Sunday, 3 April 2011

A SUNDAY ESSAY, IN SEARCH OF LITTLE BUSTER

 Buster, the blog dog.
Sentinel and friend.

Sixteen years, sometimes it's just like the blink of an eye, for some - for little Buster - it's a lifetime. It is certainly as long as many a marriage and it's as long as we used to nurture children, before Consumerism  turned us into perpetually concerned, indulgent, overprotective, blackmailable  parents and worse,  grandparents,  hostage to  others' spawn, connected to us only by the tendrils of fretful narcissism. 

It's all so furiously relative, the passage of time;  when you're a kid a year is stretching away, impossibly forever; now it seems   that general elections come around every fortnight. And on the other hand  you can watch a butterfly live and die in a day or two, yet it is  the creature's whole lifetime,  to them as crucial as ours  to us, as clung-to, as lengthy, as futile; Life, in its chronic pattern

Although his grunting TeeVee persona is hard to take, I've been reading Neil Oliver's excellent A History of Scotland, best part of England,  and quietly raging at life because even if I live to be two hundred I'll never see any events in geological time - just seven thousand years ago the British Isles were connected to Europe,  the blink of a geological eye, but my life, my miserable span, it is as though my life is  utterly meaningless,  and it is. Relative, all of it, you live and die and that's it, that's all there is to it, scurrying about, 'twixt Heaven and Earth, bumfluffing, irrelevant,yet all we have.

For a  little bloke, Buster had a big life,  he had lots of stuff, lots of routines, lots of places, he wouldn't just flop down, any old where, he had special places in all the rooms of the house;   canny, hideaway places, under sideboards; and he had naughty boy, impertinent sofa places, my-side-of-the-bed places,  he'd leap in there the moment I was absent, sometimes he would beat me to it and stare resentfully at me as I asked him if I could get into my own bed, he wouldn't like it if I colonised any of his five beds, would he? And I'll tell mrs narcolept and Ms Lilith that you're a bad dog; of course he didn't know that he was the blogdog, known on all the continents of the world, but i told him anyway. He and Barney used to sleep in the laundry, warm and comfy-cosy, snuggled-up together, but he was wretched when Barney died and thereafter slept upstairs, snoring away, like a proper old gent. He knew some words to respond to, and he could bully me dreadfully, looking at the fridge, looking at me and then at the floor, time after time, until I opened the door and dropped him some chicken.  Maybe he sensed my own illnesses, for he would always come to me for treatment or medicine when he was poorly,  even though, usually, he wouldn't piss on me if I was on fire.  He loved car travel and strolled around hotels like a monarch on Royal Progress.   As children matured, disappeared into Holy Deadlock,  and as the other dog boys passed away, all the dogging duties fell to him and at the end he was the best boy who ever did any dogging for me. I never went for that owner stuff with the dogs, we were kin. And species be damned;  I would have run into a burning building for Buster; no, honestly, I would.

We travelled a lot together, well, he went everywhere with us;  only went into kennels the once and he wasn't at all impressed,  neither he nor Barney, standing bedraggled in the rain, reproachful, on our return. We packed for him,  his food, his medicines, his garments - he was only a little chap and it does get cold, here in the North - we arranged his car spaces -  he liked the whole of the back seat together with a cushion just to the rear of the central console, so he could put his chin on it -  and fleeces, his tinkle stops,  the Moray Firth, Inverness Tesco, Killiecrankie, Stirling, Westmoreland.
Obviously, we only stayed in dog-friendly hotels. He loved the ones with automatic doors which opened at his approach, couldn't figure out why that didn't happen everywhere, with all the doors in  peopleworld, when we returned home he'd stand at the door, willing it to open automatically.  His life was full of stuff, things, visitors, places, journeys, sticks to fetch, squeaky toys to kill and faces to lick.

