Days Seven

“Days Seven” is the title of a collection of six vignettes, stories and a memoir that I penned during the period from about 2008 through 2010. Below are two of my favorites. The entire book may be downloaded at the end of each, free of charge.

Tuesday

 The Crip

 I tell you, it was a really nice Tuesday afternoon and I was just sitting there minding my own business. I hardly ever get to go to the park anymore. It just wears me out to walk the six blocks—and I end up with blisters on my stumps. I suppose I could go in the wheelchair, but I hate that thing—the way it makes you feel.

And besides, I need to get the practice of walking in these things. Carrie, my rehab girl, tells me so—I go down to the VA hospital every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We work on the upper legs. They have a weight room so I can still pump iron. Startin’ to get the hang of all this.

Anyway, when I finally get to the park, all I really want is to chill by the river for awhile. And to let Bruno run. So I sit down on this wooden bench and take his leash off since I don’t see anyone around. He’s such a little shit—I can’t believe anyone would write a leash law to protect people from a Chihuahua. Bruno doesn’t belong to me, though. He belongs to the wife of a friend in my old unit who got sent to Germany. Couldn’t take the dog—at least for now. So now I’m a dog-sitter.

Anyway, this is how it happened: Bruno is checking out some recent deposits from others of his kind when this moppet-headed kid comes up and plops down beside me. He looks like he might be eight years old and has a kite. And he is, like, filthy. I mean his face is dirty. His hands are dirty. His T-shirt and jeans are dirty. And the soles are peeling off his tennis shoes. I eye him through my Ray-Bans and he looks up at me.

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