killing time


        It is Sunday morning.  The library doesn’t open until 1 PM.  I sit on a bench in the little memorial park adjacent to the library.

In Memory Of Thomas Iparaguirre Public Works Employee April 19, 1977 – February 6, 1995

        Eighteen years old.  Sad.  I wonder how he died.  I get out my iPhone and I google the plaque.  No results shown.  Well, they built him a nice gazebo here.  Nice deep shade.  It’s getting hot in the sun.  Supposed to be 99 today.   I used to sweat like a pig when I only weighed 150 pounds.  I hope this doesn’t take long.

        I tied my little Pit Bull Dulcinea to this bench. She’s in heaven rolling in the clover patch in the grass.  You can see in the green where the lawn sprinklers soak the most.  The zones outside the bright green and outside the shade of these little trees are showing yellow and brown.

        A tall thin balding man carrying a black plastic trash bag approaches me.  He smiles and says, “Hi.  Nice doggie.”

        Dulcinea slinks shyly behind my bench.  I say, “She’s usually very friendly.  This is a new place for her.”

        The thin man smiles and says, “Aw” and then he asks me, “Is that your can there?”

        I reply, “No,” and the thin man starts around me.  Dulcinea growls.

        I say, “She’s usually very sweet.”

        The thin man says, “Aw,” and he proceeds to pick up the can and put it into his black plastic trash bag.  He walks away across the grass.

        I notice a black woman coming up the side walk.  Dulcinea stands in the middle of the pathway staring at her. As I reel Dulcinea back toward the bench the black woman tosses an English muffin with chili on it to Dulcinea.

        Dulcinea snaps it up and goes to the clover patch to enjoy it.

        I call to the lady saying, “Now you have a friend for life.”

        The black woman laughs and walks away.  That was sweet of her.

        I stretch back on the bench and watch Dulcinea rolling on her back in the clover.  She is spooling the long leash around herself.

        I am now aware of the sounds of increasing traffic in the street.  I hope this doesn’t take much longer.

        A young Latina approaches.  She is slender and wears a tight blouse and tight pants.  She is wearing sandals and I can see the bright toenail polish from here.

        It’s her.

        Dulcinea again stands in the middle of the pathway watching intently the girl approach.

        I say to Dulcinea as I reel her back to me so the girl can hear, “Not everyone has a treat for you.”

        The girl smiles and comes right up to Dulcinea before me and strokes her muzzle without fear, saying, “She’s sweet and pretty.  I like Pit Bulls.  My father always had several.”

        She sits down on the adjacent section of the bench divided by a coiled metal armrest and Dulcinea puts her face in her lap and closes her eyes as the girl strokes her head and tugs gently on her ears.

        I say, “So your father has Pit Bulls?”

        The girl coos, “Yes.  They are only as mean as they are raised.”

        I ask, “Is your father Chapo Abosolo?”

        The girl is startled and leans away from me.  She exposes her torso and I fire my gun.  The silencer makes a sound like her mortal gasp.  I grab her arm and I pull her slouching body erect.

        I arise swiftly from the bench and glancing around I tread away through the clover patch leaving behind the dying girl and the dog I had befriended.

        I don’t know why they wanted the girl dead but I can guess that Chapo Abosolo thought he was untouchable.


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