Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Life in suburbia, when

I'm writing a book called "Confessions of an ex-seeker". It's the story of my spiritual quest which took me to India, where I changed my name and my life, and what happened afterward.

Yesterday I was out and about on this:

It's called the Victory Vision, but it should be called "Big ass holy s--t rocket bomb monster".

I stopped in my hometown 40 miles north of Manhattan, and decided to visit the house I grew up in, or, rather, the gas station next to it.

The owner, who I grew up with, owns the station now, and has for several years.

After I pumped up, I asked him to fill in the blanks for one of the stories illustrating the extreme suburban violence I grew up with. Extreme for Westchester, anyway.

He filled in said blanks, and here it is.

On a strip of highway less than a quarter mile long, there were houses where boys of assorted ages lived while I was growing up. Each of these boys had animals of various types---dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, the usual, really. I was the youngest of three brothers, and the youngest on this stretch of highway, which meant I frequently observed events rather than being invited to participate in them.

One neighbor had a collie of particularly disagreeable temperament. This collie's name was Laddie, and she would wander, loose, about the neighborhood.

One day she killed a cat.

The owner of the cat protested to the owner of the dog, they hashed it out, and everyone went on.

Laddie killed another cat, this time a kitten. The kitten was part of a litter, though, so wasn't missed at first, and when the mauled corpse was found, it was too late to really do anything about it. There was no direct evidence that Laddie had killed the kitten, but everyone knew, sort of.

Shortly afterward, Laddie killed one of my brother's rabbits. Broke into the hutch.

Nothing was done. Big fuss, but no authorities called, and no action taken.

Shortly afterward, Laddie attacked Blackie, the dog belonging to our next-door neighbor, the owner of this garage today. Took Blackie's scalp off and the dog went about with this enormous red wound on top of his head for quite a few weeks. Blackie was also lame from being hit by a car previously, and was hardly a worthy adversary for Laddie in the first place.

Two or three days after Blackie's injury, the boys were shooting hoops in the front yard. I was kibbitzing. We heard a series of rifle shots, about 10 in succession.

We stopped. A moment later, 10 more shots. Someone had reloaded.

We ran in the direction of the gunfire, knowing no better, and saw Blackie's owner standing over the body of the motionless, bloody Laddie.

Blackie's owner buried Laddie while we watched, and stamped on the body before he threw dirt on the dead dog.

No one knew for years what had happened to Laddie, and we Max boys kept our yaps shut.

The Dogfather was dead.

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