"Beautiful dog, Dachshund right?  It have a name?",
chachi
Sep 6, 2010

"Beautiful dog, Dachshund right?  It have a name?",
that is what I would have said to you
in hopes of sparking a conversation
in hopes of learning your name. I honestly
don't care about the dog's name at all, but
you have nice hair, and hips. They mesmerized
me while you walked, your dog, away
from me. I never said anything.

The wildebeast and dachshund know better.
Briar Rose
Briar Rose
Dec 21, 2013

Steps on the barren desert valley ground,
I'd rather be in the alley.
I'd rather be in the alley with you.
Sun burnt rocks jut out at me,
They shake their fingers at me,
"You'll never get out, it's a dead end from here."
I remember sitting out under the sun,
I remember being under the sun on the roof,
And I remember screaming at the skies,
" Mathematics has taught me nothing,
School was nothing but sociological lies!"

I had my verbal reasoning skills,
I had a bottle of Adderall pills,
I had my quantum physical knowledge,
I've been down the road of metaphysics,
I even had foreign language skills.
Italian artistry doesn't help you here, no.
The coyote knows best,
The wildebeast and dachshund know better.
Animal supremacy, no.
Conscious human foreclosure of higher arcane intelligence,
If it ever yielded it's presence,
Jesus would've resurrected already.

also written in 8th grade.
of ours running in a green field with a dachshund along side.
Elizabeth ODonnell

Today was a necessity.
I think,

I hope you understand that someday it will all make sense.
I dreamt of the perfect world with children of ours running in a green field with a dachshund along side.
There was picture perfect walls of glass and my library that you discouraged, but cared enough to allow me.
There was the gaming room that I discouraged, but cared enough to allow you.
And each morning breath was an inhalation of your skin, so bare and intimate.
My hair would wrap around your fingers playfully and our legs would hug under blankets from when we still were virgins together, in multiple ways.

Those dreams pass quickly as does the pendulum of the clock.
The seconds quicken as it deceives us into believing this will work.
It was good at what it did, and we fell for it.

There was no time to change my decision, for the better.

Perhaps someday we may walk with our hands joined once more, but until then,

This is absolutely, irrevocably, necessary.

dachshund. His collar jingled, shimmering
nicholas bunitsky
nicholas bunitsky
Nov 27, 2011

I remember how that Puxatony dirt
felt between my fingers. Gritty
and cold – the earth that covers  graves.
Falling from my palm, landing at his paws,
he curled around my leg, shivering.
Against my ankle, he rested his long ears.

Polaroids of a mothers chew-toy earrings;
memories of March spent playing in dirty
backyards, forests, and playgrounds. We shivered
together, in the heat of Spring, with gritty
rock-filled driveways underneath our paws.
Lives, those playful daisies sprouting from gravel,

that we ate day by day; pushing graves
down out of mind, but spilling from our ears.
The summer wrought steel cages to grip awe,
with training meant, bent to destroy dirt
kept caked on worn-out sandals. Grits
scooped off a breakfast plate to a shivering

dachshund. His collar jingled, shimmering
as it clashed against his bowl. Cold gravy
and dry cat food, with textured scents. Gritty,
furry, and harsh. Ears dipped in water bowls
finding the only bath of the month, clearing dirt
from a death in the family. Soft, unknowing paws

treaded with grace, and a parentless pause
as we crumbled. Directionless grief shivered
the big men with their shrunken hearts, dirty
from a three-hour drenching sob at the grave.
But love is not measured by the size of loss -
it is made of highs and lows; rough and gritty.

Seven pounds of compassion weighs with gridded
precision on my chest. Those tiny paws,
batting at my heart. Soft, two-times-too-large ears
crying with us and pleading through shivers
to enjoy everything. Now your graves are dug
together - between you only a foot of dirt.

Gritty reality seeps in from shivering
fiction. Your paws on your own grave,
I place my ear to the dirt, and whimper.

I know that it doesn't quite follow the sestina form. The title should be a metaphor as well as a warning.
tle black-and-white, speckled miniature dachshund named Teagan that has been staying at t
Donny Edward Klein

This delusional concept of dressing up in your finest threads just to sit in some quiet, ridiculously-named, fancy establishment that has four walls and a few toilets and neatly-folded napkins, spotless silverware, and an overly-priced menu just to talk about some bullshit that you pulled out of your ass when your arm was being stretched to the max trying to reach for the stack of crisp twenties that the ATM viciously spat at you is simply fucked up.

Yeah… that’s what I thought until I met her.

You know, “the one.”

The one that all the guys say you’re pussy-whipped about.

That one!

She is the one.

She has her shit together. She is driven, goal-oriented, smart, funny, and sexy in that hippie/bohemian kinda way, except that she wears deodorant and shaves her legs.

She even shaves….ha! I’ll stop. I’m just toying with ya. But she does shave.

She even has dimples, man.

Dimples!

And guess who the lucky son-of-a-bitch is that has the best table in the house sitting directly across from her, staring into those brown, puppy eyes???

My ass.

Then, without warning, this horrible, invasive, mood-altering, uncanny, uncouth, bastard-of-a-question barges right in.  It asks, “How did you end up with her??”

Suddenly I find myself in a western movie, and this bow-legged son-of-a-bitch walks in asking for me.  The double doors behind him swing back and forth in rapid motion.  I don’t want to cause a ruckus, so I do what any real gentleman does: take it outside and settle it High Noon style.  I stare into his eyes (they’re brown too, but not like hers), and his eye lids begin to slightly twitch.  I draw my pistol from my hip and shoot him right between those eyes; blow the smoke away from the heated barrel; spin my pistol around a few times; and in the holster it goes.

Problem solved.

She and I start jawing after the waiter with the long rod lodged in his ass goes to fetch our excessively-priced wine.
I can swear he said his name is Skip or Kip or… ah who cares?
I continue staring into the eyes of the most beautiful woman in the world.
She begins to tell me about her bittersweet day, so I cross my arms and lean in a little. All my focus is on her and of course her sexy mouth too.
God, she has beautiful lips….
She’s telling me about her day at work – at the vet, that is.
She’s a veterinarian.
Anyway, there’s this little black-and-white, speckled miniature dachshund named Teagan that has been staying at the vet for a few months now, and it’s made a full recovery.
She’s telling me this story with such great passion and zeal, but she’s frowning.
This wealthy, elderly couple adopted it today, and Teagan is gone.
She grabs my hand and apologizes for being such a “downer”.

“I sorry,” she says in one of those baby voices.

Is that a pouty lip?

Fuck Me.

Did I really just witness a pouty lip form before my very eyes??

Did she actually just talk like a baby???

Plain and simple, I don’t stand for that cutesy, baby bullshit, that pathetic material pedaled by those chumps who pull that “good guys come last” crap.  

She’s awkwardly staring at me.

Before she can utter a single word, I bolt out of my chair, telling her that I’m suddenly feeling ill and need to use the restroom.

I whip around without looking and bump into our waiter who is bringing us our wine.  It spills all over his pearly, white jacket.

He grabs my arm to break his fall, but we both hit the ground hard, right on our backs too.  

All eyes are on me.

It’s dead, fucking silent. You could hear a mouse fart.

What do I say?  

I can’t just make a dash for the door without saying anything.

My mind is completely frozen, and I lie here, trembling.

Suddenly, my lips begin to part.

The words wiggle their way out of that tiny space between my lips.

“I sorry.”



. . .

.  .  .

.   .   .  

Fuck me.

n's Creek, that's where we found Lily's dachshund.
JJ Hutton
JJ Hutton
Jun 7, 2013      Jun 7, 2013

Just below the ridge line, east of Tinnamon's Creek, that's where we found Lily's dachshund.
The brown, island patch of fur beneath its snout was caked with blood -- throat turn, chewed.
No coat remained on its front legs. Framework mostly. Some dangling, loose tissue.
White fibers I didn't recognize dotted the shriveled body. How many days had it been?
Three? Four?

"What'd you expect to find?" Harvey said, lifting the tag. "Brannagh. 5321 Starlite Drive."

"I know, I know. Lily's still going to break. Doesn't matter what I expected."

Harvey ran his palm along the dog's belly. Whispered something I didn't catch. The sun began to sink behind the mountains -- everything turned a variance of purple. And the wind came in, unannounced, as wind tends to do. What's the protocol on a dead dog? Bury at the scene of the crime? A pile of rocks left behind for hikers on the passing by to say, "I wonder what happened there." Or did we bag the unfortunate beast? Ring the doorbell. Ask Lily if she's got a shovel. Our fathers made no mention of times like that.

"I've never understood why people have pets," Harvey said. "Do you just want to be miserable? Your cat Socks, Millie, whatever, is gonna die. Your turtle Larry is gonna die. The charismatic hamster in the classroom, running the wheel, knows every step with its stupid paws could be its last. 22 fourth graders taught expiration dates. Teachers sign up for that. Brannagh was gonna die. Lily knew she'd outlive the dog."

Four deer looked on down by the creek. Still, yet comfortable in their stillness. I could have touched them if I wanted to. I hated that. Deer in Colorado made me feel powerless. They assumed, automatically, that I carried no firearm, only a camera and a bit of Chex Mix. Pallid threads continued to float down from the sky.

"What is this stuff?" I asked.

"What stuff?"

"Falling. In her fur, right there. On your shirt. In your hair. The white stuff."

After a quick scan of his chest, Harvey pinched one of the white fibers between his index finger and thumb. Hardly gave it a thought before giving it a flick.

"They're just coming off the cottonwoods. Happens toward the end of spring," Harvey said, reaching in his back pocket and pulling out a garbage bag.

"Is that what we are going to do?"

"I'm not burying the dog out here. Lily needs closure. If she 'breaks,' she breaks."

Harvey opened the black bag. Stepped on the bottom of it. So it would hold against the wind.

"Put the dog in here," he said.

"I'm not doing that."

"Well, you have to."

"Why?"

"I'm holding the trash bag."

The dog's eyes weren't there. Whatever mysterious factor that leads people to buy dachshunds, whether concentrated dose of cuteness or unmerited friendliness, it had bled out. I walked around to the other side of the dog. Stuck my hands under its spine -- cleanest spot. Stiff from rigor mortis, sure, but stiffer than rigor mortis alone. I knew the stiffness of death from my childhood collection of unfortunate pets. The sun had baked him, made the matted tufts sharp. I dropped Brannagh in the bag. Harvey lifted up quickly, as to not let the corpse hit the ground.

With the deer still watching, we began to climb up the rockface, taking us back to the trail. My eyes fixated on my feet to avoid a misstep. Harvey took the lead, looking only forward. When he began to speak, he did not turn around.

"You know what's funny about the cottonwoods? I hadn't thought about this in a long time -- both my mom and dad had a theory about what you so eloquently called 'white stuff.' Mom, sticking by her poverty- and church-induced eternal optimism, said that the white strands falling from the sky, came off the clouds. 'Heaven's confetti,' she said. It was God reminding us that his grace reaches all of us."

"What did your dad think?"

"Well, Dad worked hard for what money we had, and going to church wasn't exactly his idea. Believed God owed him a little more. He didn't even sit with us. Back pew kinda guy. Mom would lead prayers focused solely on him moving up a few benches. Anyway, I say all that to say, being poor and going to church created optimism's opposite in my father. It wasn't long after I graduated high school, before I moved to Fort Collins, that Dad gave me his theory."

Harvey reached the top of the ridge. Gave me a hand. Dog's corpse slung over his shoulder. He looked at me.

