Dog Day Afternoon
In a breath Andres was up on his feet. â€œCome on,â€ he said, â€œI want to show you something,,â€ and off we went.
In a couple minutes we had ridden over to Gramercy Place between 4th and 5th, and came up the sidewalk to the front of big old two-story house sandwiched between two slightly younger apartment buildings, six-story brick structures, the kind with visible iron fire escapes descending from the rooftops. Itâ€™s huge porch fronted a neatly trimmed yard bordered with decorative wood picket fencing that stood about a foot-tall.
â€œThis guy used to be a customer,â€ Andres told me, â€œbut he couldnâ€™t keep that dog from tearing up the paper.â€
â€œWhat dog?â€ I asked, as I straddled my bike.
Andres pointed toward the shadowy porch, and I strained to focus into the dusky light. My eyes finally found another pair of eyes â€” a dobermanâ€™s â€” locked on mine and looking straight back at me, and I half-gasped at the fierceness I found in them. A predator/prey acknowledgement flashed through my thoughts: â€œThis thing had been waiting for us.”
â€œI hate that dog,â€ I heard Andres say and I saw an anger in his eyes that matched the dogâ€™s, leaving me momentarily in doubt as to who terrified me more.
Then came the growl, canine exhaust from its low-rumbling engine of hate that revved higher and throttled louder with each passing moment, and it was clear the dog was the winner of my discontent. With my heart jack-hammering in my chest and sweat suddenly leaking from every pour, I fought valiantly against wetting myself as what felt like about a thousand chills shot from the back of my neck to the crack of my ass in record time and every hair on my body stood up as if I was suddenly electrically charged.
Then the dog came. Shooting toward us from out the gloom of the porch and down the steps into the afternoon sunlight, the beast was a huge, sleek, jet-black weapon of mass destruction that ripped off hellacious barks as it broke the fragile distance that had previously been between us.