How it goes is me and Damian just standin’ out in the parking lot over by the FreshCo, hackin’ a few darts before the delivery comes in, right? Smoke deals with the heat for me, like goin’ all out on Slurpees when it snows. Gotta trick the body ’til it believes.
We was just waitin’ for whatever shit Oscar ordered. Probably more rims no one will be buyin’ without a discount. Everyone wants a discount these days, right?
You know how it is.
We see this Toyota just sittin’ alone way out in the lot, bakin’ up real good. Musta been there all day. No one even noticed. Damian was stinkin’ up the place with his sweat, but I don’t blame him none ’cause it musta been like ninety degrees out here.
I see this face whackin’ itself on the driver side, right up on the glass, just like given’r and it’s this dog, you know? A lab or some shit. I dunno dogs, but it’s pretty big and just given’r, like I said. You think it was a lab? Damian wasn’t even lookin’ that way.
So I starts hiking out there. Whole place smellin’ like bad fruit—FreshCo had all these kiwis go off. Smell that? Makes everything smell dank. And I like kiwis, man.
Dog just chuckin’ itself ’gainst the glass, so hard I hear it as I’m walkin’ up. Thump, thump—like a fist in your palm. You ever seen a dog sweat? You ever seen how wet they get?
Damian was yellin’ shit at me, but I couldn’t hear none of it. Tried the door, burnt my hand.
Windows not even slit, just an oven cookin’ up this big boy inside—eyes all crazy’n’white.
Tried all the doors, burnt my fingers real good. Whole time dog is losin’ his shit.
So I grab this chunk of parking lot, just lyin’ there cause Oscar is too cheap to get the fucker sealed, and I hold it up over my head. I can see myself in there and the dog and it’s all blendin’ together like one kinda person, like the same. Like one of those illusion paintings where you can see a skull or a boat or like the future if you don’t focus too hard. If you let yer eyes go limp.
See that face. Whole thing exploded, glass everywhere, lady starts yellin’ behind me as I’m pullin’ the dog out with blood all over it.
You can see the cut there, right? Still leakin’ a bit. Might need stiches.
God ain’t a person, ain’t a dog either, right? He ain’t any kind of thing. He’s just you, in you—like egg yolk, sort of. Maybe. He or she, whatever—like a choice in there. You listenin’? Only a couple times you can crack that yolk. Don’t usually got a choice about when.
Maybe I didn’t need to hit her with it too, officer. Maybe you got me there. I ain’t denyin’ any of this shit. You got a smoke? Heat’s fuckin’ murder out here today, am I right?
Andrew F. Sullivan is the author of the short story collection All We Want is Everything (ARP 2013). His stories have shown up in places like Joyland, Hobart and The New Quarterly. Sullivan edits fiction for The Puritan. You can find him at andrewfsullivan.com