"My dad said that the white strands from heaven weren't signs of encouragement. He said they were tears of those who'd gone before. People looking down, weeping at -- not only what violence brother does to brother -- but also at how we piss away every breath. 'Trading dreams for dollars.' "

"Which do you think is true."

Turning away from me, Harvey switched the garbage bag from his right shoulder to his left.

"Neither is an option. And to remind you, neither is the correct option. For the sake of humoring you?"

"Yes, for the sake of humoring me."

"I think my mother's would be more accurate."

"Why is that?"

"The cottonwoods shed one time a year. Seems to me that white stuff would be falling all the time if it was the disappointment and sorrow of those who've passed. One time a year. I can see God giving us a little something one time a year."

ithout him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, wh
Susan Hunt
Jul 13, 2012

CHAPTER ONE: THE DEMISE OF A YOUNG GIRL SEPTEMBER 1975


I had not seen my father in over two years when he showed up at my mom and step dad's condo. He had a slick knack of disappearing when laws were broken and he was wanted for questioning. He had an even better ability to re-enter when the heat was off.

My father owned three nightclubs in Oklahoma City. His first was the Silver Sword, and then he opened The Red Slipper. After he met his second wife, they together, opened the Jade Club.

All were successful, but the Red Slipper had a reputation. On a rare occasion, my dad would take me with him to open up the place. At first, it scared me. It was so dark in there. But as the lights came on behind the bar, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Bobby Orr’s hockey stick hung on the wall, along with an endearing note from F. Lee Bailey. At six years old, all I knew was that they were the objects that made my dad beam.

I learned to play pool by standing on a phone book. I watched the colorful smacking balls bounce around the most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. Chalking the stick was a chore, but after nearly poking my eye out once, I soon caught on.

It was a struggle to climb up on a barstool, but it was worth the effort. I sat at the bar and had lunch: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and Pepsi.

As I grew older, I saw less and less of him, until he became a stranger, drifting in every once in awhile.  Every few weeks or so, I would come home from school, and see his car in the driveway.

This always shot fear and excitement through me. The air of unpredictability always made me want to pee. Unfortunately, most of the time, we were locked out of the house for a few hours, so I would have to pee in the back yard or at the neighbors. We waited on the stairs for the front door to open. And it always did, by my mom. She usually looked satisfied and serene but other times, I saw dread and sadness on her face.

Ever since I could remember, my dad had been a string of disappointments for me with a few indescribable moments of pure enjoyment mixed in between He could be kind, funny and like a real dad sometimes, that was the dad I missed. I tried to hold onto those experiences, even though he was such a mean bastard most of the time. But mostly, I just didn't know him.

Their divorce became final around the summer of 1972, but that didn't stop my mom from loving him. I don't know why, but she chased him frequently, going out to bars with her friends, trying to get a glimpse of him, and maybe more.

The last time I’d seen my father had not been pleasant. When I was thirteen, he broke down the door to our apartment and went straight to my mother’s bedroom. The noises were terrifying. The screaming, and punching sounds were followed by my mother’s whimpering, begging, groveling.

"How dare you do this to me, Patsy!? And behind my back! You could have at least told me!"

My dad had bailed himself out of jail that night. She promised him she would never seek alimony or child support again. Her lawyer was wrong. It wasn’t worth getting killed over.  

Shortly after, he had to leave the state. It had something to do with a low-level mob deal involving an insurance fraud. Too bad, it involved burning a building with someone in it. My dad became nothing but a memory, which faded away over time.

**

Alcohol and tobacco were constants in my family, so when my older brother, Tim, started smoking at ten years old, I don't remember much protest from anyone. I was seven and when my sister Abby, turned ten the next year, she also started smoking.  All the older kids were smoking cigarettes. I wanted to be cool, so I puked and coughed as I practiced. By the time I was ten, I too, was inhaling properly.  Around that time, I was introduced to pot by my sister's boyfriend. It did help my mood, somewhat, but it wasn't enough.

By 1974, I was using drugs from my sister’s boyfriend. John was a true drugstore cowboy. At first, he committed burglaries, which were easy at the time. There were no sophisticated electronics to stop someone from cutting a hole in the roof of a pharmacy. It took only minutes to pry open the safe that contained the narcotics. Then it took maybe another minute to fill a pillowcase full of every variety of amphetamines, barbiturates, valiums, etc.

It wasn’t long before I graduated to using morphine, cocaine and then overdosed on Demerol. My stepfather sent me to a treatment facility in Tulsa Oklahoma, about one hundred miles away from Oklahoma City. The Dillon treatment center didn’t accept clients under age of sixteen but made an exception with me. I was a walking-talking disastrous miracle...or a miraculously saved disaster.

They figured that since I was fourteen, the sooner the better to start my road to recovery. Apparently, they didn’t condone sneaking pot and valiums in to the facility. I was kicked out of Dillon after about a month.

I came back home and laid low. I went back to Hefner Jr. High and enrolled back into the ninth grade. I quietly picked up where I left off, going back into business with John. My job was to sell the safe stuff; valiums, seconols, white bennies, pot, etc.


Summer came; I turned fifteen and had developed a tendency to over test my wares. I overdosed and nearly died in the hospital several times, which had led to my current predicament. Nobody knew what to do with me.

In August, I entered the tenth grade...for two weeks. I was expelled, (you guessed it) for dealing drugs. I was on homebound teaching twice a week with little supervision. My mother worked, my step-dad, Dick ,worked, and I was home all day. However, I was not just sitting idly around. I was into enterprise.

**

In September, I overdosed again. I was quickly killing myself and my mother didn’t know what to do to stop it. That is why what happened was not my mother’s fault. But it wasn’t my fault either.

I never figured out how he knew where we lived. My mother moved over at least fourteen times in between the time I was six and twelve years old. Yet, here he was, at our front door, with his undeniable ‘ah shucks’ charm. His modesty was convincing. His timing was incredible. My mother stood frozen, her mouth agape. Dick took the lead. He placed himself between my mother and father.

“You must be Gary Don, my name is Dick; I’m Patsy’s husband." Dick had never met my dad, but he'd heard enough about him to surmise who was standing at the door.

"Um, yeah, I'm Gary Don, it's nice to meet you Dick", he said; as he offered a friendly hand shake to Dick.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you, I was just in Duncan with my parents and they suggested I stop by and talk with you before heading back west. It's about Susie....

"Yes, Patsy said you called yesterday. We weren't expecting you this soon, but it's no problem. Why don't you come in and tell us what your plans are? Patsy, honey, would you mind putting on a pot of coffee?”

This unfroze my mother and she scurried to the kitchen. I was still in shock at seeing my dad’s face. I retreated to the staircase, but poked my head around and caught him glance at me. I flew up to the landing. I could easily escape up the rest of the stairs to my bedroom.
I was small enough to remain hidden on the landing, and heard the conversation between my mother, my dad and Dick. Dick was the classiest, most even-tempered adult I had ever encountered. I wished I could stop hurting him and my mother.  

My mother sat down two cups of coffee on the dining room table where my dad and Dick sat. As she retreated a few steps back into the kitchen, Dick politely probed my dad. My dad had the right answer for every question.

He swore he was a completely different person. He had changed. He had no hard feelings, instead he was back to help. He was remorseful for being an absent father and he wanted to make things right. He was back for a reason. He had heard that I was in trouble with drugs and school and he felt guilty for that. He had the answer to my problems. He was so convincing, so….humble, almost shy.

As I listened, I began freaking out with fear and excitement. I always wanted my dad. The last time I tried to live with him, it didn’t work out; he sent me back to my mother’s after a month. Now my dad wanted me! He wanted to save me, take care of me!

He lived by himself now. He was the manager of The Palace Restaurant/Hotel in the little town of Raton, New Mexico. It was a refurbished hotel, built over a century ago The ground floor was an elegant bar and restaurant. He was making very good money, he paid no rent and he had an extra room for me.

With a population of 6000, it was not a place to continue a lucrative drug business. Also, he would enroll me into the little high school and I could get my diploma. I could work in the restaurant in the evenings where he would keep his eye on me. Then, there was the horse. He would buy me a horse. And on and on and on.

The logic and sincerity of his argument was convincing. So there it was. An hour later, my bags were packed. I was going to live with my father in New Mexico.

That’s how in September 1975, my father whisked me away from my home in Oklahoma City, under the guise of saving me from my own demise. I was stolen and held captive in Raton, New Mexico for what seemed like forever.

My dog, Baron was coming with me, I refused to go anywhere without him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, when I got back from Tulsa. To me, he was priceless. He was my best friend. He couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds, but his heart was huge.

I talked to him about everything and he consoled me by nodding, and licking me on the cheek non-stop…or he would admonish me through his expressions and demeanor. I had lived with Dachshunds since I was seven, so understood their language pretty well. Baron understood humans better. We developed a rare communication that worked well for both of us.
Herman, our older dachshund had greeted my dad cordially. Baron couldn’t figure this out, he expressed his apprehension. He looked at me and conveyed,

“Well, if Herman isn’t worried, I guess it’ll be Okay, right? Right, Susan?”

I was sorry I didn’t have an honest answer. I did my best to settle him.

“Sure, this’ll be fun, a whole new adventure!”

As we drove West, toward the Texas panhandle, Baron kept the conversation going by his curious interest expressed by wide eyes and attentive ears. My dad amazed him with his knowledge of history, geography, geology, astronomy, world geo-politics, weather, music on the radio, literature, mechanics, religion and countless other topics. I knew he was faking his fascination with my dad. He knew he was doing me a favor.

There was not a dead moment in the air. An occasional “really?” expressed by me was enough to keep my dad’s mouth running. I was thankful for that. It kept my attention away from my jangle of emotions. As we drove through the night, I was conflicted, scared, excited, happy and worried. I didn’t know where I was going, or who was driving me there.

My dad’s jovial demeanor comforted me. He made The Palace sound like the perfect place for his little princess.

When we arrived, it was late, after 10pm., Baron was exhausted. I stood on the corner and looked up. I gulped. The three-story building was like an old gothic castle. It was a huge rectangle with the front corner cut back with a fifth wall about ten feet wide. This provided the entrance with two giant oak doors. Baron was less than enthused by its foreboding appearance. I had to agree.

Dad ignored my hesitation. “Come on, you’re going to love this place!”

He pulled open one of the oak doors, which had to weigh at least five hundred pounds. I was hesitant, but thirsty. Baron’s squirming had started to annoy me. I went forward filled with adrenalin.

The initial entrance was a small round foyer with a domed ceiling of cut glass. It was about six feet round. As I stared up at the beautiful little pieces of color, I heard my dad chuckle.

“See? I told you, there’s no place like this!”

Then I saw the true entry to the bar, a set of small bat winged doors that swung back and forth. He pulled one of the doors back, beckoning me forward. He looked down at me with a tender expression.

“Welcome home, honey, this is home now.”

As we entered the bar, I was dumbstruck. Baron was not. I stepped back in time, to 1896, into The Palace Hotel.

The bar took up half of the first floor of the hotel. It was the most captivating centerpiece of the establishment. The mirror behind the bar was the longest continuous piece of reflection glass in all the states, the brochure proclaimed. A brass foot rail extended the length of the long cherry oak bar A few feet behind was a waist high railing just like the saloons in old John Wayne movies.

The carpet was a deep royal red interlaced with black swirly patterns. Bright golden paper covered the walls. It was smooth and shiny with raised curly designs made out of felt or maybe even velour. God, I just wanted to reach over and run my fingers across it!  

