11 May 2008

I don't have words to give this a title.


When Timmy walks, his legs don't bend anymore. So the reason he shuffles is he moves each leg very slowly at the shoulder and either slides it across the ground or lifts it an impercetible height, brings it forward, and lowers it down and ahead. This takes a long time to do, and when he is doing it to spin in tiny circles for no reason I can figure it out, gives the impression of a little toy bear that is short circuiting in some kiosk at a second rate mall with dirty tile floors but no one can figure out how to turn off so they just let it stay on. Not great advertising for those little toy bears but it's that kind of mall. He spins, gently bumps in to a wall or piece of furniture or a planter, redirects like a pin ball in the slowest and most broken and dusty pin ball machine that no one ever uses tucked into a corner at a desert roadhouse under the taxidermy, and begins to spin again. To lay down, he finds a patch of slick floor and just lets his legs slide and fall, and he goes down with a thump. It's almost graceful for a moment, a short legged ballerina covered in pee stained black fur, then he hits hard, and sighs, and rests in a heavy way, eyes open but we believe to be asleep.

We saw a movie last night called the Visitor, about a depressed and lonely man in New York who becomes a really good friend under weird and sort of improbable circumstances. The man's name is Walter and he reminded me a little of Timmy in his quietness and politeness and slow, robot ways and I think you might like this movie, you will look the other way when it gets shallow and contrived because you like the characters. It involves guys sitting around drumming in the park which, if you are driven crazy by all the guys drumming in the park and the street in Santa Cruz, involves a suspension of reality and irritation for a bit to make sure you like the drummers in the movie because they're the good guys, not the irritating, balding hippies that make your ears bleed here. I liked the movie, drummers and all, and didn't come anywhere near to falling asleep in it, even though I was stressed out about leaving Timmy alone at night since he had never wanted to get up to eat dinner or take his walk to the corner and back.

The movie didn't have a happy ending, I'll tell you that now because I'm that kind of person, but I won't tell you why. Our friend Walter, who is bald in a very touching way, doesn't die in the movie though. No one does. Not that kind of ending. It was one of those hard endings with a bit of redemption and renewing, but in a saddish way because of US government immigration policies. So a bit of happy but a bigger bit of sad. A great shot at the end sums up that kind of ending neatly and elegantly and then the screen goes back and you go home and make sure Timmy is ok. Which he was. I got him to eat some dinner and he had not had an accident and seemed content to be left with all his dogs.

I guess I should tell you I am trying to make sure Timmy does as many things as he used to like right now. I will take him up to Pogonip today and carry him out a ways into the meadow and let him stand there. He'll have some pancakes. I just sit with him when he rests and put my hand under his head. I guess I should tell you I don't believe that his life is measured in years or months any longer. I believe that it is measured in days right now. I can't count them, I don't know how many there are. But it is probably a number that we will count to a lot quicker than we ever believe is possible.

7 comments:

sclmarm said...

Praying for peace and comfort for you and Timmy. May the time you have be blessed!

Mary Schultz said...

Ah, Laura. I know it's one of those hard endings, but because of how you are doing it so well, I believe there will be a bit of redemption and renewing at the end, so will end, finally, with a bit of happy, even though a bigger bit of sad. Thank you for sharing with us the process of an ending that not always neatly, but always elegantly, chronicles the deep respect, love, and commitment of a long-term relationship.

Steve said...

Hope you can find joy in your time together. They are with us for too short a time. What a bittersweet journey it can be. We are keeping you and Timmy in our thoughts.

andrea said...

hang in there and love Timmy as you always have

losing them is the hardest part of loving them :(

Elayne said...

Oh poor Timmy and poor you. It's always such a hard time and hard decisions at the end. I hope you enjoy what time you have left together.

team small dog said...

Hey thanks all you nice people for your kind words!

Beth said...

Their short lives spans compared to our is our cross to bear for having these wonderful animal in our lives. It feel terribly unfair at times like these though. I am glad I have gotten to know Timmy through your blog and I am hoping the best for both of you.