Like many do with dogs, we treated him as a child, not nurturing his mind, like a child force-fed his parents' ambitions, to make us proud at his graduation, but just coddling him., who's the best boy-ing.  I remember, years ago, seeing an elderly housekeeper buying a brandy from the hotel bar, it was for her ailing cat; twenty or so, I mocked her.  No point having them, Mr  Ishmael,  sir, if you are not going to look after them.  Now,  maybe the brandy was wasted on the cat but the sacrifice she made was not, not in her scale of values.  It took years but eventually it wasn't wasted on me, either, and I often think of her, Margaret,  ostensiby a right old battleaxe, a no-nonsense, Ena Sharples type,  but profoundly devoted to the wee animal in her care. 

And I had a friend once, later,  Felix, and one night he didn't turn up for a board meeting - we were involved with a prisons theatre group - and sent apologies, he was detained on deathbed watch with his beloved cat, Sampson. I mocked him, too. Only a fucking cat. Felix was Oxbridge, wrote speeches for Merlyn Rees in the Northern Ireland Office but jacked-in his position in the  mandarinate to become a probation officer, do some good, instead of some shit. You'd think anyone would listen to Felix, but I didn't.....'sonly a cat, Felix, I'll buy you another one.

Even though Buster  had a walled acre here, to call his own,   I would take him to town to walk the streets, so's he could log-on to the canine urine web,  keep in species-contact,  sniff-sniffing, raising his leg endlessly, he loved it.  I always felt a bit weird, as though I was taking a prisoner on day release, but  meanstreeting, he perked up, ears and tail at attention,  a city dog, for a few minutes. Back in the car, where, once, he'd clawed the windows, seeking an opening through which to thrust his nose, he promptly went to sleep, old age its own harness.

As he grew older we checked on him constantly, as though in an invisible, undeclared contest.  To any fair-minded referee the protective game would have been mine, for I dwell in an infinity of paranoid possibilities,  where dark things stalk, each worse, more irresistible than the previous -  tyres shot-out, water run out, out of ammo, out of oxygen, flames licking,  cannibals, vampires and headshrinkers besieging   in overwhelming numbers, each constituent of the limitless horror complex  vying with the next, Catastrophe's domino effect,  Nightmare's compound interest, unstoppable.  But then, as we Zen-Presbyterian-Marxists know, we should all  go and set a watchman in the Tower, for shit does happen, it just happens, without warning, introduction or apology,  that's why we call it shit happening.

A cyberfriend lost his dog 'neath his wife's tyres, in the driveway, just like that;  imagine that shit. I'm so sorry, darling. I just didn't see him. No, no, of course you didn't, it's not your fault. .......Although I always manage to  check for him........ The paranoid possibilities do materialise. If Buster strayed into the adjacent  fields some mad,  vindictive, suicidal farmer might shoot him, they're all mad, you know, farmers, doesn't matter how much money they get subbed to them  for fucking about with cows and spuds or sheep, they're just not right;  Ruth and David Archer, instead of running off for a good rogering with Sam the stockman, Ruth returns, instead, to the po-faced, wanky David, where her marital crescendi are bitter arguments about when to vaccinate the herd,  who's gonna do the milking. I see them, here, fairmers, huddled together, speaking out of the corners of their mouths,  as though crop rotation was a state secret, the stupid bastards, they're like a misogynistic  fifth column, stinking of cowshit, and clogging the roads up with those huge tractors,   with tyres as big as houses, pulling evil slurry tankers,  blasted off their stupid  turnipheads on rum and rage.  An old boy, here, Willy, used to come and visit, before they put him in the care home and he died,  he used to say, Fairmin' ? Mercy me, Ishmael, I fuckin' hate it, d'ye ken? I wanted tae go tae sea, and none  a this fairmin' bollocks, wi' beasts an kine an shite, but they made me stay on the fairm, I hated it, d'ye ken? I did ken, no job for a man, fairmin'. Weather, incest and madness.

