has no intrinsic sense outside our universe. Even inside.
So I am not lonely because not only do I know limitless other things with minds, I am also part of one big mind which I created to keep me entertained, and depending upon where I am existing at any given moment I am both or one, separate but equal and inseparable. It gets complicated but let’s just say, change is constant and very very rare and for me to be advised (that’s not the right word, tell myself might be closer? Insist upon myself) that this puppy is something I might need to be, well, of course I went in at the start. Surrounded by a sister and two brothers, I waited for two months, blind, deaf, tiny, not quite there, neither alive nor dead, floating inside my Mom: protected and waiting and imagining what was going to happen. I didn’t know exactly what it would be, I knew it had a lot to do with the Rolling Stones because that was the bet and I knew they were quite old so death seemed like a possibility. And I knew I wouldn’t be messing with time’s arrow, everything would be going forward and forward and forward… so what? It had to do with something that happened After Math, it had to be one of those rare occurrences where the After Math and the Universe came together.
Time’s Arrow? If I could go back in time, I’d be a dinosaur again, those were my happiest years, when life was instinct, when part of me was so unafraid in life, when you’re a dog (a bitch) and when you’re a human, there is this glow of fear that irrational though it may be for me, infects a part of me, I can dismiss it but I have to consciously dismiss it.
Still, dog or human, I knew this life was going to be something very very different, it was going to be unlike being any of the above, or a bird, or a tree, or a beast of burden or… it was going to be unlike being me as well. When I get sick of a life, I stop time here and I go back to the After Math –my natural being, and then when I am ready, I return and continue from where I left off, and I think what is going to happen is I will be in the After Math and this world at the same time with time’s arrow not stopped. In scientific terms, I have zero idea what it might mean at all. Or why it is happening, I just know I chose it. I do know that there are a lot of Stones fans in the After Math so maybe something is gonna happen just for the hell of it, I personally, just for the hell of it? That should be the definition of life on earth. It is just for the hell of it, just to see what happens and to help thought be and be thought.
I know, mumbo jumbo, but don’t worry it won’t become clearer and there won’t be a test: look at it this way: The After Math is to The Universe what Thought is to Action. And this is the story of what happened when for one brief moment they met in the middle and went on tour.
That notwithstanding, to quote Charles Dickens, “I Am Born” –a beautiful bitch, tiny, the runt of the litter though with skills at getting to Mom’s milk the other puppies don’t have. These earliest of times, say the first two weeks, are a lot of fun, once you get your legs and you are playing with your family, and driving mom cray, chasing her tail (and your own) all day long, with the only worry where is the next meal and dinner served hot and sweet by the person who matters most to you. This was a very happy time for me in ways it isn’t for other animals, I am expensive and precious cargo, and the dogbreeders want me very happy and extremely untramatized so when I go to the Woods, I am in the best possible frame of mind: so I am unbearably happy cute, you know a playful wee puppy to be aaaahed over. Do animals have the same rights as human? No, but to the victors the spoils, but do they feel as though they deserve the same rights as human? Beyond a shadow of a doubt, me Blue Eyes the smartest bitch bunch, felt that I had rights.
The Woods began to visit me just about the day I was born, though they hadn’t chosen me at that time, and I was very aware of them. They had wanted a boy but by the very next visit, a week later, I made them aware of me, wandering over to Karolina, rolling on my stomach, and generally doing my level best to get their attention. Which I did, while the other puppies were wobbling and sleeping, I was imprinting as fast as I could. Within a month, the decision was made, and the Woods had a new dog. Blue Eyes? Ronnie named me, Karolina was laughing so hard as I tickled her feet with my tongue, she cried and Ron said “She turns your brown eyes blue” and I suddenly became the Blue Eyes Maker and finally Blue Eyes, sometimes contracted Blue, an odd nickname for a dog with such a sunny disposition.
My years with the Woods have been fabulous, with the exception of visits to the vet (and don’t get me started on being spaded), and Ron’s not infrequent travels which sometimes left Karolina and I lonely at home. Lolling about by the pool all day, waiting for something to happen. Even so, there were long long walks around the grounds, and games, and treats and, well, it was a happy household. While it isn’t true that all happy households are happy the same way, it is true they can feel similar.
When I first arrived, the one overwhelming thing I sensed from Karolina was how much she needed me, or not me, something to nurture, to love, to cradle. Ron? Not so much, but still there was huge affection between the three of us. I slept on the bed with the couple, between them until I was moved to the side, in a constant fear of being rolled over. But Ron didn’t move much in his sleep and the couple didn’t have much sex anyway.
I think it is true of May-September, or rather February-March romances that if the March portion doesn’t have much of a sex drive : Karolina had never been crazy about sex, even romantic love seemed like not worth the headaches, the jealousy. If the guys were cute, they were a pain in the neck, grossly unfaithful, and users, and if they were ugly they were worse. But Ron gave her what she needed from love, love, security, and tenderness. Ron enjoyed her beauty but between his painting, his music, his band and his age, sex wasn’t at the top of his list any more.
The only thing missing was me and suddenly I was there. When I was just a pup, Karolina would put me on the bed with her, lie down next to me, put on James Taylor’s Greatest Hits and, sing to me all afternoon. Ron would be sitting watching soccer on television, oblivious in his own world, and there we would stay for hours on the end.