Apr 7, 2010

Fingers and Monsters

What's Up With the Finger?
Yesterday evening, when I arrived home, the power was out in my building. I walked Baker and checked out the neighborhood. I took some pictures of LADWP cones and broken electrical pipes, but there were no trucks or crew-persons to photograph.

When I returned to building, many of the neighbors were out in the hall, because they were desperately bored, having already been deprived of their television and internet for an eternity lasting upwards of forty minutes.

The halls were very dark. It's a bit of a walk in my building, from the entrance to my door. And on my floor, there lives a gigantic mammal. She appears to be part Dalmatian, part Great Dane, part Prehistoric Hippopotamus. She is energetic and nosy and, as best I can tell, entirely unspoiled by human discipline. This is probably the hippo in her.

She is also spotted, which is the Dalmation, and has floppy jowls and big pointy ears, which is Great Dane. I believe her name is Bella. My girlfriend Beezie said she thought it might be Stella. In any case, her head comes up to my shoulders, her ears come up to my chinny-chin-chin, and yesterday, she heard Baker and me, in the dark - and she motherfucking chased us down.

From behind us, an earthquake, a rain of slobber, and then, mouth open, she pounced on Baker. I don't think she meant us any harm. But all the same, she hit a lot of us with her teeth. And when I say she was on top of Baker, I mean completely. Baker fit nicely in the space between her front and back legs.

As the animal jumped and swatted around, I could hear her female owner shouting "Bellaaaa! Belllaaaa!" over and over again. This did not have any notable effect on Bella. Perhaps because her name is Stella?

There was a tangle of leash and arms and dog faces as I tried to keep marching, in the total dark, all the while attempting to extricate Baker from under this creature. It was impossible to tell whether a sincere fight was about to erupt. My hand really stung, and it was slobbery.

Eventually, I got Baker out from under Bella, and held him in my arms as I marched on. Stella trotted along at my side, her head at my shoulder, looking down on Baker in my arms.

When I reached my door, there was a strange woman and a bald man, also strange, standing outside my door with paperwork. They said, "Do you live here?" And I said, "Yes," and then I darted inside and shut the door. I left the giant out there with them. They could fend for themselves.

The power was out, so I couldn't examine my injury very well. I tried to hold it near a tea-candle, but the candle blew out.

Soon enough, the strange people were knocking on the door behind me. Which meant, Baker started running around to alert me to this fact. Baker believes I am deaf.

The knockers were not screaming for help, but I couldn't be sure they weren't in league with the monster, so I put Baker in my roommate's room and opened the door.

It turns out, the strange pair wanted me to sign a petition to prevent the raising of the maintenance fee at the condo. This struck me as strange - refusing to pay 10% extra to maintain the building while, at that very moment, the power was out in what appeared to be our building alone.

I explained that I only rented. She explained that I could sign anyway. So I went out and I signed it in the green light of the EXIT sign.

The story ends a few minutes later, with Beezie and me lighting candles and digging out the flashlights. At last, I could examine my hand, which, it turns out, had a bright blood blister, just in front of the nail, on the tip of the pinky finger. It stung and it smarted, and it still does.

Also, on the same hand, the pinky finger was the only finger that remained. All the rest were bloody stumps.

A few hours later the power came back on.