Have a Coke, it eternalizes best !

 

Just like any other living creature uttering its first sounds, it awoke our endearment in a wink. Rather than a young doggie, it was a woolie mass of hairs with two enormous eyes gloating at us from their haplessness. A neighbour had found it on his dooryard, and it landed at our yard in a rush, one form the only family around the block still without a pet. Elena had brought Anselmo to the world barely but three weeks back; only once in a whole lifetime had she gifted her with the glory of motherhood. It had given birth to it in the bedroom, as was usual in those days, with wash-basins containing warm water, a nurse from next block and a doctor with his sleeves up who sweated like mad to bring it out, since it was coming buttocks onwards. Elena said we do, and we kept Whimper, the dog, which we christened in such a fashion due to the peculiar sound it uttered every time it pursued to grunt. So, the family grew en an excessive way, in that year of 1938.

Those were complicated times, with frauds, cash diversion, corruption, back-scratching deals, crookeries, betrayals and unloyalties of a diverse sort, more or less like nowadays. But we were alright: the shop bestowed us with fine cash (people were seduced by the idea of dressing up everybody as if for a wedding) and, to be honest, we never messed around politics.

The table,  richly served though we were few in the family ( mom lived with us until she passed in ´62) was in full regalia everyday with the bottle of Coca-Cola that I preferred rather than Bidú, Bilz or the concoctions from the soda factory in the neighbourhood. I think it was vice, aggravated with the passing of time, that led me to consume the dark, Northern nectar with sickly urgence. With dislike I got to check that Anselmito preferred Bidú, and mom and Elena a glass of wine with soda, and that it was the dog and I that cherished Coca-Cola, devoid as we were of solidarity. The first time that Whimper tried the delicious fluid was when I spilled my glass during lunch on Sunday and I left for the kitchen to get a cleaning towel. I got back into the dining-room and I found him on top of a chair, with his two enormous legs on the ebony and his muzzle deep into the disarray, tastily washing its red and huge tongue over the flowered mantelpiece, encouraged by the diners´ hilarity.

Ever since, I´ve fed Coca-Cola to him with such profusion as to my own throat. The vets admonished upon a quick, certain and horrendous death, due to the fact that gaseous drinks wrecked havoc in foru-legged creatures. To speak the truth, I´ve ceased to see many of those scientists, because one or another moved from the place, a majority retired from the job and the other one rests in peace.

I was nearly expelled from Hospital, Elena was in agony. I was desperate and abhorred for not having been taken into account, hated myself for not having insisted with due conviction. Her answer would have been unchanging: “No, you take that crap”. Elena pestered me, just as well, that I was killing the dog, special as it was. And I answered no, this is the secret, you and Anselmo have to drink it just as well…, but she grew disgusted at it, it tasted to her like coughing potion, like old-fashioned cure. I remember I lifted ger motionless body through my tears, opened last attempt came up too late as to saver her, that the Coca-Cola flew sown a body that had already ceased its heart beat and breathing.

That was in January 1992. Elena´s death devastated me. I attempted suicide and I could not think of a better way than to quit drinking Coke. I also attempted  killing Whimper with    suchlike   methods. The soda man provided us with two siphons to go with the ill-tolerated wine or juice. Anselmo visited me often, though the wretched guy had his own share of trouble and he was not for those things. Whimper walked around  the corners, desperate, be it rebellious or downcast. I felt a fire burning my entrails, everything I ate hit me like dynamite. Food gradually lost its taste, even the more appealing that I bought at Pocho´s sausage shop. A week later Whimper and I were dying.

Nevertheless, my body was begging for its gaseous drink and the dog looking at me and sharing my restlessness. We dragged down to the store as best we could and bought two bottles that we had just there, lying on the pathway. Whimper licked clean the small plate that I always carry along with us, as the bottle´s mouth restored me to life.

Now we have nothing to do, and we consecrate ourselves to walking through the park. I closed the shop long ago, but with my retirement we have enough to live.

Besides, what people currently do does not consist in dressing, but in badly and gracelessly covering up their private parts.

I find him lame, slow, sometimes absent. I think he will promptly part, sooner or later he´ll be going, life´s rule establish that the dog must die prior to its master. Nobody lived as long as he has, and I´d rather keep this secret. I´m going walk-man match, without a friend to play me company for a drink. And one peculiarity: Whimper prefers natural Coca-Cola, I enjoy it best when it´s fresh, bubbling, prompt.

Anselmo will be retiring in a few years, and he never acquired my vice. What a pity, man. I do not know whether I shall be able to withstand his death, his total and all-embracing absence, the last vacuum that life holds in store for me. I´m going to be left alone, anachronistic, deep into pain. I feel scared, shame and scare. And yet another peculiarity: I never got used to the PVC bottle.

Whimper and I walk, and we hope to reunite in heaven, whereto I shall go in a more or less remote day. I hope human heaven and dogs´ will be the same, or that we at least will be able to pass from one heaven into the other without much heavenly bureaucracy.

Whimper stares at me with two enormous, tired eyes, and I think he also wonders whether in en those heavens there will be some little shop where Coca-Cola is for sale.

 

 

Deferencia de Miriam Chepsi.