The wall opposite the bar had windows that were quizzically narrow and impossibly tall. Lush maroon velvet drapes adorned them, parted in the center to provide a view of the quaint town just beyond the sidewalk.

I looked up at the ornate ceiling, which seemed a mile above me. It was covered with tiles of little angels that all looked the same, yet different. The angels danced across the entire ceiling until it curved and met the wall. I got dizzy looking at them.

“You can’t find ceiling tiles like that anywhere! My dad grinned. “They’re covered in pure gold leaf!”

I didn’t know what pure gold leaf was, but the word ‘gold’ impressed me very much.

He introduced me to the staff. I l blushed when he said; “This is Susie, my favorite little girl!” I had never heard that before. The whole crew greeted me warmly, all smiles and friendliness.  

I always paid attention when Baron got nervous but I chose to ignore him. I jostled him in my arms. My stern look at him stopped his squiggling, but his look back conveyed that I was clueless.

I, however thought, Okay, I have died and gone to Heaven! I was enchanted. My fascination with this magical setting made me feel happy; I was in the neatest place I had ever seen. I’m going to love it here!

On the first night, my dad led me around the ground floor. The restaurant was as elegant as the bar. To the rear of the restaurant, there was a large commercial kitchen. Off the rear of the kitchen, he showed, me a short hallway to the back exit. To the right, a huge staircase led to the two upper floors of dilapidated hotel rooms. A manager’s apartment had been converted from several hotel rooms connected together on the second floor, just above the entrance to the hotel.

We ended up back in the bar and sat at a table for two. Crystal, the head bartender stayed on for a little while longer after the rest of the staff were allowed to go home.

Sitting at the table, he ordered Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. I had never had Cream Sherry before, but it tasted like candy with nuts and I had no problem going through numerous rounds in a very short time. I was hungry but I was too nervous to eat.

Baron, however, was ravenous. My dad fed him little pieces filet mignon and French bread with real butter. He played cute for my dad, sitting up and begging. He jumped up, putting his paws on my dad’s leg, wagging his tail like crazy.

I was a little befuddled until I caught his sideways glance that said, “I do not like this guy, but I gotta eat, I’m starving. You’re the one falling into his into his trap, not me.”

Ouch. “Baron, sometimes I wish you would shut the hell up.”

After having his fill, he settled into a wary sleep on top of my feet. I never worried about losing Baron. Where I went, he went, period.

I wasn’t aware when the bartender left. The bottle was on the table before I knew it; he kept my glass full. I was five feet tall and weighed 106 pounds. I had a lethal level of alcohol pulsing threw my entire body…and I had my daddy.

I was in a haze. Actually, it was more of a daze than a haze. My vision was failing me. I looked at him; he was in a million pieces. I knitted my brows and struggled. I leaned my face forward and focused real hard. He became one face again.  

He was gentle. I became at peace, listening to the love pouring out of him and into me. I’d never felt so safe. I couldn’t believe that my life was actually turning out good for once. I fell into a dream and didn’t want to wake up.

But, I was woken up… by my dad shaking my shoulder. I had passed out sitting up.

“Come on; let’s get you upstairs and into bed. I’ll bring the Sherry with us.”

As if I needed more sherry. I was so drunk; I could barely stand up. He pulled me up and started guiding me through this strange building. I’d lost track of time. I couldn’t figure out where I was. I kept teetering.

He picked me up and carried me up to my new home. I was so happy, swaying in his arms, but my head was spinning. The combination of swaying and spinning started to make me a little nauseous.




I heard Baron’s little claws clicking up the wide set off shiny wooden stairs. Half way up, there was a landing, which led to another set of stairs that ended on the carpet of the second floor. We started down a narrow, endless hallway with an infinite amount of doors on both sides.


As we passed door after door, my head fell back. I developed tunnel vision as I looked at the doors’ upside-down numbers. I listened to the soft tinkle of Baron’s dog tags. Sleep was overcoming me. It seemed like forever before we stopped at the second to last door on the left.  

I didn’t feel scared, I felt warm and safe. My dad was going to keep me. I was still in his arms when he looked down at me with soft, caring eyes. He smiled warmly. Then he turned off the light.

**
  
That night, my father attacked me with such a maniacal force; there was no chance to change the circumstances. He laid me down on the floor and began kissing me all over my face until he found my mouth. He plunged his tongue deeply down my throat and I could feel his weight shifting on top of me. His hands went everywhere, until they found the buttons of my shirt, my pants.

“I love you, I love you,” he kept repeating. He left no time for me to process anything before my pants were off and he was in me, still saying repeatedly “I love you.” I died in that instant, as I did over seven hundred times in the two years I lived with 'Gary Don'.

There are no words to express the devastation and sheer disbelief of what I was experiencing. That night my eyes were clamped shut, barely allowing the tears to roll down my side-turned face until they found the crevices of my ear. It was OK though. I heard less.

My father was a brilliant sociopath, which was not a good combination. He felt no guilt. He had complete disregard for others unless it benefited him. In the 1830’s this disorder was called “moral insanity.” I wondered why it was changed to sociopath. My dad was clearly morally insane.

He knew my need for love was so profound I would take it however I could. He knew the price I would pay. But, it wasn't about me, it was never about me. It was all about that motherfucker. I was caught in a web, sticky, waiting. He was the spider, I was the fly. All I could do was accept my demise.

“You’ll sleep in here now,” he told me the next day. “After last night, you must know how much I love you…”


I just walked like a zombie to the big bed and sat down next to him. I am his daughter. How could this be?

This can’t be my life….this can’t be my life…the thought kept repeating over and over in my mind….this just can’t be my life! At fifteen, it seemed that I didn’t have much of a life to compare to, but mine had been no ordinary life.

My father forced me into a madness that tainted me in a way that is impossible to describe. He yanked my head off, turned it backwards and thrust it back down onto new crooked shoulders. He flipped my reality upside down and turned it inside out. Mind-bending events unfolded.

Was I wrong not to see the future? Was I so stupid that I couldn’t see the signs? The devil had two faces. Dad wore a convincing mask and I saw it slip more than others did. I knew I was in the presence of evil.

I experienced the inexplicable on a constant basis. My life turned to shit as his twisted worldview, his warped morals and ethics were shoved down my throat. At breakneck speed, I changed.

Baron wisely remained his cute, undeniably charismatic self. My dad fell for him hard.

That next afternoon, my dad left the apartment. It was the first time Baron and I were alone, since we’d arrived at the Palace. We sat on the couch/daybed together and stared in opposite directions.

When I looked at him, he was stone-faced. “How could you be so nice to him, you little traitor? Gawd!”

He was disgusted by the question. “Hey, I’m a dog. Dogs love meat, OK? Besides I was starving...when did you last feed me???"

I wanted to cry. “I have your food packed with me! I just couldn't get to my bags. You saw how fast everything happened! And besides, you didn’t have to show him how much you enjoyed it. He’s in love with you now.”

Sheepishly, He turned his head away from  me, I couldn't see his face.

He muttered “Well…it was filet mignon…what did you expect? Susan, you are going to have to learn to play the game.” You should’ve eaten too, you look green.

I did feel like shit, in fact I couldn’t remember feeling so bad. But still, I retorted, “How would you know what color I am? Dogs can’t see…”

“That’s such bullshit, Susan. Dogs are NOT color-blind. It’s a made up story by humans, just because they’re jealous.”

“Jealous? Jealous of what?”

After rolling his eyes upward, he shook his head and looked down at the grungy old gold carpet that was stained to brown from countless cheap cigarettes. He sniffed at a one of the burnt black spots that dotted the carpet in a semi semi-circles around the lounge chair and the daybed/couch. ....Menthol...gross...'

"Uh..wrong....he doesn't smoke menthols, he smokes Parlaments...like those are so much better...cigarettes in a bluue package?? Wierd..."

Baron's  exasperation was complete. "No shit, dumbass. I had to breathe those cancer sticks across half the United States, remember?" He sniffed the burn hole again "No, the menthols here smell nasty. They  match the cheap perfume of even cheaper women..."

Eewwww. that was a low blow. I lay back down, defeated.

"And why would humans be jealous, may I ask? Genius?"

“Geez, Susan, everything! Dogs do EVERYTHING better than humans! We can see further, we can smell better, and we can hear waay more than you guys. We don’t talk in front of most humans because WE are too intelligent for that.

Very, very few humans can talk, much less, understand dog language. But we can do both with humans! Shit! We can even talk to cats, believe it or not!"

"Well, uh. well...I can talk to cats too..."

"Susan, please!! It's not just that! Humans are mean! They're mean for no reason! It's insane!"

":Oh yeah? You were pretty insanely mean to me just now...."

That got to him. He was never mean. He said it "was unbecoming of a dog, too human-like..."

I won the fight, but it backfired, proving his point, entirely.

“Yeah, see there? You're mean too! Fine with me!! . Go lick his feet tonight, he'll probably feed you lobster!”

He gave me his most impressive ‘Screw You’ look I had ever seen...

He punched me in the gut...again “You know I hate seafood, Susan...thanks a lot... for nothing”.

“God, Baron!  If you don’t like him, how come you were so cutesy-pootsy when he was feeding you last night?”

Now I was as ashamed as he was incredulous. He had never fallen asleep at night without my arms around him. Not once in his life had he ever slept on the floor all night.

“What the hell do you mean? You think I’m a traitor? You abandoned me! I thought you were being killed! I understand a lot of human, but what I heard last night made me want to die! I’m scared, Susan! You are my life, I can’t stand this! I’m a nervous wreck!

He was done with me. He leaned forward, staggering slanted ways, carrying the new found bag of rocks on his back. He started slinking away to his new home under the bed.

I couldn’t stand it. “Come back, you’re right! I’m sorry, Baron! We’ll be OK, I promise!

He turned and trotted to me, jumped up on my lap and laid his head on my chest. We were both crushed. We needed each other, now more than ever. We were so hurt, confused and sad. It was all my fault; I had dismissed him from the time we left Oklahoma City.
  
I just hated it when he was smarter than I was. “Dammit, Baron the problem is, you always think you’re right.”

“Nooo, Susan, the problem is I AM always right, you just don’t listen. Shit, your dad is a dumbass! He adores me and I loathe him, he just doesn’t know it! Shit he doesn’t have a clue! He’s so stupid when it comes to me! He just doesn’t get it! That’s why I’m going to use every trick I can to help. It should be easy, really, heh, heh, heh. Just remember, I don’t want to be here. But I don’t want to be anywhere that you aren’t, OK? Just hang on, don’t leave me, and we’ll get through this. Just think smart, like me.”

He snorted out of his nose and plunked his head down onto my knee. With a sigh, his eyes closed. He was tired of explaining.

At that point, I left it alone and so did he. If I had ever felt true love, it was at that moment. He was right. All that mattered was he loved me, thought I was an idiot, and forgave me all at the same time.

ithout him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, wh
Susan Hunt
Jul 13, 2012

CHAPTER ONE: THE DEMISE OF A YOUNG GIRL SEPTEMBER 1975


I had not seen my father in over two years when he showed up at my mom and step dad's condo. He had a slick knack of disappearing when laws were broken and he was wanted for questioning. He had an even better ability to re-enter when the heat was off.

My father owned three nightclubs in Oklahoma City. His first was the Silver Sword, and then he opened The Red Slipper. After he met his second wife, they together, opened the Jade Club.

