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My girlfriend's lizard died yesterday. I was in a meeting when I got the phone call. The compact asians understood when I told them I had to leave, they are, after all, keepers of the Kimodo Dragon.

He was an O.K. lizard, as far as lizards go. Beady little eyes, a creepy persona, scratchy little hands, which often tapped on the fake rocks of his glass home, as though waiting, but for what? I'm not sure. Eater of flies. My grandpa told me that when he was in the war, while in training, at lunch there would be flies in the food, since flies, like humans, love eating. The new soldiers would pick the flies out, but the older ones, like grandpa, would just eat them, not bothering with the effort. They're made of proteins, anyway. In that sense, my grandpa was no different than a lizard, may he rest in peace.

When I got home, my girlfriend was all a wreck with the crying and sniffing and wailing away. When I walked in she was shaking with tears on the ground gently slapping the floor. She would have been slapping it harder if it hadn't been for lack of energy. Between sobs she uttered "Why! Why!" I tried consoling her by telling her even lizards die, that despite their magical exterior and smiling mouthes, they too bite the biscuit. "They're not smiling in defiance of death, Samantha." I told her.

I got her up, and laid her on the couch to get some rest. While she rested I checked out the lizards den to see the poor critter, now just a body devoid of blinking. I imagined Lewis (his name) would have acted Shakespearean in death; his back draped over the plastic log; his grandma's neck and belly exposed to the sky; his tongue sticking out; his forearm across his forehead. But it were not. Even Lewis took death seriously. It was as though Lewis had turned into a plastic lizard. His smile had faded and drifted into the heavens, getting caught on the light, like a dissolute feather.

Samantha and I dug his grave in the backyard, next to the tiny crosses which housed the graves of Nibbers, Fankwurst, Nerk, and Pluffs - all pets that have gone before, fish mostly. She cried, I cried, everybody cried. I got the bb gun and fired some shots into the air, almost killing a squirrel. That would have been messy. We'll go to the pet shop on Friday for the next contestant on The Price is Wrong.


dogimo said...

I don't think I'd leave work for a lizard. If that seems cold-blooded of me, consider it a tribute.

Nevertheless, my sincere condolences to you and your girlfriend. It's very hard to lose a pet, no matter what kind of pet. You've lost a being who depended on you completely, and who (in its way) knew you and loved you.

John Dantzer said...

Thanks, dogimo. In tribute of poor Lewis, I didn't hold open any doors for anyone today, and when I saw one of my enemies I stabbed him in the back.

Asylum Dolly said...

Awwww :( May he rest in peace.
But why do you still have to write about a sad event in such a funny way?! The last paragraph especially had me trying not to laugh. I feel so conflicted.

John Dantzer said...

Actually, I have never owned a lizard, and neither has my girlfriend, real or imaginary. I heard someone tell a co-worker that he had to leave because his girlfriend's lizard died. This was the best I could do for not being there in real life. O, how I wish I were there.

Asylum Dolly said...

Ha! Brilliant! Now I feel less guilty for laughing.
You're a great writer! You should write a book.

John Dantzer said...

Thanks! I've tried writing a novel, and o boy did it suck. I'd love to write a real good story, but I'm afraid I don't have the patience or wit or sense of character, but I'll keep trying.

Asylum Dolly said...

I bet it didn't suck . Please DO keep trying,'cos if you ever got a book published i would buy it fo' shizzle. You know I mean it when i say it in Snoop Dogg!
haha, my verification word is "fuzzling". What a cool word. Sounds like a cute but evil creature with a button nose.

John Dantzer said...

Thanks, A.D. (Anno Domini)! I'll try again sometime. Maybe Word Verification should try writing a novel. He's always saying such creative things.