THE DOG PANTS

THE DOG PANTS
Ray Sharp

“The dog pants? Don’t tell me you’re going to wear them,” my roommate
Michael scolded through his nasal passages, sounding like a trumpet
that had been backed over in the driveway and then left out in the
rain.

“They’re the only pants I brought for the weekend,” I said, and
actually, they were my only pants, period, threadbare brown corduroys.
We had driven up from Urbana on a whim to take a couple of high school
girls to Pequod’s Pizzeria in Morton Grove.

I don’t remember their names. My date had a long straight nose and a
long straight body. She was all lines and angles except for her big
round eyes and big round breasts. Michael’s girl had light brown hair
and soft green eyes like a shiksa limb grafted onto a Jewish family
tree.

But mostly I remember the third girl, the one who wasn’t there in body
but whose presence was chilling as a window stuck open in winter,
Dorothy Dragón, my date’s best friend and the love of Michael’s
tormented imagination.

Although I never met her, I can still picture her from Michael’s
description, a short yet voluptuous thing, a haughty Sephardic
Spaniard with black hair and eyes dark as midnight in Andalucía. Mike
called her G’veret Chin K’tana, Little Miss Chin, or Miss Little Chin,
I’m not sure which, but the shape of her chin in profile was the focus
of his ardor.

I was talking about John Dillinger, the Biograph Theater, the woman in
the red dress, and the way the FBI agent, Melvin Pervis, gunned him
down after the show, but I was thinking about G’veret Chin K’tana and
how the taste of rejection can spoil the second-best pizza in all of
Chicagoland.

And then I thought about Little Miss Chin, and Miss Little Chin,
neither way Chinese, and the dog pants I was wearing, not pants for a
dog or a dog who is panting, and wondered how I got there, and where I
would wake up tomorrow.

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

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  1. This might be a narrative poem, but I thought it a good opportunity to give Ray his own page.

  2. I think it’s prose, yes, a misfit story. I send you my strange orphans and you let them sit on the good furniture.

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