And so I worried that if Buster got in the fields - and he did, the wee devil -   we might  see him come spraying out of  a combine harvester or a mower, my little warm brown friend, cascading through the air in bloody threads. The house would ring to cries of Where'sBuster? I have said a thousand times, Don't let him out of the grounds on his own, he's not safe, he's an old man with a bad heart. and cataracts.....and on and on. I simply had to know where he was at all times, and quite right too, he had no chance, alone in this world of men and their doings. Especially not fairmers.  Fucking loonies. It may be apocryphal, anecdotal, the shotgun-happy farmers thing  but from the farmers I have seen and known I would wager good cash money that a wee dog within half a mile of some sheep would set their trigger fingers to itching and their horrid, bloated  sense of manly superiority, of being under siege by townies would do the rest, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Jesus fucking wept, country living, you have no idea.

When we visited Dundee on the Silv'ry Tay I could never leave Buster alone in the car;  the town was full of street people,  homeless  junkies, guided  by Want's catechism, outside not only the law but outside Decency's seer cloak,  street-dwellers who might steal a little old dog and use him as the beggar's prop, or use him, as the young people do now,  heads and hearts fucked by vile, blood- spurting  cyberhorror, far more cruelly. I mean, look at what happened to Jamie Bulger. And he was a human.  Christ alone,  in his mad  passions, knows what they might do to a little, old dog, yapping at them.   I felt really messed-up about this, I was at war with myself, everytime  I thought like that, sometimes berated myself for a suspicious misanthrope, even thinking such things. Aren't junkies just misunderstood cowboy angels?  No, that's the stuff of the 'fifties, the mythology of the Beats, of  mr verge's literary heroes, of William Burroughs' limitless self-absorption;  no, Ishmael,  today's druggy is  more mugger than mystic. As likely to shit in your fridge as write you  a haiku.

I mention the Shit In The Fridge reality because once, 'twas in another lifetime, I interviewed a baby burglar,  about seventeen, a cherubic little fucker, trying to find something good to say about him to the Court, maybe find him a job. It was like this, Mr Ishmael, I was on a bender anyway - a suspended sentence - so I knew that if I was going back robbin', from people's 'ouses, like, it had to be worthwhile, seein' as how I'd definitely be going down if it came on top. Well, I broke in through the kitchen window, they was out at work, like, and I ransacked the fuckin' gaff, turned it right over,  and there wasn't nuffin there worth shit, no telly, no jewels, no fuckin' video, fuck all, they was right poor bastards.  This is takin' the piss, I thought, Mr Ishmael.  I mean, I was on a fucking bender, riskin' me liberty for sure and there wasn't fuck all of any value in the whole fuckin' gaff.  So I opened the fridge an' there was a butter dish, sittin' in there, nearly empty like, no fuckin' butter in it, and so I shit in it, and put it back in the fridge, that'll teach 'em to be poor cunts, with nuffin worth robbin'. He was rock solid in his determination, he was a robber, but poor people were shit.

From that day to this I have wondered how that couple reacted, maybe arriving home together, finding their home turned upside-down, distressed, angry, shocked. I'll just make us a nice cup of tea, love, nothing like a nice cuppa. And opening the fridge for some milk.

I don't know if burglars'  butterdish defecation is widespread but I saw it enacted, recently, on the Shameless programme.  I have written about it before, elsewhere, so maybe it's been urban mythologised, but I had seen the papers on this lad and it did happen, in at least this case.  Perhaps it happens all the time, like priestly paedophilia. Anyway, I have never, in my adult life, felt easy about leaving any creature in my care unprotected, and nothing this side of the grave will still my fear. Buster was a worry to me.

He grew older in years and infirmity  of course but he didn't mature,  they don't grow older, dogs,  they stay trusting infants, or, as  in Buster's case, wary infants. He never really became dog-streetwise, anyone determined to do so could have stolen him from the car, just for badness, those are the kind of people we have bred, Thatcher's and Blair's  Godless, heathen bastards, sleeping on the streets, thieving in Threadneedle Street, lying at the bar of the house of commons, buggering each other around the vestry, kicking Iraqi hoteliers to death, for yer mates, for the regiment.