All were successful, but the Red Slipper had a reputation. On a rare occasion, my dad would take me with him to open up the place. At first, it scared me. It was so dark in there. But as the lights came on behind the bar, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Bobby Orr’s hockey stick hung on the wall, along with an endearing note from F. Lee Bailey. At six years old, all I knew was that they were the objects that made my dad beam.

I learned to play pool by standing on a phone book. I watched the colorful smacking balls bounce around the most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. Chalking the stick was a chore, but after nearly poking my eye out once, I soon caught on.

It was a struggle to climb up on a barstool, but it was worth the effort. I sat at the bar and had lunch: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and Pepsi.

As I grew older, I saw less and less of him, until he became a stranger, drifting in every once in awhile.  Every few weeks or so, I would come home from school, and see his car in the driveway.

This always shot fear and excitement through me. The air of unpredictability always made me want to pee. Unfortunately, most of the time, we were locked out of the house for a few hours, so I would have to pee in the back yard or at the neighbors. We waited on the stairs for the front door to open. And it always did, by my mom. She usually looked satisfied and serene but other times, I saw dread and sadness on her face.

Ever since I could remember, my dad had been a string of disappointments for me with a few indescribable moments of pure enjoyment mixed in between He could be kind, funny and like a real dad sometimes, that was the dad I missed. I tried to hold onto those experiences, even though he was such a mean bastard most of the time. But mostly, I just didn't know him.

Their divorce became final around the summer of 1972, but that didn't stop my mom from loving him. I don't know why, but she chased him frequently, going out to bars with her friends, trying to get a glimpse of him, and maybe more.

The last time I’d seen my father had not been pleasant. When I was thirteen, he broke down the door to our apartment and went straight to my mother’s bedroom. The noises were terrifying. The screaming, and punching sounds were followed by my mother’s whimpering, begging, groveling.

"How dare you do this to me, Patsy!? And behind my back! You could have at least told me!"

My dad had bailed himself out of jail that night. She promised him she would never seek alimony or child support again. Her lawyer was wrong. It wasn’t worth getting killed over.  

Shortly after, he had to leave the state. It had something to do with a low-level mob deal involving an insurance fraud. Too bad, it involved burning a building with someone in it. My dad became nothing but a memory, which faded away over time.

**

Alcohol and tobacco were constants in my family, so when my older brother, Tim, started smoking at ten years old, I don't remember much protest from anyone. I was seven and when my sister Abby, turned ten the next year, she also started smoking.  All the older kids were smoking cigarettes. I wanted to be cool, so I puked and coughed as I practiced. By the time I was ten, I too, was inhaling properly.  Around that time, I was introduced to pot by my sister's boyfriend. It did help my mood, somewhat, but it wasn't enough.

By 1974, I was using drugs from my sister’s boyfriend. John was a true drugstore cowboy. At first, he committed burglaries, which were easy at the time. There were no sophisticated electronics to stop someone from cutting a hole in the roof of a pharmacy. It took only minutes to pry open the safe that contained the narcotics. Then it took maybe another minute to fill a pillowcase full of every variety of amphetamines, barbiturates, valiums, etc.

It wasn’t long before I graduated to using morphine, cocaine and then overdosed on Demerol. My stepfather sent me to a treatment facility in Tulsa Oklahoma, about one hundred miles away from Oklahoma City. The Dillon treatment center didn’t accept clients under age of sixteen but made an exception with me. I was a walking-talking disastrous miracle...or a miraculously saved disaster.

They figured that since I was fourteen, the sooner the better to start my road to recovery. Apparently, they didn’t condone sneaking pot and valiums in to the facility. I was kicked out of Dillon after about a month.

I came back home and laid low. I went back to Hefner Jr. High and enrolled back into the ninth grade. I quietly picked up where I left off, going back into business with John. My job was to sell the safe stuff; valiums, seconols, white bennies, pot, etc.


Summer came; I turned fifteen and had developed a tendency to over test my wares. I overdosed and nearly died in the hospital several times, which had led to my current predicament. Nobody knew what to do with me.

In August, I entered the tenth grade...for two weeks. I was expelled, (you guessed it) for dealing drugs. I was on homebound teaching twice a week with little supervision. My mother worked, my step-dad, Dick ,worked, and I was home all day. However, I was not just sitting idly around. I was into enterprise.

**

In September, I overdosed again. I was quickly killing myself and my mother didn’t know what to do to stop it. That is why what happened was not my mother’s fault. But it wasn’t my fault either.

I never figured out how he knew where we lived. My mother moved over at least fourteen times in between the time I was six and twelve years old. Yet, here he was, at our front door, with his undeniable ‘ah shucks’ charm. His modesty was convincing. His timing was incredible. My mother stood frozen, her mouth agape. Dick took the lead. He placed himself between my mother and father.

“You must be Gary Don, my name is Dick; I’m Patsy’s husband." Dick had never met my dad, but he'd heard enough about him to surmise who was standing at the door.

"Um, yeah, I'm Gary Don, it's nice to meet you Dick", he said; as he offered a friendly hand shake to Dick.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you, I was just in Duncan with my parents and they suggested I stop by and talk with you before heading back west. It's about Susie....

"Yes, Patsy said you called yesterday. We weren't expecting you this soon, but it's no problem. Why don't you come in and tell us what your plans are? Patsy, honey, would you mind putting on a pot of coffee?”

This unfroze my mother and she scurried to the kitchen. I was still in shock at seeing my dad’s face. I retreated to the staircase, but poked my head around and caught him glance at me. I flew up to the landing. I could easily escape up the rest of the stairs to my bedroom.
I was small enough to remain hidden on the landing, and heard the conversation between my mother, my dad and Dick. Dick was the classiest, most even-tempered adult I had ever encountered. I wished I could stop hurting him and my mother.  

My mother sat down two cups of coffee on the dining room table where my dad and Dick sat. As she retreated a few steps back into the kitchen, Dick politely probed my dad. My dad had the right answer for every question.

He swore he was a completely different person. He had changed. He had no hard feelings, instead he was back to help. He was remorseful for being an absent father and he wanted to make things right. He was back for a reason. He had heard that I was in trouble with drugs and school and he felt guilty for that. He had the answer to my problems. He was so convincing, so….humble, almost shy.

As I listened, I began freaking out with fear and excitement. I always wanted my dad. The last time I tried to live with him, it didn’t work out; he sent me back to my mother’s after a month. Now my dad wanted me! He wanted to save me, take care of me!

He lived by himself now. He was the manager of The Palace Restaurant/Hotel in the little town of Raton, New Mexico. It was a refurbished hotel, built over a century ago The ground floor was an elegant bar and restaurant. He was making very good money, he paid no rent and he had an extra room for me.

With a population of 6000, it was not a place to continue a lucrative drug business. Also, he would enroll me into the little high school and I could get my diploma. I could work in the restaurant in the evenings where he would keep his eye on me. Then, there was the horse. He would buy me a horse. And on and on and on.

The logic and sincerity of his argument was convincing. So there it was. An hour later, my bags were packed. I was going to live with my father in New Mexico.

That’s how in September 1975, my father whisked me away from my home in Oklahoma City, under the guise of saving me from my own demise. I was stolen and held captive in Raton, New Mexico for what seemed like forever.

My dog, Baron was coming with me, I refused to go anywhere without him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, when I got back from Tulsa. To me, he was priceless. He was my best friend. He couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds, but his heart was huge.

I talked to him about everything and he consoled me by nodding, and licking me on the cheek non-stop…or he would admonish me through his expressions and demeanor. I had lived with Dachshunds since I was seven, so understood their language pretty well. Baron understood humans better. We developed a rare communication that worked well for both of us.
Herman, our older dachshund had greeted my dad cordially. Baron couldn’t figure this out, he expressed his apprehension. He looked at me and conveyed,

“Well, if Herman isn’t worried, I guess it’ll be Okay, right? Right, Susan?”

I was sorry I didn’t have an honest answer. I did my best to settle him.

“Sure, this’ll be fun, a whole new adventure!”

As we drove West, toward the Texas panhandle, Baron kept the conversation going by his curious interest expressed by wide eyes and attentive ears. My dad amazed him with his knowledge of history, geography, geology, astronomy, world geo-politics, weather, music on the radio, literature, mechanics, religion and countless other topics. I knew he was faking his fascination with my dad. He knew he was doing me a favor.

There was not a dead moment in the air. An occasional “really?” expressed by me was enough to keep my dad’s mouth running. I was thankful for that. It kept my attention away from my jangle of emotions. As we drove through the night, I was conflicted, scared, excited, happy and worried. I didn’t know where I was going, or who was driving me there.

My dad’s jovial demeanor comforted me. He made The Palace sound like the perfect place for his little princess.

When we arrived, it was late, after 10pm., Baron was exhausted. I stood on the corner and looked up. I gulped. The three-story building was like an old gothic castle. It was a huge rectangle with the front corner cut back with a fifth wall about ten feet wide. This provided the entrance with two giant oak doors. Baron was less than enthused by its foreboding appearance. I had to agree.

Dad ignored my hesitation. “Come on, you’re going to love this place!”

He pulled open one of the oak doors, which had to weigh at least five hundred pounds. I was hesitant, but thirsty. Baron’s squirming had started to annoy me. I went forward filled with adrenalin.

The initial entrance was a small round foyer with a domed ceiling of cut glass. It was about six feet round. As I stared up at the beautiful little pieces of color, I heard my dad chuckle.

“See? I told you, there’s no place like this!”

Then I saw the true entry to the bar, a set of small bat winged doors that swung back and forth. He pulled one of the doors back, beckoning me forward. He looked down at me with a tender expression.

“Welcome home, honey, this is home now.”

As we entered the bar, I was dumbstruck. Baron was not. I stepped back in time, to 1896, into The Palace Hotel.

The bar took up half of the first floor of the hotel. It was the most captivating centerpiece of the establishment. The mirror behind the bar was the longest continuous piece of reflection glass in all the states, the brochure proclaimed. A brass foot rail extended the length of the long cherry oak bar A few feet behind was a waist high railing just like the saloons in old John Wayne movies.

The carpet was a deep royal red interlaced with black swirly patterns. Bright golden paper covered the walls. It was smooth and shiny with raised curly designs made out of felt or maybe even velour. God, I just wanted to reach over and run my fingers across it!  

The wall opposite the bar had windows that were quizzically narrow and impossibly tall. Lush maroon velvet drapes adorned them, parted in the center to provide a view of the quaint town just beyond the sidewalk.

I looked up at the ornate ceiling, which seemed a mile above me. It was covered with tiles of little angels that all looked the same, yet different. The angels danced across the entire ceiling until it curved and met the wall. I got dizzy looking at them.

“You can’t find ceiling tiles like that anywhere! My dad grinned. “They’re covered in pure gold leaf!”

I didn’t know what pure gold leaf was, but the word ‘gold’ impressed me very much.

He introduced me to the staff. I l blushed when he said; “This is Susie, my favorite little girl!” I had never heard that before. The whole crew greeted me warmly, all smiles and friendliness.  

I always paid attention when Baron got nervous but I chose to ignore him. I jostled him in my arms. My stern look at him stopped his squiggling, but his look back conveyed that I was clueless.

I, however thought, Okay, I have died and gone to Heaven! I was enchanted. My fascination with this magical setting made me feel happy; I was in the neatest place I had ever seen. I’m going to love it here!

