I'd lodge merciful lead in him if I could.
The dog's been hobbling, nearly bedridden for a year.
My father's wife won't put him down.
He pisses and shits on a pad in the kitchen.
He yelps and whines with no goal in mind.
It's horrendous.
Someone should make it look like an accident.
Instead they thread their needles blindly.

"They're collectibles."
"What's that mean?"
"Don't bang them."
It's useless.
The kid will do what most boys do.
My Hess trucks are six times his age.
Somehow they survived one childhood.
This second bout will kill them before long.
They were safely retired in the cellar for decades.
"Why's this one missing a tire?"
"Because it's twenty-five years old."

The ankle-biter whimpers in the kitchen.
I pick a bone from tonight's steak out of the trashcan.
It's too big for the wounded Chihuahua to lift.
I trade it for a smaller one.
He pulls it into his bed and stops crying.
The miserable pooch almost looks happy.

I hear a collision of plastic on plastic in the living room.
A wince hits me until my brother laughs.
My muscles loosen to a smirk.
Nothing lasts forever.
Nothing is collectible.
The only love that matters is the type that doesn't hurt.

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