My friend,  who also died  last  year,  more suddenly than Buster, I had known him for forty years and although he was born careful and sensible, with an eye to career and pensions, anxious for - and receiving - the Rewards of Obedience, probably a pain in the arse to his schoolmates, - if they were anything like me -  he still changed and matured over the years,  he was always still the same, bless him,but older, more considered, annoyingly magisterial, like people become, an urban Phil Archer, he'd say things like I am not persuaded and On balance I think it's about right, a proper servant to Obedience, emasculated by career, moderation; he was definitely older, his death, therefore, shocking as it was, seemed to end - albeit prematurely -  a process of growth; little Buster, until the day he died, was  pointlessly chasing the cats, just as he'd always done.  It's true that they sensed his weakness and took the piss a bit, but he could still make them flee for their lives;  in his last year he had learned how to headbutt his way through the catflap into their byre, so, when he was in the mood, the cats had no hiding place;  he'd bust in there, woof-barking, and piss all over their dinners, like a  good boy does, little different to the boisterous young dog of our first meeting, when he pissed all over my shop. It seemed to me that he lived and died an infant, my infant.

The older I get, the more infuriatingly pious Buddhism  intrudes.  I was waterproof painting outside, just before the snow came and there was a moth, down on the floor, by my knee, and it seemed to be dying, couldn't hardly move, was struggling,  a half inch at a time.  I'll kill it, I thought, 'sthe right thing, it's too late for it to be here, anyway, be a mercy.  No, fuck off, it won't, won't be a mercy, be a fucking murder, insecticide, just like any other sort of -cide. But it's cold, and it might be in pain. Doesn't matter, you're in pain, aren't you?   Too fucking right I am. And you wouldn't want some thoughtful, sympathetic, I-know-best bastard killing you, would you, stepping on you, squashing your life all up to fuck,  as though he knew deeper and better truths ?  Fuck, no.

I knew, all along, that I wouldn't step on the moth.  But I just had to go through that rigmarole, backwards and forwards, went on for about a quarter of an hour, kill the moth, don't kill the moth, it became gigantic.  In the end I took him indoors, put him on a workbench, in the warm, let him die in his own tiny footsteps, I thought, warm.  Don't even know if moths feel cold. Or anything, for that matter.  But I wasn't gonna kill him, fuck that,  there's enough sins in my account.   It created a huge paradox because recently I have taken to wholesale insecticide;  there's fucking millions, trillions of woodlice, eating away at my verandah, it'll fall down if I don't stop them and so I have been squirting all their places with some deadly powder and now   I only see the odd dead one and I dread to think what horrors are going on in the foundations, what tiny screams I can't hear, what gaspings, retchings, blindings, what terror I cannot sense.  If I met the woodlice one at a time, like the moth, I could never harm them.  Seems like every time you turn around there's another hard luck story that you're gonna hear;  I try to avert my eyes from insects these days, mindful of Professot A C Grayling's dictum that If all the animals in the world got together and formed a religion, we would be the Devil. Grayling used to be the house philosopher at The Guardian, the world's leading, liberal, rightwing shitrag, home, now to David Whining Mitchell and Charlie Brooker, TV criticism's longest serving one-hit wonder. And Thick Nick Clegg. But I always treasure that little nugget, from one of his  Saturday back-page opinion pieces;  we'd be the Devil. Shit, sometimes reading can really fuck you up. In the Summertime,  I feed surplus grass clippings to the cows in the field, over the wall, and hope that when they look at me they don't see horns and a barbed tail.

The time came, though, that I had to kill little Buster.  I went through all the same stuff as I did with Mr Moth. And this time, in the end,  I sent for the vetbastard and signed the consent form, consent to his killing.   My friend, Dick, and I, for forty years of drunken nights,  used to walk his dogs;  he did it whether I was there or not, of course, but I always liked to join him, when I was there;  a Midnight Ramble in the urban woods across the road from his house - Warley Woods, sitting smugly middle class, right between ethnic Bearwood, and grasping Quinton, pretentious Victorian terraces and between-the-wars semis, teachers and social workers and nurses and arseholes from BBC Pebble Mill and   more teachers - muttering to Bridie or Henry or Lucy or Woody, profound, inter-speciel,  drunken versimilitudes.  One time we were walking Henry and Buster and Dick mentioned being in the same old quandary -  Henry had developed painful dogbloke arthritis in his paws and that same old Kindest Thing To Do Monster was raising its head higher,  Quality of Life, growled Dick, exasperated, How do I know?  I wouldn't want to be put down because I had sore feet.  Dick had kept dogblokes all his life, yet never mastered their killing  In the end though, of course, Henry, too, went, despatched by vet's cold, clever  needles.

