I knew I was going to die alone when I read Katherine Mansfield’s short story. I can’t remember what it was called, but I think the main character’s name was Miss Brill or something along those lines. The first time I read it, I was unsettled but not exactly sure why. I had a smoke and took the dog for a walk. Frank never figured out how leashes work and was constantly pulling to check if he was free to run through the street and get squashed by a car because he never figured out how those work, either.
That day I was musing about Miss Brill’s dead fox and how foxes so closely resemble dogs. I couldn’t help picturing Frank as a piece of someone’s outfit and it made me shiver. Then he darted after a blur and pulled me down a grassy hill.
“God damn it!” I cried as I fell to my knees.
Frank tried to drag me down the hill on my belly. The knees in my cotton pajama pants tore instantly and the exposed skin was grass-stained.
“Damn it, Frank. I am so fucking pissed at you. You fucking dog.”
This was one thing Miss Brill didn’t do, anyway. Swear at her dog. She didn’t even have a dog. However, she and I were alike in more ways than I would like to admit, and by the end of her story, I my chest felt heavy. Like I was drowning. I was thinking about it again as Frank pulled me across the grass and my sternum pressed into my lungs.
By the time Frank and I got back to my apartment, it didn’t seem so stifling, but I still felt disturbed.