By Rebecca Fishow
Last Sunday, I nearly ran over your dog. I couldn’t have done it without you. Why wasn’t he secured in the yard? Why wasn’t he tethered by some kind of leash, to some kind of tree?
I admit I had been looking down at the time, rummaging for something below the passenger seat, for a map, a lost love letter, my own severed hand. It seems I am always looking down. On the good days, I am rummaging too.
Last Sunday was not a good day, despite the rummaging. I do not know if life is precious. I do not know who gets to choose what lives and what dies.
Your dog lived, another dog died. Later that day I came out of my apartment, and because I had been looking down, I saw it lying on the empty patio of a French restaurant. He was still, save for the slightest tide of his fleeting breath. His eyes were open. They had become two landing strips for flies. Underneath his tail, a small brown splotch. A wet spot on the concrete around his body widened. I called my lover, who rushed home to help. But he could not help the dog, and he could not help me. I could not help him. Funny, how we felt like help was what we needed.
I am not doing a lot of living these days. Living requires a name. I’ve misplaced mine somewhere. I’m still searching though, beneath the passenger seat, where I could not find my severed hand. None of this is your fault. Nonetheless, I implore you, please be more careful.
– Rebecca Fishow is a writer and artist living in Montreal. Her fiction and illustrations have appeared or are forthcoming in Joyland, Necessary Fiction,The Believer Logger, Mud Season Review and other publications. She is a contributing editor at Cosmonauts Avenue and holds an MFA from Syracuse University, where she received the Joyce Carol Oates Award in Nonfiction and the Cornelia Carhart Ward Fellowship.