Flash Nonfiction: 1 minute read:
This morning at 7:45am while walking my bulldog, Hank, I saw a young man playing with his puppy in an open field. The puppy was teasing the man, running away with that awkward puppy gait. I smiled to myself, remembering Hank doing the same thing five years ago.
When the man caught up to the puppy he grabbed its collar, shoved it to the ground, and began smacking the puppy across the face.
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?” I yelled. “YOU MOTHERFUCKER! DON’T HIT YOUR DOG YOU-“
“FUCK YOU ASSHOLE. LEAVE ME ALONE. THIS DOG IS GONNA BE A FIGHTER.” He scooped up his puppy and started to walk out of the field. I ran after him, blind with rage and yelling, uncertain of how to handle the situation. The man climbed some stairs, and while we shouted back and forth I heard him yell, “I’M TIRED OF WHITE PEOPLE TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!”
“IT’S NOT ABOUT RACE. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU AND ME. IT’S ABOUT YOUR DOG.”
“FUCK YOU. I’M GONNA RAISE MY DOG HOW I-” Then something inside of me cracked. I realized the situation at this moment was futile. My anger was for myself. Even if I could get this puppy away from this man, he’d find another one to beat. And the more I lashed out at this man, the more he would hurt his dog.
“Please. It’s not about you and me. It’s about your dog.”
“I WILL DO WHATEVER I FUCKING-” I started to beg with him.
“Please. Beat the shit out of me. Come over here and punch me in the face. I won’t fight back. I don’t care. Just don’t hurt your dog. Please. Don’t hurt your dog.” The man was at the top of the stairs.
“Just don’t hurt your dog. Hurt me. Not the dog.” He started to walk away. Then I found myself saying something I had never said before.
“Please. Don’t hurt your dog. God Bless.” The man paused, turned, then yelled back in an awkward, cracking tone, “THANK YOU,” and walked away. At the bottom of the stairs I realized I was shaking. This man would most likely keep beating his dog. There was nothing more I could do. There was such cruelty in the world. I felt fed up and finished with the world. I looked down at Hank, who was licking my leg and looking forward to the rest of his walk. “C’mon Hank, let’s go home.” I burst into tears. I wept for the next fifteen minutes on the walk back, letting Hank leisurely sniff wherever he wanted. In my apartment I wrote down what I remembered. Writing was something I could do.
Author’s Notes: A 311 service request has been filled out and the N.Y.P.D. has been contacted.