On the first night, my dad led me around the ground floor. The restaurant was as elegant as the bar. To the rear of the restaurant, there was a large commercial kitchen. Off the rear of the kitchen, he showed, me a short hallway to the back exit. To the right, a huge staircase led to the two upper floors of dilapidated hotel rooms. A manager’s apartment had been converted from several hotel rooms connected together on the second floor, just above the entrance to the hotel.

We ended up back in the bar and sat at a table for two. Crystal, the head bartender stayed on for a little while longer after the rest of the staff were allowed to go home.

Sitting at the table, he ordered Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. I had never had Cream Sherry before, but it tasted like candy with nuts and I had no problem going through numerous rounds in a very short time. I was hungry but I was too nervous to eat.

Baron, however, was ravenous. My dad fed him little pieces filet mignon and French bread with real butter. He played cute for my dad, sitting up and begging. He jumped up, putting his paws on my dad’s leg, wagging his tail like crazy.

I was a little befuddled until I caught his sideways glance that said, “I do not like this guy, but I gotta eat, I’m starving. You’re the one falling into his into his trap, not me.”

Ouch. “Baron, sometimes I wish you would shut the hell up.”

After having his fill, he settled into a wary sleep on top of my feet. I never worried about losing Baron. Where I went, he went, period.

I wasn’t aware when the bartender left. The bottle was on the table before I knew it; he kept my glass full. I was five feet tall and weighed 106 pounds. I had a lethal level of alcohol pulsing threw my entire body…and I had my daddy.

I was in a haze. Actually, it was more of a daze than a haze. My vision was failing me. I looked at him; he was in a million pieces. I knitted my brows and struggled. I leaned my face forward and focused real hard. He became one face again.  

He was gentle. I became at peace, listening to the love pouring out of him and into me. I’d never felt so safe. I couldn’t believe that my life was actually turning out good for once. I fell into a dream and didn’t want to wake up.

But, I was woken up… by my dad shaking my shoulder. I had passed out sitting up.

“Come on; let’s get you upstairs and into bed. I’ll bring the Sherry with us.”

As if I needed more sherry. I was so drunk; I could barely stand up. He pulled me up and started guiding me through this strange building. I’d lost track of time. I couldn’t figure out where I was. I kept teetering.

He picked me up and carried me up to my new home. I was so happy, swaying in his arms, but my head was spinning. The combination of swaying and spinning started to make me a little nauseous.




I heard Baron’s little claws clicking up the wide set off shiny wooden stairs. Half way up, there was a landing, which led to another set of stairs that ended on the carpet of the second floor. We started down a narrow, endless hallway with an infinite amount of doors on both sides.


As we passed door after door, my head fell back. I developed tunnel vision as I looked at the doors’ upside-down numbers. I listened to the soft tinkle of Baron’s dog tags. Sleep was overcoming me. It seemed like forever before we stopped at the second to last door on the left.  

I didn’t feel scared, I felt warm and safe. My dad was going to keep me. I was still in his arms when he looked down at me with soft, caring eyes. He smiled warmly. Then he turned off the light.

**
  
That night, my father attacked me with such a maniacal force; there was no chance to change the circumstances. He laid me down on the floor and began kissing me all over my face until he found my mouth. He plunged his tongue deeply down my throat and I could feel his weight shifting on top of me. His hands went everywhere, until they found the buttons of my shirt, my pants.

“I love you, I love you,” he kept repeating. He left no time for me to process anything before my pants were off and he was in me, still saying repeatedly “I love you.” I died in that instant, as I did over seven hundred times in the two years I lived with 'Gary Don'.

There are no words to express the devastation and sheer disbelief of what I was experiencing. That night my eyes were clamped shut, barely allowing the tears to roll down my side-turned face until they found the crevices of my ear. It was OK though. I heard less.

My father was a brilliant sociopath, which was not a good combination. He felt no guilt. He had complete disregard for others unless it benefited him. In the 1830’s this disorder was called “moral insanity.” I wondered why it was changed to sociopath. My dad was clearly morally insane.

He knew my need for love was so profound I would take it however I could. He knew the price I would pay. But, it wasn't about me, it was never about me. It was all about that motherfucker. I was caught in a web, sticky, waiting. He was the spider, I was the fly. All I could do was accept my demise.

“You’ll sleep in here now,” he told me the next day. “After last night, you must know how much I love you…”


I just walked like a zombie to the big bed and sat down next to him. I am his daughter. How could this be?

This can’t be my life….this can’t be my life…the thought kept repeating over and over in my mind….this just can’t be my life! At fifteen, it seemed that I didn’t have much of a life to compare to, but mine had been no ordinary life.

My father forced me into a madness that tainted me in a way that is impossible to describe. He yanked my head off, turned it backwards and thrust it back down onto new crooked shoulders. He flipped my reality upside down and turned it inside out. Mind-bending events unfolded.

Was I wrong not to see the future? Was I so stupid that I couldn’t see the signs? The devil had two faces. Dad wore a convincing mask and I saw it slip more than others did. I knew I was in the presence of evil.

I experienced the inexplicable on a constant basis. My life turned to shit as his twisted worldview, his warped morals and ethics were shoved down my throat. At breakneck speed, I changed.

Baron wisely remained his cute, undeniably charismatic self. My dad fell for him hard.

That next afternoon, my dad left the apartment. It was the first time Baron and I were alone, since we’d arrived at the Palace. We sat on the couch/daybed together and stared in opposite directions.

When I looked at him, he was stone-faced. “How could you be so nice to him, you little traitor? Gawd!”

He was disgusted by the question. “Hey, I’m a dog. Dogs love meat, OK? Besides I was starving...when did you last feed me???"

I wanted to cry. “I have your food packed with me! I just couldn't get to my bags. You saw how fast everything happened! And besides, you didn’t have to show him how much you enjoyed it. He’s in love with you now.”

Sheepishly, He turned his head away from  me, I couldn't see his face.

He muttered “Well…it was filet mignon…what did you expect? Susan, you are going to have to learn to play the game.” You should’ve eaten too, you look green.

I did feel like shit, in fact I couldn’t remember feeling so bad. But still, I retorted, “How would you know what color I am? Dogs can’t see…”

“That’s such bullshit, Susan. Dogs are NOT color-blind. It’s a made up story by humans, just because they’re jealous.”

“Jealous? Jealous of what?”

After rolling his eyes upward, he shook his head and looked down at the grungy old gold carpet that was stained to brown from countless cheap cigarettes. He sniffed at a one of the burnt black spots that dotted the carpet in a semi semi-circles around the lounge chair and the daybed/couch. ....Menthol...gross...'

"Uh..wrong....he doesn't smoke menthols, he smokes Parlaments...like those are so much better...cigarettes in a bluue package?? Wierd..."

Baron's  exasperation was complete. "No shit, dumbass. I had to breathe those cancer sticks across half the United States, remember?" He sniffed the burn hole again "No, the menthols here smell nasty. They  match the cheap perfume of even cheaper women..."

Eewwww. that was a low blow. I lay back down, defeated.

"And why would humans be jealous, may I ask? Genius?"

“Geez, Susan, everything! Dogs do EVERYTHING better than humans! We can see further, we can smell better, and we can hear waay more than you guys. We don’t talk in front of most humans because WE are too intelligent for that.

Very, very few humans can talk, much less, understand dog language. But we can do both with humans! Shit! We can even talk to cats, believe it or not!"

"Well, uh. well...I can talk to cats too..."

"Susan, please!! It's not just that! Humans are mean! They're mean for no reason! It's insane!"

":Oh yeah? You were pretty insanely mean to me just now...."

That got to him. He was never mean. He said it "was unbecoming of a dog, too human-like..."

I won the fight, but it backfired, proving his point, entirely.

“Yeah, see there? You're mean too! Fine with me!! . Go lick his feet tonight, he'll probably feed you lobster!”

He gave me his most impressive ‘Screw You’ look I had ever seen...

He punched me in the gut...again “You know I hate seafood, Susan...thanks a lot... for nothing”.

“God, Baron!  If you don’t like him, how come you were so cutesy-pootsy when he was feeding you last night?”

Now I was as ashamed as he was incredulous. He had never fallen asleep at night without my arms around him. Not once in his life had he ever slept on the floor all night.

“What the hell do you mean? You think I’m a traitor? You abandoned me! I thought you were being killed! I understand a lot of human, but what I heard last night made me want to die! I’m scared, Susan! You are my life, I can’t stand this! I’m a nervous wreck!

He was done with me. He leaned forward, staggering slanted ways, carrying the new found bag of rocks on his back. He started slinking away to his new home under the bed.

I couldn’t stand it. “Come back, you’re right! I’m sorry, Baron! We’ll be OK, I promise!

He turned and trotted to me, jumped up on my lap and laid his head on my chest. We were both crushed. We needed each other, now more than ever. We were so hurt, confused and sad. It was all my fault; I had dismissed him from the time we left Oklahoma City.
  
I just hated it when he was smarter than I was. “Dammit, Baron the problem is, you always think you’re right.”

“Nooo, Susan, the problem is I AM always right, you just don’t listen. Shit, your dad is a dumbass! He adores me and I loathe him, he just doesn’t know it! Shit he doesn’t have a clue! He’s so stupid when it comes to me! He just doesn’t get it! That’s why I’m going to use every trick I can to help. It should be easy, really, heh, heh, heh. Just remember, I don’t want to be here. But I don’t want to be anywhere that you aren’t, OK? Just hang on, don’t leave me, and we’ll get through this. Just think smart, like me.”

He snorted out of his nose and plunked his head down onto my knee. With a sigh, his eyes closed. He was tired of explaining.

At that point, I left it alone and so did he. If I had ever felt true love, it was at that moment. He was right. All that mattered was he loved me, thought I was an idiot, and forgave me all at the same time.

I grabbed a Dachshund puppy and
Benny Langedyk

January

Started all quiet—
with Gracie yelling near
Coleman crying grandmother with
Obi the doge attacking
and running from Coleman to
Wimpy's no. 1 and tears in a trenched
basement proceed to pour achey-breaky
heart into the baked cone of a short story but
cold
and cold
and cold again until trip-taking Toronto
and flashfiving on a salamander,
smoking Colts in exhaustion,
all of them drawing tattoos on my forearms with Twitter handles,
sending off Ryerson RTA pie-charts
and planning that always phosphorous birthday party
where my rock music turned into hip-hop music and
my fingers turned into magic wands and my
perception of reality turned into a waterfall where I
look for Easter eggs crying the suicide Slamming the
bedroom inevitable, wake and hear
Howl for the first time but (side note: everyone was only
there for @JamesFrancoTV) especially since I woke up
with those pretty shindig burn marks on my hairy thumbs
and I know that they're all wishing that the invention of the soul would
turn into a real-life tangible thing that you can put your dick inside.

February

This is when most people
would blame the weather but I'm not most people
so I'll blame "Warm Bodies" and I'll blame
McDonalds and I'll blame them bright ol'
lips ya got there, and I'll drag
her home from Puerto Rico
or Siberia or wherever, without the
notion I harboured of the dark/freezing pain, she got
16th place apparently, she saw me, we called it,
fade to blue, turn up the acoustic Alex Turner,
fade away for a couple of days, fade into a lucky
hand-me-down iPhone start the illustrious Snap
career on Valentines with Spree who
eventually decided that reading
my stories wasn't actually that sadomasochistic of an act
and advised me thru the wintry and blissfully ignorant poems
that I wrote and named things like
"Sad" or
"Hungry" or
"Forbidden Love" or
"Theme and Variations on my Eternal Damnation"

and then bam! (keen use of onomatopoeia)
at 11:58 on the 25th,
I listened to that lackadaisical youth song and told myself that
I was certifiably an adult two minutes later,
woke up,
bought some lotto tickets,
spent the next night with myself because nobody wanted us at the fire,
we grabbed Indian,
we enjoyed the sights and the sounds of the hammer coming down on the 401
and napped til 3am listening to Morrissey
but then I told myself to leave and
I slipped into a joint and my
imagination and probably my
wellbeing collapsed from dysentery
on the walk home, upon realization
that I have to deal with March next.

