mr. betty? the rooster

We were sitting in silence, fully absorbed in the compliments that had just been exchanged, lightly tracing each other’s waists, when she came down the stairs.

“K just told me that he had a journal entry from the night….from the night Mr. Betty was killed.”

Her eyes became more reflective and her lower lip quivered.

“I’ll never forget that night. Never.”

The following seven minutes were spent listening to her recount the barbaric tale of loosing her friend first, and pet second, Mr. Betty, as dog fight training bait.

I only remember the first and last lines from her horrendous tale.

Blood, guts, and tears are often memorable, but I was distracted by his touch. I couldn’t place it. It was too gentle to be inviting and too concentrated to be exploratory. It wasn’t consoling; it started before the story. It was a continuation of where we left off a couple of months ago. A part of me felt like the only person who should be touched during a story like this is the storyteller. They need a hand on their back. They need an arm around their waist.

Parts of me were quivering, yes, but not because I was trying to hold back tears.

The story ended and he raised his beer, “To closure!” She clanked his bottle with her own and I lifted my mason glass of water towards their moment. I didn’t know her at all. They knew each other.

She thanked us for listening. As she walked away, I couldn’t help but notice that her jeans were wet from her butt down to her thighs. It was dark and there was only one light near the house casting strong shadows on everything. It could have been the lighting, but having had to escort many a wet pants wearing transient away from showroom spotlights into the ambient glow of sodium vapor, I don’t think it was.

“That belonged on ‘This American Life.'”

“Yes…it did.”

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