brainse

tues 3 march 2011….  turners turds                                                                                         

You pronounce the name sort of like this:  bransha.  Or, if that’s too hard, you can just say branch, as I often did myself, as a nickname. Branch is what it means: like the branch of a tree. A branch of our adopted family tree, and a branch of the genetic tree comprised of her father, mother and siblings. Mishi, another stolen star, was her father, and Braon her sister.

Brainse was taken from me, hidden, and never seen by me again on the evening of 11 March 2008. It has taken me three years, nearly to the day, to be able to try to write her post.

Why is it so hard. One reason: I have valid grounds to suspect it very likely that Brainse ended up being the dog of the psychotic, law-breaking landlady who evicted us. And if you don’t think that possibility causes both excruciating pain and homicidal anger, then you’re very much mistaken. Another reason is that Brainse did not want anything to change. During the months that I was slowly packing up our things to go into storage before our eviction, she would cast me frequent, questioning looks: Where are our things gone? What’s happening? And she started, about a month before the end, suddenly planting her butt in this spot or that when I took her outside. Mishi and I would be walking on, and no Brainse. I would go back and find her sitting in one spot, gazing off, as she is in these two photos. When I spoke to her she would look at me as if to say: These are the places I love. I don’t want to leave them. And then she’d come with me.

Brainse got her mother’s build completely, i.e. a barrel-shaped Rottweiler build. At her highest weight she was 120 pounds (I myself at that time was 127), surpassing her mother by a good bit. Yes, she liked to eat, and unlike her father and sister, she didn’t care much for running. Her run was more of a lope. In her defense, she had hypothyroid. It was under treatment and her hormone was testing normal for a long time, but she remained overweight. I’d try modest dieting, but she would become sad and depressed seeing less in her bowl than the others had, and then it would be back to normal portions again. I’d take her to the woods and give her the same chance Mishi got to exercise, but she just wasn’t into it. She liked to stroll. Various trolls who came up to the property to do business with our deranged landlady and the others who had businesses there, would see me walking with Brainse. Their toxic ideas of talking to me were such as these: “You ain’t been feedin’ that dog.” “That dog looks like it needs a snack.” Their idea of small talk: nasty, sarcastic. Not said with an I’m-just-kidding-you smile, but with hard-bitten looks and sour voices. I’d run into it in this hellhole a million times: mocking the white rings around Braon’s eyes, mocking one of my cats, and so on ad nauseam. My first reaction would always be to want to rake my nails down their faces. This I did not do. Second reaction would be to want to say: “Were you brought up in a barn?” or “If you can’t say anything nice about a person’s animal, don’t say anything at all.”  or “Fuck you, cretin.” I didn’t do this, either, didn’t slam them verbally, and I should have. Every time something like this happened and I shrank into silent hurt feelings, I regretted it deeply. I regret it deeply to this day, that I didn’t throw the poison of these trolls right back at them.

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(part of the book Stolen Stars)

 

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