March

Always a blur and here is where I started up with
China Ferrari Sex Orgy Death Crash, we had a gig coming up,
we escaped Brooklyn and the undulations of our shitty keyboards
pounded against tom-toms and my scratchy poetry through my
scratchy voice hole, can't hit those high notes.

Maggie made more connections to Brendan, they knew Law and
Outlaw, they knew the library and knew how to skip and I took
a few weeks off, drove somewhere different everyday, wrote
stories and read a lot and learned more than I would've had I been
in school. I learned how to drive, at least.

Came into some grass and some zigzags and tried playing around in
front of a bus and tried getting crappy rides home from  still
and tried to take bong hits but my lungs coughed too much, this newfound
serenity brought me appetite and an excuse to be out of this reality
without the shocking use of a waterfall, we'll call it a water pipe.

And I met a different Sara, too, this one kissed me in Johnny's beside Johnny
and we played Monopoly and—

April

—monopoly ended for good reason,
the reason being that we saw through the green screen making
Melnick regret the wallpaper choice, the excuse to look more like a predator falcon, the insinuation
that AidanFriend was creepy and that just because some kid gave me a high-five doesn't mean I get to break his neck and avoid him in December,
We'll be at the reservation,
We'll be at the airlock,
We'll be at the indent,
I'll be in a high security prison, due to smashing grapes into the walls,
We'll be at a Taco Bell on 4/20 where Monopoly kicks my ass into orbit,
We'll all be too hazy to share our feelings and draw our emotions,
We'll be recreating root beer hash browns and trying to be funny on Twitter,
and I'll fly out to Limeridge with
Four, who at this point had read my novella  
and only had the kindest words to say:

"Can you just shut the fuck up and take a compliment?"

And I definitely tried my hand at
another one of those parties but
I was too filled with gin
to fully recount the details,
but it sure was a piercer.
Read about it sometime.

May

And at the beginning of May there was Tyler and vampires and ruffians
and brightness exploding from dark souls to library corners,
and while yes, I do advocate the responsible use of the cannabis plant, I do not advocate getting stupid high with Doug one day and fusing your body with an iTunes visualizer and writing a sappy stuck and irreversible "love" "letter" with all your "true" "feelings" from May 2012 seeping out the paper flipping the piss/pass of twiggy branches despondent from here until the end of the notepad...for sure.

And now that it's all out there, Gracie can advocate getting stupid fiery
flaming mad with a single outspoken foil at midnight drawing a big letter "E" on my
chest, my blood spews from my insides and all can be OK again when I rest in the laurels of
the IRA,
the Tobermory,
the chew toy expurgating reaper?
And I guess at this point all those
exciting drinkin' buddies wanted nothing more to do with me,
I assume because I can't grow a moustache.

Like all of the loud sounds that made up our fingers and toes were all being played in different octaves, with a thousand different timbres, all at once.

June

Y'know...
I'm struggling to come up with what to write down here.
Usually words just pop into my head and my fingers ejaculate them,
but that's not the case right now.

-takes a break
-eats some pizza
-general New Year's Day merriment

OK.

Those first few days burned up in the sun
like a sweaty time bomb from Liberty Prime, the
6th came as an extra Heineken and a pat on the back,
decided to give up on school, didn't go to graduation,
didn't go to prom, unfortunately my hibiscus
isn't auditory, kinesthetic or visual, and hey!
I finally came up with some better poems too!
Didn't matter though, rolled up my pant legs and
trudged through the sand of the alarm clock they used in
that one episode of Seinfeld that I watched in a bubbly
blanket fort saved by the hypnotizing chants of the chorus
of perpetual snotty shruggers shrugging off my insurmountable
plans,

new job!, Global Pet Foods!, in the money finally!,
although it started out rough,
boss was a drunk and she made sure to
phone me up at 2am on weekend evenings
to complain about my sloppy salesmanship,
the difference between Acana and Orijen,
the stain on my t-shirt one day,
how hard it is to be a lesbian in our post-post-post-post-modern society,
and how birds decay in Autumn due to a professor emeritus whining
on about Man's desire to sate the appetite of animal, of Cancer, the
fleshy hamburgers his friends eat,
switch to sunny and shimmery days with green outs,
and meeting the crows for new chapters, my life was supposedly saved
by a little baggy of 12.5 grams that I carried around like Linus' security blanket, it was arguably my closest friend, my alphabetical mini puzzle,
my agnostic little-dog,
my quote, unquote—oops, I forgot what I was gonna write here,
I guess it doesn't really matter.

July

Came and gone.
Played some Nintendo.
Saw some murky Jeeps.
Don't wanna talk about it.

August

Glory to the lord,
Tobermory has come.
May those scarred blisters on ya feet
always remind you of the Half-O we had,
the Funky Forest: First Contact, the
Brothers Bloom and the innumerable
dollars spent on pizza pies,
straggling the controlled fire, burnt
video screen with four awesome fold-up
chairs and a sweet table for only 40 bucks!
And this freakin' fantastic Fortino's for only
10! Our children are sure gonna hear about
this someday. We fell back into ourselves
though and on the drive home we engaged
Metros and Mirelurks and Bambina chicken
burgers and Sebastian drifted-
And OK, so, I                    -into Toronto.
finally got through that
Global Pet Foods purgatory,
Janice had a problem with the frequency at which
I took out the garbage,
I grabbed a Dachshund puppy and
nestled it close to the heart of the storm
that shattered my eyeballs, that lightning
that punctured poor little-mutts ribcage,
the thunder that inspired my immediate
resignation, and left without mythologies, I
came as though a pilgrim to the shed
illuminating the way with white Bic lighters
and a Zippo that no one broke before
I tossed it into a compactor, added
some Angry playlist and some disheartened
weeping in a hotel room, it was pretty bad,
you should've seen it.

September

watery depths of the bottom of the homoerotic swimming pool,
wishing/washing the water from my ears with chocolate milk as an antiseptic,
when the leaves tumbled to the bossanova earth, Taylor recounted reggae
...and bought these terrible clove cigarettes because the sky was
yellow and stringy and the rain pelted against my sunglasses which
obnoxiously reverberated down my spine and sputtered out of my
unearthly and verboten first moments in the freshly cut shed,
the first steps into Liberty City, The Thinker, an ape, who had been there from the
utter beginning, the camera zooming in the mouthpiece, around three
bendy arm percolators, near the atom of creation, near the stem of my
ennui roses, trotting down to a homely and intensely pleasant bowl of chicken soup
...that I injected after that car crash that’s still not really my fault, the
cops are all blinded in a BDSM dungeon sucking on each others guns
or spray painting their riot vans to look more like the goopy and “dank” Mystery
machine, too busy to hear about a car made from an eleven hundred pound block of
/gold/ \flinging\ itself into warp drive and bumping up my insurance, I’m in the
worst fucking demographic, I’ve also got the worst !%$^&(@ lawyers, and
almost exactly at the hangover, a peace day occurred in the form of a woebegone
tremor shaking my rubber Rainbow Loom, pulling into an Pizzaiolo, vaporizing,
creeping up on The Taste of Tea, Xmas tea, a casual stroll around Casa Loma,
hopped down into Dupont Station and dreamed about the rest.
??? (Where am I?) ? (I left the light off.) ? (That goes in the plastic.) ???
ventilated some poems for Billy, too, found Rachel at the Trinity + Burger King
= a chance meeting with the only red-haired girl in the city. I said:
You’re the only one allowed in my car. Lock all the doors, for the whore, the
vendor, the crack house, slipping on Rihanna, closing my eyes to the sounds of
zooper Dooper, of Mickey Mouse,
Janis Joplin,
_nd our glorious Atwood!
leading lascivious Union Jacks,
ending the movie early,
Drinking all the antiseptic chocolate milk, eating all the
5 Guys fries near Brooklyn, and
verbalizing the eternal thirst-quenching and thought provoking
Question: Are all these things are still connected to the moment it began?

October

            (See? It’s Autumn now!)

            we left mushrooms on the
porch
            and regurgitated film trivia.

we guessed how
                        our lives would be shot
had we all lived in a sitcom.

We told ourselves that
        it was OK to sit in the
shed all day without motivation.

We mused Columbian
        haiku, with an extra
syllable tacked on the end.

We masqueraded our
bubblers and dressed up like
ourselves, no one would give us candy.

The lampposts revealed
that our pipes were rapidly
spinning out of control.

November

called it off
for the month
but the month
ended after a
week and I returned
to the foggy windows
of Tapleytown, this
time with a vengeance,
this time with more gas
in the car, this time with
something to write home
about, this one time in
November the Zebra
fantasy developed more
surrealistic qualities, more
knives with blades made
from human teeth, and I tried
tea and ruined my nose, all
I can smell is milky oily eggy
water and the human condition:
it’s dependency upon a field of
white poppies, glorifying
the allegory of an American
utopia, the bus itself, as an
active agent, a living synthesis
between Man and machine, a
living mechanical mobile
sterile womb, designed
to subvert the natural falling
hierarchy of my brain cells
into a graph representing just
how shitty that November was.

December

Showcase gets tougher, all the faces blend into
a Nutribullet with a fancy book and an extended
store warranty for only 5.99 with 20% off, I can’t
do that math, you do it, tiptoed into the back when
bp asked me for a no!no!, didn’t have ‘em but needed
to temporarily halt my adventure thru commercialism,
my growing distaste for the holiday season and the fact
that there’s literally a giftmas song in every genre of music,
asked the crew if the lights would go off and an icicle toppled
on our glasses in delight, still had some very intuitive customers
though.

new girl!, calls herself Avocado Baby!, we're nowhere near money, though,
stayed up all night drawing a
four wing dinosaur, paying attention
to the image on my back,
a felt tip connecting with a pimple,
she makes a fine feathered
microraptor, she had the chills at
a photoshoot and prayed to soup
god, she has a lot of fun in photo
booths, jumped into a night at
Showcase, my moral code debasing
the below freezing and esoteric temperatures
of the shed, the new Xmas TV, the
unholy snowman covered in penises,
the sold-out Santa Claus on an advertisement,
and there’s the heartsick worry about how: she
can have too much fun in photo booths,
that her sun is going to go down on Canada
Day weekend, that there are too many
clubs selling vodka and not enough me’s
buying soup, that eventually all of my
neurons will collapse in her name, that
her impenetrable cocoon will never blossom
into a much less secretive copy of
Grand Theft Auto 5 for Xbox 360,
the grandiose idea that all of 2013 wasn’t
a write off, the cryptic and frankly terrifying
notion that Eleanor and Ailie and Sara for a few
weeks and some idealized chicks on the
bus and also the girl on the cover of
Contra (she’s kinda hot, whatever)
and apparently Alannah are all secretly
in a very tight-knit group that meets up
on every other Monday night to stitch’n’bitch
about how messy my bedroom is,
that a nuclear spill into the Pacific will
negate the romance in our bath water,
that if I don’t stop vaporizing skull kid
into a magic flight, I’ll always smell like a
Harvey’s burger, and finally, that I’ll drip
down the drain hole like last years green St.
Patricks Day liquor. I’m probably a bit more
viscous though.

