Liberty #10 — Buffy’s Park

At the dog park that’s not quite a dog park but a fence in the shape of a big cursive U, absolutely nothing keeping the doggies in but their willing to be good and their owners’ pleadings.

Partly remembered, mostly forgotten memory of a TV show where the kids had special powers but could activate them only by thinking of nothing, not a single thing. So I do that, stop thinking even about the nothing I’m supposed to be thinking about, stop thinking about how the Earth keeps chuffling on its muddy axis, all clogged pores and putrefaction and its moss shroud of impossible evil, stop thinking about the frictionless inevitability of my murder and the winter gallows, how if I must be hanged, I would much prefer a springtime performance in any case, give them a real show, and cause a real and literal stink when my body finally rests, noosed and goosed up in the sun.

‘She’s back!’

and straight away when she came back to me I realised I’d made a terrible mistake. Know that she’d never really gone at all,

hadn’t derided the seriousness of her livingness by allowing it to be closed off — no — she’d been rubbing herself along the great peripheral fence the whole time, I just hadn’t been able to see her, been too busy with the cranial, the bore, to see her as she still is. Dying is an art and, like everything else, she does it very poorly.

No longer canine in form, hers is a taffeta waft nudging its way round the ring, exasperated but with a whole-body nodding, bobbing up and down, up and down, STOP, a sniff, bobbing up and down; my queen of silly swagger.

But I’m sure she had left though, left behind a big greasy stain on the plastic bed the coroners brought to remove her. Too long in nappies and too proud, she had said ‘enough!’. We threw out her toys so as to not be confronted with the fact of remembering, and the posthumous portrait my sister sent of her done up like Dot Cotton will remain firmly in the wardrobe for now.

And now I believe in reincarnation or, certainly, reanimation — and at some point those words somehow become swapped in what they should mean —
because I’m not looking for, I’m not interested, in whether she comes back in her old meats — the lumps I lovingly lanced and all, a drawling drain and her wincing and the trust in her eyes keeping us surefooted — some dog that looks like her, some similar gruff fun-loving rascal,


I’m looking to see whether she comes back in her soul, whole and wiped clean of the things the world did to her last round. She can come back as an orange blossom, a tortoise, a caudex, and I will know it is her, my perfect palimpsest overwriting what broken things were there. I will swallow down all the night airs, any and all old-timey and disproven things, if she would only come to me in a top hat and a cane, dancing a back-legs jitterbug, saying Mum look don’t you know it’s all a big joke?