Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce my second chapter in Alanna the Piranha. This week my novelist and I were out on a walk when we noticed a delivery driver on the same side of the street. The driver did not have a mask on and the windows on the driver’s vehicle were down. My novelist thought it best to cross to the other side which had no sidewalk. We crossed fine without any problems but on our way up the street my novelist caught her foot on uneven concrete and fell. Her knees were both bloodied and though her hands broke her fall it did not stop her from slamming her face into the cement. She did not hit her head, but her nose took a terrible blow. Though she did not break her nose, it did have an abrasion, bruising and swelling. She spent the night putting ice on it for ten minutes every hour. Apparently Covid19 can wreak havoc in more ways than one, even if you are trying to stay safe. Anyway, here is the second chapter of my new story. Bitte genießen!
Alannah the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Second
The second most important thing you need to know about me is I was once in love. I had a genuine relationship. We never consummated it. We couldn’t. But it was a relationship just the same. Her name was Josie, and, in my eyes, she was the loveliest creature in the world. Josie, like myself, was rejected. In the eyes of most she was not a beauty. To many she was downright ugly. But to me, to me, she was always Josie.
The whole affair started three summers ago when one day my mother invited my aunt over for dinner. Josie arrived with her. She wore a sweater that was the same color as cotton candy. She had platinum blonde hair that feathered around her face and cascaded onto her shoulders. I noted the freckles on her neck and chest which only added to her charm. From the moment she looked at me with that twinkle in her eye I knew there was something special about her.
“I take her to shows all the time,” my aunt lamented. “But she never wins. Not cute enough I suppose.
“She looks butt ugly to me,” my sister Stacy said. “Not as butt ugly as my brother but pretty darned ugly just the same.”
Perhaps it was Stacy’s words which endeared me to Josie. “She’s adorable,” I blurted out unashamedly.
“You need to get your eyes checked,” Stacy scoffed.
Josie must have been touched by my words because right then and there she jumped out of my aunt’s arms and ran straight for me. I knelt beside her and caressed her soft hair. She smiled at me, her tongue hanging out akimbo, her eyes sparkling. As I stroked her platinum locks she smiled gratefully. From that moment forwards we were in love.
My mother made baked chicken that evening which I quickly realized was one of Josie’s favorites. I fed her a couple of bites under the table, but I also let her know she shouldn’t eat too much of it. Josie was persistent but she understood it was for her own good.
“Josie sure has taken to you, son,” my dad said, not looking up, engrossed in his daily sudoku game.
“That hideous thing might as well take to him,” Stacy scoffed. “No one else has.”
“That’s enough, Stacy,” my dad snapped.
“Well, it’s the truth.”
“Do you want her?” my aunt asked looking straight at me.
“What?” I said not believing what I’d just heard.
“Do you want Josie?”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you think I mean, my dear? I mean do you want to keep Josie for your very own?”
“Absolutely not,” my mother said. “You know how I feel about pets!”
“Oh, come on, Mandy! You know the boy should have a dog. And besides, I have my eye on a couple of new show dogs. Flint would be doing me a favor.”
“That thing isn’t a dog,” Stacy said. “An overgrown sewer rat maybe but not a dog.”
“It’s a Chinese Crested,” my aunt said haughtily. “And she’s a wonderful dog if I do say so myself.”
“Do you want the dog, Flint?” my dad asked writing down a number in one of the squares, bored with the conversation.
“Yes, dad,” I said. “I do. I really do.”
“He wants the dog, mom,” he told my mother, filling in a second square.
“Well, I don’t!” mom snapped.
“The dog’s yours, son,” dad told me. “Tell your aunt thank you.”
“Dad!” Stacy exclaimed. “Mom never let me have a cat, why are you letting Flint have a dog?”
“Because Flint is responsible, and you are not.”
“I am too responsible! I’ve always taken care of everything I own!”
“No, you haven’t. The dog is Flint’s. Then he looked up at my aunt. “Thank you, Linda.” “You’re quite welcome,” my aunt said. “Come with me, Flint. I’ll give you instructions on how to care for her.”
As I rose from the table to follow Aunt Linda, I realized this was the first time I’d triumphed over my mother and sister. I looked down at their stern scowls and felt blissful joy. This time no woman would stand between me and my happiness. This time loser guy won.