And, hey, it’s New Year’s Day and I had Chinese food!
It's not my favourite, but it's traditional.
I prefer Indian.
I told myself that whatever my fortune cookie said, that it’d be my motto for 2014.

It read: “You really like Chinese food!”

I have to forget this.

eye: I had a long little doggie once. A Dachshund.
Claire Rubbelke
Claire Rubbelke
Aug 13, 2013

General Barker: What are you doing, Corporal?
Radar: Doing, sir?
Barker: D-O-I-N-G! What are you doing?
Radar: I'm listening to you spell "doing", sir.

General Barker: Nurse, is everyone in this outfit crazy?
Nurse: Everybody who's sane is, sir.

Hawkeye: Three hours ago, this man was in a battle. Two hours ago, we operated on him. He's got a fifty-fifty chance. We win some, we lose some. That's what it's all about. No promises. No guaranteed survival. No "saints in surgical garb." Our willingness, our experience, our technique are not enough. Guns and bombs and anti-personnel mines have more power to take life than we have to preserve it. Not a very happy ending to a movie. But then again, no war is a movie.

Radar: They aren't gonna like this.
Frank: I didn't come here to be liked.
Radar: You certainly came to the right place.

PA Announcement: Attention, the following personnel have volunteered to go on a ten-mile fitness hike. [Silence]

Henry: Look, all I know is what they taught me at command school. There are certain rules about a war. Rule number one is young men die. And rule number two is doctors can't change rule number one.

Hawkeye: [thinking as he writes] I've never put much stock in ESP, but if it is possible for one person to read another person's mind, Radar has that ability. The little fink.
Radar: [walking past] Is that a nice thing to say?

Colonel Hersh: You got any stethoscopes there?
Hawkeye: WE'RE A MEDICAL UNIT!!!

General Clayton: Henry, are you sitting down?
Henry: [stands up] No, sir.
Clayton: Maybe you better.
Henry: [sits down] Yes, sir.
Hawkeye: Is he giving you calisthenics over the phone?

Sidney: Sign this, soldier.
Klinger: What's it say?
Sidney: It says that I have examined you and found you to be a transvestite and a homosexual.
Klinger: I ain't any of those. Where do you get off calling me that?
Sidney: I think I got the idea from your cleavage.
Klinger: Listen, all I want is a Section 8. You know what you can do with this.
Sidney: Hey soldier. You forgot your purse.

Henry: You were ordered to stand down!
Hawkeye: I did, but I fell up again.

Hawkeye: [looking for maps of the minefield] Why aren't they under "M"?
Radar: Because they're under "B" for "boom."

General Mitchell: Who are you?
Margaret: Majors Burns and Houlihan, sir!
General Mitchell: Which is which?
Hawkeye: Doesn't matter, they're interchangeable.

[Klinger has gone hang-gliding in a housecoat and slippers]
Hawkeye: Did you see that?
Nurse: What?
Hawkeye: A big red bird with fuzzy pink feet.
Trapper: Hawkeye, did you see that?
Hawkeye: What did you see?
Trapper: A big red bird with fuzzy pink feet.

Hawkeye: Frank, do you know what a hero is? Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, he's somebody who's tired enough and cold enough and hungry enough not to give a damn. I don't give a damn.

Hawkeye: [on the telephone seeking help] Send me anyone! Jack the Ripper! Anyone who's good with a knife!

Frank: You're asking me to let a pervert out of the Army?!
Hawkeye: Oh, by all means, Frank. Let's leave the perverts in the Army.
Trapper: Anyway, Klinger's not a pervert.
Margaret: How do you know?
Trapper: Because I'm one—and he's never at the meetings!

Henry: Don't tell me. I don't want to know about it. You guys have my full permission, and I never said that. I mean, I'm not even here, so how could I? Radar!
Radar: Sir?
Henry: Make an entry in the daily report that I wasn't here today, and bring it to me so I can sign it.
Radar: Uh, sir, if you sign it, it'll show you were here.
Henry: Then you sign it for me.
Radar: Yes, sir. Should I sign your name?
Henry: You'll have to, because I'm gonna say it was a forgery.

Henry: [pulling out Klinger's file] Here we go. Father dying, right?
Klinger: Yes, sir.
Henry: [going through letters in Klinger's file] Father dying, last year. Mother dying, last year. Mother and father dying. Mother, father, and older sister dying. Mother dying and older sister pregnant. Older sister dying and mother pregnant. Younger sister pregnant and older sister dying. Here's an oldie but a goodie: half of the family dying, other half pregnant. [puts file down] Klinger, aren't you ashamed of yourself?
Klinger: Yes sir. I don't deserve to be in the Army.

Flagg: It all depends on HQ.
Henry: HQ.
Flagg: Why did you say HQ? Whoever told you about HQ?
Henry: Well, you told me, Colonel Flagg.
Flagg: Who's Colonel Flagg?

Pratt: [referring to Flagg] Another time, he crashed his Jeep into a wall and set himself on fire.
Hawkeye: Is this guy available for kids' parties?

General Steele: War and whiskey don't mix! General Grant kept throwing up on his bugler.

General Steele: I predict an early end to this war, if it doesn't rain and we get all wet.

General Steele (inspecting Father Mulcahy): There are no atheists in foxholes!
Father Mulcahy: I've heard that.

General Steele I'd like to see a shine on that cross, father.

General Steele (inspecting Radar O'Reilly): The Irish were rotten Indian fighters! (Relenting and patting Radar's shoulders) Enlisted men . . . backbone of the Army! Where are you from, son?
Radar: Iowa, sir—
General Steele: NO TALKING IN THE RANKS!

General Steele (To Klinger): Not now, Margery. I'm inspecting the troops.

General Steele: M is for mobile! And mobile you shall be!

Hawkeye: I will not carry a gun, Frank. When I got thrown into this war I had a clear understanding with the Pentagon: no guns. I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch, I'll carry a tune, I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I'll even 'hari-kari' if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun!

Hawkeye: I just don’t know why they’re shooting at us. All we want to do is bring them democracy and white bread. Transplant the American dream. Freedom. Achievement. Hyperacidity. Affluence. Flatulence. Technology. Tension. The inalienable right to an early coronary sitting at your desk while plotting to stab your boss in the back.

Sidney: Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.

PA Announcement: Due to conditions beyond our control, we regret to announce that lunch is now being served.

Klinger: (On guard duty at night.) Halt! What's the password.
Hawkeye: (in a threatening tone) Outta my way, or i'll split your head open.
Klinger: ...Close enough!

Hawkeye: (After hearing the main dish is liver and/or fish again) ...I didn't hear you say that. Because it isn't possible. It's inhuman to serve the same food day after day. The Geneva convention prohibits the killing of our tastebuds! I simply can not eat the same food day after day. Fish! Liver! Day after day! I've eaten a river of liver, and an ocean of fish! I've eaten so much fish, I'm ready to grow gills! I've eaten so much liver I can only make love if I'm smothered in bacon and onions! (to the rest of the mess tent) Are we going to stand for this?! Are we going to let them do this to us?! NO, I say NO! We're not going to eat this dreck anymore! (starts a riot) We want something else! We want something else! (While chanting continues) Draftees of the world, arise! You have nothing to lose but your cookies! We want something else! (protesting continues, then scene cuts to Hawkeye sitting in Henry's office).
Henry: Just who do you think you are, Pierce?!
Hawkeye: (looking up at Henry with guilt)...I broke under the pressure, warden.

Frank: Klinger, I want to see you out of that dress...tonight!
Klinger: Never on a first date, sir!

Frank: Anyone who needs psychiatry is sick in the head.

Klinger: Colonel, if you can hear me, knock three times. If you can't, knock twice.
(Henry knocks twice)
Klinger: Oh lord, he's dead.

Klinger: What's this morning's breakfast?
Trapper: Last night's dinner.
Klinger: Great, that was yesterday's lunch.

Flagg: My orders are to do whatever it takes to break up this penicillin ring, and I have written permission to die in the attempt!

Klinger (on guard duty): Halt! Who goes there?
Henry: Outta the way, Klinger.
Klinger: I've gotta have the password, Colonel.
Henry: Bullfeathers!
Klinger: That was LAST week's password.

Radar: (walking very slowly into the OR, shortly after Blake's departure) I have a message: Lt. Col... Henry Blake's plane...was shot down... over the Sea of Japan. It spun and . . . there were no survivors. (He leaves, fighting tears)

Frank: Another week of command and I'd have had you out of that dress!
Klinger: I'm not that easy.

Klinger: Colonel Potter, sir. Corporal Klinger. I'm section eight, head-to-toe. I'm wearing a Warner bra. I play with dolls. My last wish is to be buried in my mother's wedding gown. I'm nuts. I should be out.
Potter: Horse hockey! I've seen these dodges for 40 years, all the tricks. Knew a private, pretended he was a mare. Carried a colt in his arm for weeks. Another fellow said he was a daisy. Insisted we water him every morning. No, no, Corporal. It ain't gonna go with me. Now you get out of that froufrou and into a uniform. And you stay in uniform. Dismissed!

Jenkins: Halt, who goes there?
Radar: It's the Colonel.
Jenkins: Oh, sorry, go ahead, sir.
Potter: Don't you want to know the password?
Jenkins: I already know it, sir.

Hawkeye They'll keep coming whether I'm here or not. Trapper went home, they're still coming. Henry got killed and they're still coming. Wherever they come from, they'll never run out.

Captain Pratt: Well, you are, doctor, I am afraid, what George Orwell referred to in 1984 as an "un-person." [chuckles]
Hawkeye: An "un-person"? Now I'm an un-person. Do you know that right now back in Maine my father, not realizing I'm undead, is at this moment mourning his "un-son."
Captain Pratt: Well, I don't know any other way out of it.
Hawkeye: Oh, you don't, huh? He just rattles around in that empty house, gives my things away to the Salvation Army and ages a couple of years for every day he thinks I've shaken off this khaki coil!

Frank (into walkie-talkie): Attention all Allied personnel: There are only about half a dozen stars visible, sky-wise: I am directly under the brightest one.
Hawkeye: Very good, Frank.
BJ: They'll start looking for us in Bethlehem.

Hawkeye: Bite your tongue, Margaret. Or better yet, let me do it.

(Hawkeye is teaching Koreans to speak English)
Hawkeye: I will get the nurse.
South Koreans (with limited English): I will get the nurse.
Hawkeye: Frank Burns eats worms.
South Koreans: Frank Burns eats worms.

Mulcahy: (talking about a patient): Is he going to be all right?
Hawkeye: Well, we could be bombed, there could be an avalanche, or Frank could operate on him again.
Frank: Twerp.
(Hawkeye turns and points to the South Koreans)
South Koreans: You tell him, Ferret Face.

Potter: I've got a soft spot for Klinger. He looks a little like my son and he dresses a lot like my wife.

Colonel Coner: Our losses were insignificant.
Hawkeye: How many kids in an insignificant?

Frank: The way I see it, unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free.

BJ: Minding my own business is a full-time job. In my spare time, it's my hobby. I can't divide myself emotionally. I couldn't break my word to Peg, and not because God will send me to Hell without an electric fan or because it's not the right thing to do. I simply don't want to.
Hawkeye: You've got a lot to learn about messing up your life.

Hawkeye: A war is like when it rains in New York and everybody crowds into doorways, ya know? And they all get chummy together. Perfect strangers. The only difference, of course, is in a war it's also raining on the other side of the street, and the people who are chummy over there are trying to kill the people who are over here who are chums.

