Kyle Hemmings

Edie Sedgwick and the Dog that Could Not Forget Her

I’m waiting for Michael at the train station. How romantic to fall in love with a fellow mental patient. Did we have tentacles and talons? Did we speak the slippery code of starved fish? Of course, the rest of the world thinks I only become addicted to men with incurable stones in their eyes. I hope he didn’t forget the Quaaludes and the three-grain Tuinals. The windows at this station are mighty foggy. I guess no one wants to be seen clearly.

And what does Michael bring me? A cute Chihuahua who’s almost as small as its own bark. After Michael hands him to me, I say What is its name? He says You tell me. I name him Wannabe. Because that’s all I ever was. Now I’m the returning little duchess who kept losing a shoe at all the wrong parties.

Wannabe licks my face then manages to spring from my arms. I’m too scrawny to hold him. I think he can fly, like it’s some silly magic that’s true. Things and people are always flying into and out of my life. I’m growing frantic looking for him. He might get crushed under a train. Or the wrong stranger will bring him home and spike his dog food, make him think that he’s something other than a dog. In time, Wannabe will be nothing.

I find him sitting near a turnstile. Children hold out hands to play with him. His huge dark eyes speak fear of the unknown. I squat and coo to him. “Come here, my little man. We all need a home, now don’t we?”

He’s back in my arms. He knows my girly scent.

I’m pushing my way through the crowd. I’m hoping Michael can see us. But with Wannabe so small and me being so skinny, it’s like we’re invisible.

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Kyle Hemmings is a retired health care worker. He has been published in The Airgonaut, Jellyfish Review, Twin Cities Review, and elsewhere. His latest collections of poetry/prose are Scream from Scars publications and Split Brain on Amazon Kindle. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s.