Little Buster might have gone on a bit longer; well, he would have,  but he would shortly have been in pain and maybe fear. He'd been anxious all his life, you see, mistreated as a pup, and never happy around men, tolerated me, I suppose, but only just, and he was easily frightened;  I don't know what they know or sense of death,  the dogboys,  but a time would have soon arrived when his cancer would have been all he knew.  It was  a judgement that I, not one of those manly types,  am ill-equipped to make but I felt then and I feel now, most of the time, anyway,   that I erred on Mercy's side, grim and heart-wrenching as it all was.  Backwards and forwards I went.  Please, let his heart fail in the night, spare me this, another betrayal,  to smile at my little man, good-boying, and kill him. No, it's the best thing for him,  dohwannimtasuffer.  Yes, but his life is all he has, it's not mine to take away. If Buster could talk he would quote Churchill,  the spirit is a transcendant pilgrim, which the body will carry, gasping, willingly, to the very last.

He was walking  around the house, just  a few minutes before he died.  But there was blood, from his mouth cancer. And we didn't know if it had spread,  inside him,  as promised, in the biopsy report. What can you do? Even the Wisdom of Solomon shits itself at times like these.

We  have objected here, in the past, to Debbie Purdy and her gobby, pushy, look-at-me insistence on the right to an assisted,  legalised  killing of those dying undignified or in pain, on what they call mercy killing and  now her ghastly demand is echoed by Ian ....McKewan, is it.... Banks? ...some writer of tosh, adored by those without imagination of their own. Listen, he says, I entertain millions,  therefore I can be a patron of things, and I patronise this Right To Be Killed Club, so there.  Jesus, I detest Writers at the best of times but this maggoty little creep, him and Pratchett, with their whining, heathenbastard  demands, make me want to set a bonfire of  their trivial, o'erblown books and burn the authors thereupon, alive.  I don't think there is a contradiction between despising the Right to Deathers  and my decision regarding little Buster, robbing him of a week or two, yet sparing him pain and horror seems OK to me; painful - for me - but OK, right, in fact, and I would do the same again.  Setting aside the idea of the incontrovertible sanctity of human life, however, is another matter, blurring humane with human, opening the door to a million Nick Cleggs, dissembling, gobbing at us with  their spurious, I-Know-Best righteousness, enough to curdle the milk of human kindness, they are.  If people would their own quietus make, with relative or doctor, then what business is that of mine?  Good luck to them and God Speed. Involving the state, though,  the state is quite bad enough without giving it further license. Purdy and her cohort are vain, selfish imbeciles, let them open their veins, ingest their poisons, let them plunge, like Ophelia, to a watery death, let them  electrocute their feeble bodies, let them self-strangle, Jesus, if they are so fucking clever, surely they can kill themselves.  Little Buster, though, couldn't kill himself.  And so the job fell to me, the vet my agent, licensed to kill.

I live in the country  and  on the shore;  I see roadkill everyday, rabbits, hares, hedehogs, low-flying gulls, raptors circle the garden,  everynight I hear cries of terror as beast preys upon beast;  sometimes the morning shore offers  a dead whale, often a dead seal;  in the summer the fields are grazed by pretty, curious cows, being fattened for the kill, sometimes the Eyeties arrive in parties, to shoot the geese, for fun; a shoreside graveyard lies en route to town,  the mini-excavator or the hearse or the flower-laying relative mock the thoughtless  living, as we drive past, Mr Death and his sergeants are hard to avoid, here at World's End, But organised, premeditated death in the sitting room, that was hard.

