I used to collect stray puppies, and by stray puppies I don’t mean dogs: I mean people. I’ve quit doing it, although I still collect stray dogs, specifically pugs.
One stray puppy I collected was a guy named Ray. He had been a drug addict for about 25 years, until he died in his late 40s from a self-inflicted drug overdose. He was living with me at the time he went into the forest with a six-pack of Pepsi and handful of Seconals.
That’s one reason I no longer collect stray puppies. There’s another.
I put Ray in the back room, which had been screened-in porch at one time. He ended up with some goofy drug addict girlfriend whom he brought over to my apartment quite a lot.
One day, while in the apartment, with Ray and his girlfriend in his room, I heard her say, “Go ahead, do it, do it.”
I knew exactly what was going on: Ray had his pistol against her head.
I got up and walked out of the apartment. Somehow, I intuitively knew it was the best thing to do. If I did, I knew things would end peaceably.
I came back 15 minutes and it was all over.
Ray later told me his girlfriend had told him he had held his pistol against her head. He did not remember it, being so high. She told me about it later on and decided perhaps Ray shouldn’t be her boyfriend anymore.
I did not know a person could be so high as to hold a pistol against someone’s head and not remember it.
A few months later Ray took his last trip into the forest.
Hikers found his bones six months later. I had to deal with the police, the first one of which had the attitude I had killed Ray. Did he think we were homosexual lovers and I offed him in a fit of jealous rage?
The second one was a detective, who at least had a brain. But both wanted into apartment, which was not going to happen without a search warrant.
Ray was the last stray puppy I collected. These days, I stick to pugs.