From that day forwards Josie and I were inseparable. I walked her around the neighborhood daily, enjoying the astonished if not disgusted faces of our neighbors. At night Josie always curled up beside me both in my computer chair and in bed. Her warmth was glorious. And the best part was my dad worked at home. I could trust him to look after Josie and protect her from my mother and Stacy. And even though Josie spent more time with him than with me as I was still in college at the time and had to quit living in the dorms, so my parents had money to put Stacy through college, she was always and forever mine.
Then came the day when my father’s work gave him an office and he had to stop working at home. I begged him to take Josie with him. He told me he would if he could. But too many people at his job had complained about their coworkers having pets in their offices and then they complained some might start wanting pets at their cubicles too.
This left my mother to look after Josie during the day. At first, I didn’t trust her. But little by little she surprised me. She fed Josie and refilled her water, took her outside when she needed to go and even brushed her occasionally.
I will always remember it happened on a Monday. It was a normal day, an overcast day which was common around here in the fall. I’d finished my last class at the university and had just spent the last couple of hours studying in the library. I came home, whipped myself up a triple Nutella mocha latte (I save coin making my own) and headed up to my room.
It was the silence that caught my ear first. No familiar jingle. No greeting. “Josie!” I called out. Nothing.
“Mom!” I yelled. “Where’s Josie?”
I looked out my window and saw my mother was gathering up gourds from her garden. I headed down the stairs and outside.
“Mom,” I said running up to her. “Where’s Josie?”
“Isn’t she in your room?” my mom said.
My mother looked perplexed. “I was sure she was inside your room.”
“She’s not there.” My mother got up and headed into the house with me. We searched every room: the office, the kitchen, Stacy’s room, my parent’s room, the laundry room and even the bathrooms. No Josie.
We hurried into the garage calling her name, but she was nowhere to be found. I panicked researching all the rooms, the garage, the back yard, the front yard. No Josie anywhere.
When my dad came home, Josie was still missing. He and I got in his car, and we drove all over the neighborhood looking for her. We scrutinized every yard, every inch of sidewalk, asked anyone we saw if they’d seen a Chinese Crested with an akimbo tongue and gorgeous platinum blonde hair. Nobody had seen her. We couldn’t find her anywhere.
The next day our neighbors returned home from vacation. As they were unpacking, they looked out the window into their hot tub. That’s when we got the knock on the door. Josie’s body was floating inside. They had sworn they’d covered the hot tub before they left. But they didn’t. Somehow, Josie had fallen in.
I still remember them dipping that long metal pole with the green net on the end into the water and lifting her out. I ran to the net, picked her up and held her in my arms. “Josie,” I sobbed. “Josie, my love, my life. Josie.”
No one could convince me to let her go. I must have sat on that wet deck for an hour just holding her close, hoping for her to come to life. Hoping to hear the melody of her whimper. But Josie was gone. She was gone. And I was alone again. Heartbroken and alone. That was a year ago…today.
Anyway, I checked on my package this morning. It should be arriving in a few more days. I can’t wait till it gets here.
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: ALLEN VS. FARROW (2021)-HBO Max
I must admit I have never been a fan of Woody Allen. Is he a capable writer and director? Yes. But for me there was always something off about his movies. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something underwhelming, something askew lurked in his storylines. I couldn’t figure out why Annie Hall won the Oscar for best picture (although Dianne Keeton is excellent in it). I mean the thing beat Star Wars and Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl both of which I think are better films. His movies also have a smug quality to them, if not a sinister tone especially Bullets Over Broadway and Crimes and Misdemeanors which emanate an ominous distaste he has towards his female characters. This four-part documentary explains why. Recalling the highly publicized and ugly court case where Mia Farrow reported Allen to the authorities for sexually molesting her seven-year-old adopted daughter Dylan, this documentary meticulously looks back at the incident which brought one of Hollywood’s darling’s dark side into the light. Especially when Allen suied Farrow for sole custody of Dylan, Moses and Satchel. The incident helped to propel Dylan’s brother Ronan (Farrow and Allen’s only biological child together) to write a Pulitzer Prize winning article about the sexual allegations of Harvey Weinstein. Because Ronan was willing to listen and believe Dylan’s claims about their father, he was also willing to listen to the allegations women told him about Weinstein and teaching us all that listening can be a powerful tool. It also shows how difficult it is for some folks to come to terms with the reality that their heroes are villains.