As these things go, it was very good, a good killing.  He was in his own house, surrounded by his own things, close to his own places and sat on his adored Mum's lap and he suffered - as far as I could judge - neither pain nor distress.

He looked the same, pretty, little chap dead as he did alive.  But I had to clean him up, just  a little,  and wrap him in his fleece and after twenty minutes or so, even though he was still warm, he had gone  all floppy. Oh, Buster, Buster, my dear, little warm brown friend. Warm and brown, still. Warm and brown and dead.

In the morning I put on my funeral suit - well, why not? -  and drove his body to the Vet's for cremation  and return, in  a wax-stoppered earthen jar, marked Buster.  He had driven tens of thousands of miles with me but in this, our last journey together, he, of course, was only present in my heart. And that is where he lives, now.  Time will come, I know, when we will laugh at his foibles, his woof-barking at creatures ten times his size but for now it's all muscle-memory, turning at the door, flexing, making sure he's not about to run out, arm outstretched in the car to secure him as we go around bends. And him not there.  I cannot get accustomed to just leaving the house without a moment's thought for Buster, do you wanna come for  a ride, son, or would you rather just kip? Sixteen years, it hardwires the precautionary muscle memory.

It might be, some would argue, that the anthropomorphisation of dog is a retrograde development, impelled by stupid sentimentality, unfair to dog and man alike;  we have been together at least ten, fiteen, twenty thousand years, no-one knows for certain,  why, now, do we make treasured companions of what were mere symbiotes?

I don't know.  I do know that they teach us a great deal, not least about loss and sorrow and recovery.  I remember, twenty years or so back, seeing an epsiode of Sharpe, the Napoleonic Wars rifleman;  he'd been absent from some siege at which his men had volunteered and returned to find them dead, his Chosen Men,  the fiddler and the teacher who could read French, All my good boys are gone, he sobbed.

Summer's nearly here, now, long days of work and projects in the garden and for the first time there will be no barking, no flash of blonde fur through the willows. When I came here, ten years ago, from Englandshire, I was IshmaelWalksWithThreeDogs;  now I walk my lane and my garden, climb my stairs and walk my corridors with only ghosts at my heel, all my good boys are gone.
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With my belated thanks to all for their kind words on Buster's passing, across the seas of Night, to the bright shores of Morning

19 comments:

Oldrightie said...

"that I erred on Mercy's side, grim and heart-wrenching as it all was. Backwards and forwards I went."
To err is human. Give another dear creature a home, when Buster's loss is less raw. Could be one successor guaranteed a haven from the unspeakable.

Dick the Prick said...

It was hallucinatory how I kept seeing my cat after I had him put down. On the stair, just by the door 'aren't you going to open it for me and prepare some tea?' for months afterwards. I guess we were lucky in that Vetbastard had given us some pills and brief relapse so when next visited were presented with bloodwork evidence saying kidneys fucked; matter of days. Burst into immediate tears at awful news of high blub type nature - never before or since; instant, milisecond, faster than nerves transmit.

As parents say of children 'they're not ours you know, we're just borrowing them'. Guess that's what emotion is.

Mothers Ruin said...

Five years ago i had a wife, three cats and a dog, our family, all growing old disgacefully together in a never ending today, and having held them all as they've slipped away one by one, the last man standing weeps at the beauty of your essay.
Apologies for recent fuelled ramblings.

PT Barnum said...

A beautiful and non-sentimental tribute to one of those four-legged folk we walk alongside for a few years. (I still hallucinate cats who died ten, eight, and five years ago, Mr DtP, catching sight out of the corner of an eye, doing just what they used to, their shades even able to make me step over or round them.)

I still have with me my near 19 year-old cat (who has so many names she actually has none) and I would like her to have one more summer but I don't know if it will happen. And she is most emphatically my cat (or I'm her human agent), unlike any of her predecessors. When I am forced to make that cruel-to-be-kind decision (again) of the needle for the ailment that is life I will lose my constant companion of every day since I retired, four years ago. I fear that day greatly. Right now she sleeps on the floor next to me in front of the electric heater she insists on having on constantly, in between making me change her water and clean the bathroom floor because her sense of dimensions is so poor. My muscle memory will have me stepping over her sleeping form long after she is interred in the garden.

