There was a strange vibe as I walked into town today. More people waving and beeping at me than usual. I feel like up to this point, I’ve gone fairly unnoticed on my walks to town. And that’s not easy considering I’m an American walking along side the highway and against traffic. I’ve felt relatively safe on the road even though there are no sidewalks until I actually reach town.
Today, I wasn’t afraid. I was just aware of a different energy on the road. And then I saw it. I thought at first, it was sleeping. I say “it” because I have no idea if it’s a him or her. It wasn’t sleeping – it was dead. The dog was dead.
Now, I’m second-guessing myself. Maybe I should have checked to make sure. What if it was still alive? It couldn’t have been alive. It was lying there in the grass on the side of the road very still, on its side. His right eye was open almost like one of those plastic eyes that stuffed animals once had in the 70’s. Its eye was kind of glazed over with a surprised expression to it.
When I realized it was dead, my breath caught in my throat. I think I even made a sound; I’m not sure. I know that it shook me – hard.
I don’t like being so close to death. It scares me. I don’t know why. I suppose to understand it better I’d have to stand next to it and I just can’t. Today, I just kept walking. And as I got further away from it I wondered, “Will it be here tomorrow?” “Will I have to see it everyday rotting in the hot sun?”
I look up and see a police SUV coming toward me on the highway. I wonder if they’ve come for the dog – pretty silly of me to think so. This is Mexico – they have bigger fish to fry. My mind starts to speed up as I think about tonight and the walk back into town in the darkness. “I should rent a car,” I think to myself.
I try to keep my mind from wandering to the last time I saw a dead dog.
It was last year at the vet. My sweet, sweet boy. But I can’t think about that, let alone write about it. Not yet. Not today. But it haunts me. Just like the dog on the side of the road.