It was another bad night, things hadn’t been going so well and I left Joshua at the bar. On my way back to my room at the Sandman motel I found a dead squirrel and I don’t know why but I picked it up. It looked so sad out there in the street just waiting to be flattened and I thought, ‘it’s just not right’. It shouldn’t be out there, dying in the street.
It had been hit by a car or something. Maybe just a few minutes ago because it was still a bit warm. There was nowhere to put it. No grass or dirt or anything, just pavement, parked cars, storefronts, trucks and motels. So I took it with me back to my room.
The room was nice enough. It had a bed and a dresser and a chair and a florescent lamp over the bed good for reading. Best of all there was a little fridge in the corner so I could eat without always going to the casino.
By the time I got home I had carried this dead squirrel like three miles and he had gone pretty cold. The little trickle of blood from his mouth had dripped into my hand; all warm and sticky and it kind of felt good with the cold and everything. On the way home I would switch the squirrel from one hand to the other to keep them warm so I felt him as he went stiff. After that, I just couldn’t throw him away. I decided to put him in the freezer until I could figure out what to do with him. It was a little freezer so I had to push him in by his stomach. His head and tail sort of popped out. He looked peaceful there, friendly. Anyway, the ground was frozen so I couldn’t really bury him for a while.
He was there for a long time though, through all of it. Every time I would go to get a beer because Joshua and I were fighting and it just got too much or I just couldn’t handle it anymore; he was there, sort of smiling at me. And I began to think of him as a guardian or something.