Verge said...

Well said, all that.

Don Juan (Castaneda's, not His Sordid Lordship's) used to say that knowledge is a moth. (A fucking big one, when Wor Carlos had necked enough peyote.)

Funny you mention Burroughs - I was thinking about him as I read my way down. ("Limitless self-absorption" is about right for the reader-proof 60's experiments, but not for something like the 80's Cities of the Red Night.) As a young(ish) junkie, by his own account, he used to torment cats, lock them in the cupboard and fuck them around, and up. An old man - still a junkie, always with junk - he had numerous cats and doted on them all. A late work - Ghost of Chance - compares humans unfavourably with lemurs and his Cat Inside sees the animal companion as a spirit familiar (he reads Kill the Badger - not some mad pro-huntng rant - from his cat book on the LP Dead City Radio - someone will have put this on youtube no doubt.)

Adrenaline opens the bowels - hence the not-just-urban-legendary burglars' memento ani. With luck the fuckers all know enough about DNA these days to keep it in their pants.

a young Anglo-Irish catholic said...

Animals, better than people.

Honest, not invent.

call me ishmael said...

No need for apologies, ramble on, mr mothers ruin, I hadn't noticed any untowardness. I am awfully, deeply sorry if I revived a slumbering, constant Sorrow.

call me ishmael said...

I was always fond of Carlos Castaneda, mr verge, of the ideas, even though his methods and sourcing have been widely discredited. No matter. I have his books, still, here,in the library but it is under major renovation and they are all dust-sheeted. Knowledge as a moth is a lovely construct, maybe, in a Zen moment, it bubbled up, broke surface and repositioned itself.

I will search out Dead City Radio, although it wasn't just WB whom I was conjuring, it was as much William Blake and ST Coleridge and Jack Kerouac, even guitarist-maestro-junky Davy Graham, the beningnly creative junky, and contrasting them with the hopelessly stifled NED, wrecked on Tomazepam, the pointlessly strung-out, vacant streetwalker; I still find it odd, incredible, when somebody is said to have committed a horrible,violent crime whilst under the influence of marijuana, I always felt that I could walk Junk's streets unmolested. Not any more.

call me ishmael said...

People think you weird, if you say that, mr yaic, even if it is true.

Caratacus said...

Animals ARE better than humans, in just about every way. I've worked with both, so know this truth better than most. It is possible to respect every living thing but a man...

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.”

mrs narcolept said...

oh mr ishmael, if only I had the words

x

thank you for telling us.

mongoose said...

And horses too, Mr I. I had to bury one of the old man's. Long years ago now.

richard said...

Short canine lifespan equals sadness but it's well worth the decade-and-a-bit of true friendship. What a beautiful tribute to your little chap. My dogs got an extra pat and ear-scratch after I read it. Kindness doesn't disappear.

yardarm said...

I believe our beloved pets know us better than we think, Mr I. And they know, cats and dogs, when they are truly loved, for all their professed indifference. Are we not the same with our human loved ones sometimes ? I`m sure Buster knew that.

Mothers Ruin said...

On the contrary you dear, dear man. The sorrow of personal loss never goes, but the reality of the anxieties that go hand in hand alongside the love for the other lives you share, were so poignantly put in your writing, that i was moved to tears.
It must be something to do with Einstein, Newton or Yin and Yang.

Lucien Modo said...

Mr. Ishmael,
I was not expecting to so moved.
Lucky you, for having such splendid memories to keep.

black hole sunset said...

Young buster looks beautiful, Mr Ishmael, as do the glimpses into his life you've kildly shared. The world in miniature.

Gary said...

I've become a fan. What a cracking read about Mr Buster.

You're as crazy as I am..

Thanks.

Swiss Bob said...

I can't read it all tonight, it's a tough read but a paragraph or three would be a fine eulogy for a king. I am down to my last cat of three. Burying each one has been traumatic.