Paul's story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Simply a story of a conversation with another man, whilst travelling for work.

Submitted: August 31, 2016

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Submitted: August 31, 2016

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He was a frail creature, devoid of musculature, provincial in aspect and in speech.

‘Alright mate’

He said congenially, resuming his former position, staring at the television almost immediately.

‘Had a good day?’-He asked

To which I replied the normal pleasantries of office work. I returned the inquiry.

‘Had t’fix e’ floorboard today, right above another geezers place. Right mess if you know what I mean….crakers mate ….hehehe’.

The man spoke with speech suggestive of an alcoholic and of remark is his laugh, latent in it’s proceeding to anything anecdotal and half psychotic, half childish in nature.

‘I jus split up with me missus’- He confided after brief conversation.

Upon further inspection I noticed his large, blue, lusterous eyes that sank into his haggard skin, making him look about 10 years older. Almost every utterance was expressed in such a way that it looked as if he were imploring in me, with slanted eyebrows pointed towards his forehead.

 

  One could say I got to know Paul over the period of a week, to the point in acquaintance when a degree of comfortable silence can be reached, among each other.  An extremely talkative person, and by nature of his trade, extremely useful in household issues when it came to working the oven or even opening a can of tuna, to which his disproportionately thick hands would slowly navigate around the instruments as if it were in his very genetic disposition to handle.

He retained his position, sat in the central sofa, staring at the TV, intermittently going outside for a smoke, leaning against the house, towards dusk. I couldn’t help but think to myself.

‘What is the man thinking about?’

 

One night we were talking passively, as one does, when watching a film, when he, quite surprisingly confided to me about his dog dying.

  Having already known, through knowledge of another flat mate, I replied with appropriate interest, giving my commiserations. He continued to talk, and by fragmented utterances he proceeded in explaining how it had been put down, to which I again replied in appropriate grievance, stating how hard it must have been. He then begun to describe the exact process that took place.

‘I lifted up me sleeve’- gesturing appropriately, revealing his bony arms, though now more stoic in appearance.

‘I put…..right over ere’- the position he now assumed was that of a head look.

‘And I looked at him….right eye to eye’. My attention was now fully present.

‘ I looked at him and I said….goodbye mate….goodbye…..but he weren’t going’.

It was at this precise time that the vivid imagery surfaced of this dog, devoid of conscience of what was about to take place, struggling and staring into the eyes of the only person it truly loves. This creature, was being injected and put to death while he looked in it’s eyes, body jerking and convulsing.

‘And it weren’t dying….the basterd….he needed four injections…four..and I sat lookin at him and I told him, goodbye mate, and I told the doctor put another one in, and he still weren’t going.’

  Rarely, can the description of grievance of one be communicated to another in an appropriate manner. But I can tell you that I felt the full grief that Paul was experiencing at that moment.

‘He were my baby’- he said with water enclosed eyes, retaining normal speech.

‘ I took him everywhere, for 9 years, every job, sat in the van with me…he were my baby’.

And I understood. The dog was his company while on the road, going about his job. It was his person to talk to, to complain to and now he was gone.

  He would reenact the abhorrent scene of his dog locked in his arms, emphasizing him looking into the animals fading eyes, multiple times.

 After a brief silence he concluded.

  ‘But in the end I dealt with it, and I guess you move on, just a lot of crap happening right now’.

 

 


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