Klinger: If I had all the answers, I'd run for God.

Frank: Pierce, you disgust me!
Hawkeye: That's right, Frank. I discussed you with everyone I know. They all think you're disgusting.

Radar [reading Hawkeye's letter]: "Take care, son. We are connecting the dogs."
Hawkeye: That's "counting the days."
Radar: "We are counting the days. All my love..." Major Burns.
Hawkeye: What?
Radar: Major Burns, coming this way.

Margaret: Did you ever once show me any friendship? Ever ask my help in a personal problem? Include me in one of your little bull sessions? Can you imagine how it feels to walk by this tent and... [gasps and breaks down] hear you laughing and know that I'm not welcome? Did you ever offer me a lousy cup of coffee?
Nurse: We didn't think you'd accept.
Margaret: Well, you were wrong.

Klinger (as a Korean girl stares at his dress): This is what happens to you when you don't eat your vegetables.

Sidney: Freud said that there is a link between anger and wit. Anger turned inwards is depression. Anger turned sideways is Hawkeye.

Klinger: Is it any wonder I can't get a Section Eight? In this unit, if you want to be crazy, you gotta stand in line.

Klinger: Who put gasoline in my gasoline?

Potter: (seeing Klinger eat a piece of a jeep): "A" for effort Klinger but it's not gonna work.
Klinger: Watch this. (swallows the lugnut and smiles).
Radar: Oh wow right down.
Klinger: Dip it in a little 30 weight motor oil, pop it in and let it slide down the gullet like a blue point oyster.
Radar: Colonel he's crazy.
Klinger: See? I got a witness. You gotta give me a Section 8 and send me home.
Potter: No dice.
Klinger: If you don't let me out for being a nut you're nuttier than me! Sir.'

[Klinger is playing horseshoes with Potter.]
Potter: I don't know how you do it, Klinger.
Klinger: Well, sir, I learned how to throw horseshoes in Toledo.
Potter: What's that got to do with it?
Klinger: We didn't throw them for fun. We threw them in self-defense!

Potter: Listen, it's too big a world to be in competition with everybody. The only person I'm out to beat is who I am right now. And in your case, that's tough enough.

BJ [singing]: Git along, little doggie...
Hawkeye: I had a long little doggie once. A Dachshund.
BJ: Oh a little hot dog. What happened to it?
Hawkeye: It got all mustered out.
BJ: I relish these conversations.

Moody: When I was a kid, I used to fight all the time when people put me down. I believed what they said about me. Not any more. I've been up on the line. I had the guts to go out there and drag 'em back to the aid station. No one's gonna get me again with any verbal abuse because I got something guys like that will never have - self-respect.

Hawkeye: Look, you can't lay all that on my shoulders. Don't you know how much this place stinks? Don't you know what it's like to stand day after day in blood? In the blood of children? I hate this place. And if I can't stand up to it to your satisfaction, then... then the hell with it. How dare you? The hell with your Iowa naivete, and the hell with your hero worship and your teddy bear, and while you're at it, the hell with you! Why don't you grow up, for crying out loud? I'm not here for you to admire. I'm here to pull bodies out of a sausage grinder, if possible without going crazy. Period. (Radar begins to cry) Come on, cut it out. Stop it, will ya!? You ninny!

Radar: I don't think this place is turning out to be that great an experience for me. I mean I work under terrible pressure and everything and there's a lot of death and destruction and stuff but outside of that I don't think I'm really getting much out of it.

Hawkeye: Radar I'd like to apologize.
Radar: Oh yeah? Well you can just forget it. Just forget it! The hell with me huh. The hell with you. How about that? And another thing. I wanna tell you something. Anyone who says anything about Iowa better be prepared to back it up pal. I'll give you a fistful of Iowa naiveteness right in the stomach. How about that huh?!
Hawkeye (stopping the nurse trying to calm Radar down): No, let him go.
Radar: You know I don't need you to tell me what's what. I know what's what just as well as you do. So why don't you just crawl back in your bottle of booze and pickle yourself?

Sidney: When Pierce and Hunnicutt lose one, he's out of his misery. When I lose one, I've lost a mind.
Mulcahy: When I lose one, I've lost a soul. I guess it all depends on your point of view.

Charles: Do you two realize that you are singing two entirely different operas and they're both out of tune?
Hawkeye: Don't blame me, I didn't write this stuff.

Klinger: When I leave the army, it'll be the honorable way...with a section 8!

Klinger: Colonel, I missed you!
Potter: No.
Klinger: About my heart murmur, Sir...
Potter: No.
Klinger: My double vision is coming back.
Potter: No.
Klinger: I've fallen in love with a goat!
Potter: No.
Klinger: Glad to have you back, Sir.

Hawkeye (trying to guess what "BJ" stands for): Belvedere Jehoshaphat.
BJ: Got it! First try.

Hawkeye (still trying to guess what "BJ" stands for): Was your mother Spanish?
BJ: No, why?
Hawkeye: That eliminates Benito Juarez.

Kwang: Why do you wear the uniform of a nurse?
Klinger: It's a disguise. I'm hiding from sanity.
Kwang: That's crazy.
Klinger: See? It's working!

Hawkeye: Look at this! All my fleas are dead! [to Charles] MURDERER!

Hawkeye: I am the essence of overconfidence. I am speculation, adventure, the spirit of pursuit, the stag howling for its winsome, yet anonymous mate. I am the love call of evolution, the perfume and color of the flowers as they offer their pollen to the gentle fuzz of the bees. I am sex itself, gentlemen. I am life, I am appetite!
BJ: And I'm not taking my clothes off till he leaves.

Hawkeye: With Klinger and Mulcahy's blood in him, this kid will wake up singing "Ave Maria" in Lebanese.

Potter: What is this idiocy about?
Flagg: Your spy ring.
Potter: Spy ring?
Flagg: Very clever, hiding under a house of cards while you plot the overthrow of the free world.
Hawkeye: He's got us, guys, we might as well confess. I'm Joe Stalin. This is Mao Tse-Tung, Marshall Tito, and, of course, you already know Lenin. What can I say, we couldn't get a room in the Kremlin.

Potter: Listen, Radar, I guess you realize I'm kinda fond of you. Lord knows I've never met a soul I could depend on more, but above all that, you've been a damn good friend. Well, friend, it's time we said goodbye. Time you got on with your life. You've come as far as you can go here. You've earned your wings... now you've gotta fly.

Radar (his last line in MAS*H): I'm ready, let's go.

Potter (to Hawkeye): This is the happy hour. Angry hour starts at ten!

Hawkeye: We're 3 1/2 minutes over! Damn it!!
BJ: Maybe the hypothermia bought us some time.
Hawkeye: Yeah, on the other hand, maybe it didn't.
BJ: Hawk, we saved his life.
Hawkeye: Yeah, well I guess that's something.
BJ: It's more than something, it's everything.

[Hawkeye and BJ ask Klinger who he thinks is the funniest guy in the camp.]
Klinger: It's no contest: neither one of you. You guys don't even make the first cut. I'm trying to tell my uncle what kind of a place I work in: doctors, nurses saving lives. Well, I got a commanding officer who dresses me up in his clothes and sits me on a horse named Sophie so he can paint his own picture. There's a priest writing war ditties, and a snooty Major who pays me twenty bucks to follow him out in the woods and watch him blow up a pigeon with a landmine. And if that doesn't do it for ya, I got a head nurse who shoots unarmed luggage. All you two guys do is walk around all day telling jokes. What the hell's so funny about that? It's no wonder I never got a Section Eight; there's nothing special about me. Everybody here is crazy.

Potter: It's a tragedy people have to eat horses, they're beautiful animals. You ever take a peek at a cow or a pig? They're ugly. We're doing them a favor by eating 'em . Saves 'em the agony of looking at their reflections in the trough every morning. But a horse, that's a noble beast. Why, in the cavalry, a man's steed was his best friend, a real companion. Where do people get off making pork chops out of them? Too much killing in this world, too much death. No respect for people, for tradition, for life. The whole world is spinning down the tubes and nobody even seems to notice. I don't know, I...

Hawkeye: I think our job might be a little easier than yours, Sidney. At least we can always see where they're bleeding.

Hawkeye: (answering a letter after operating on a young girl): "Ronnie, it's not a good idea to take the love you had for your brother and turn it into hate. Hate makes war, and war is what killed him. I understand your feelings. Sometimes I hate myself for being here. But once in a while, in the midst of this insanity, a very small event can make my being here seem almost bearable. I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you, Ronnie, except to suggest that you look for good wherever you can find it."

Margaret: It never fails to astonish me. You're alive, you're dead. No drums, no flashing lights, no fanfare. You're just dead.

Klinger: Now the army is my best friend... I may get shot in the stomach... but I won't get stabbed in the back.

Hawkeye: (Drinking coffee): I'm sorry Father. I don't really feel much like talking. I just had to tell a patient he has leukemia.
Mulcahy: Good heavens. That must have been very difficult for you.
Hawkeye: I didn't want to tell him but he wouldn't let me off the hook. I'm a doctor, a guy looks to me for answers and the only thing I can say is that you have this incurable disease and there is nothing I can do about it. Can't blame this on the war. Can't blame it on anything.
Mulcahy: Especially yourself.

Soldier: Am I all right? I can't feel anything in my legs.
Charles: Try to hang on. We're going to get you to a MASH unit and they'll patch you up just fine.
Soldier: I don't know if I can, Doc. I feel real weird.
Charles: Just stay with it.
Soldier: Doc?
Charles: Hm?
Soldier: You still there?
Charles: Sure.
Soldier: I can't see you, hold my hand.
Charles: I am holding it.
Soldier: I can't feel it. Oh God, I'm gonna die.
Charles: Can you hear me?
Soldier: Yes.
Charles (crying): What is happening to you? Can you feel anything? See anything? Please, I have to know. What is happening to you?
Soldier: I smell bread.
Charles: I don't understand.
(soldier dies)

PA Announcement: Attention! The Chinese have begun a new offensive. Command anticipate heavy casualties within the next twenty-four hours. This is a recording.

Potter: Every month there's a new procedure we have to learn because somebody's come up with an even better way to mutilate the human body! Tell me this, Captain: how the hell am I supposed to keep up with it?!
Captain: I'm only...
Potter: If they can invent better ways to kill each other, why can't they invent a way to end this stupid war?!!

[Last scene of the series]
Hawkeye: Look, I know how tough it is for you to say goodbye, so I'll say it. Maybe you're right. Maybe we will see each other again. But just in case we don't, I want you to know how much you've meant to me. I'll never be able to shake you. Whenever I see a pair of big feet or a cheesy mustache, I'll think of you.
B. J.: Whenever I smell month-old socks, I'll think of you.
Hawkeye: Or the next time somebody nails my shoe to the floor...
B. J.: Or when somebody gives me a martini that tastes like lighter fluid.
Hawkeye: I'll miss you.
B. J.: I'll miss you, a lot. I can't imagine what this place would've been like if I hadn't found you here. [The two men hug, then Hawkeye boards the helicopter while B. J. mounts his motorcycle, where he shouts over the helicopter] I'll see you back in the States—I promise! But just in case, I left you a note!
Hawkeye: What?!
[B. J. rides off. Hawkeye gives the pilot the thumbs-up to take off. As the helicopter ascends, Hawkeye looks down and smiles as he sees a message spelled in stones: GOODBYE]

 
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