It’s been a full month without Ginsberg today, and I still see him everywhere, often with Kelsey, like I have since the day he rescued me. It’s like the day I took him to see ice. His water bowl is still out and the food I made him is still in the refrigerator. I walk the neighborhood and everyone misses him, misses the way he plodded down the streets walking like a baby hippo with suspicion in his eyes, giving the canine malocchio to those he distrusted. Passing by the trees he watered, the bushes he sniffed, the animals he tried to eat . . . But I’m lucky to have years of good memories of him. He was a curmudgeon, a wartime consigliere. He wasn’t a friendly puppy, well to anyone but me. He’d lunge at passing dogs and bicyclists, bark at anyone who even looked at the house, try to maul every cat he saw, and he did it to protect me—he was my Genco. He was a dog’s dog, a rat-pack dog, a Sinatra dog, my dog. He ate well—sirloin, chicken, turkey, yogurt. If dogs drank scotch, he’d favor Macallan 25. He was the chairman of the board. I had to spoil him for a million reasons. We never fought, he never lied, never betrayed, never took a shiv to anyone’s back. He offered, and expected, loyalty and comfort, and we simply gave that to each other. He lived outside the law honestly. Dogs have some kind of preternatural, instinctual intelligence that we all underestimate and probably don’t understand, and he was at the top of the pyramid, “A-Number One.”
And the world isn’t the same without him. When he left this life, everything changed. As he took his last breath, birds stopped in mid-air, simply hanging there without motion. Ants decolonized in honor of his struggles for liberation. Leaves began falling off trees with vertiginous speed, only to halt and turn back to the limbs they had just left. The sun and moon got confused and caused a global flickering effect, offering the greatest fireworks show ever. A Chicago alderman told the truth. A Sicilian released a grudge. Essence briefly preceded existence, and being and nothingness were as one, as they should be. People realized the bible was dyslexic and they shouldn’t have worshiped God all these eons. Drones turned into butterflies. Televisions turned off spontaneously and books opened themselves. Position and momentum could be equally discerned. Working people of all countries united. Paul Robeson saw Joe Hill. Frogs sang gloriously. The elderly got younger as they walked backwards. Schrodinger did Est and found himself. Free Bubble-Up and Rainbow Stew were plentiful. Dogs offered a 21-Bark salute in honor of their alpha comrade. Cats took a moment of silence, in the most stirring display of gallantry and sportsmanship since Mountbatten gave India back to the Punjabs, to honor such a formidable rival whose dominance was never questioned, and to breathe a sigh of relief that they could go back to their duplicitous ways without him to keep the peace among the families.
And then, once his energy broke apart in a Vesuvial eruption and he became part of the cosmic stuff that creates all of us, bouncing with Kelsey’s and Langston’s atoms, things returned to what they had been, but they would never be the same.