|Photo / albertsthaler|
“Keep the damn dog on his leash!” his dad would yell every time we climbed into the back for a ride to get groceries and ice cream. Mackie would swear he would, but as soon as we turned onto that road, he’d unhook Buster and watch him run around the truck bed all excited.
“You wanna see where we been, don’t cha Buster? You wanna see?” And he’d tap on the rear door and egg him on until the dumb mutt started scratching his way up the back. If I ever reached over to try to save him from his foolish demise, Mackie would just elbow me in the chest.
“Mind your own fuckin’ business, JJ!” He always knew how to hit the same spot in my chest, which sucked because the previous bruise usually wasn’t healed before he hit it again.
I hated those summers, trapped on that farm with my stupid cousin and his stupid dad while my parents hopped around the globe. They were engineering professors at the local university with a research focus on water purification in third world nations. They took a group of grad students to various countries every summer to build aqueducts and wells and whatnot. They never took me, because they didn’t want me gallivanting around dirty, dangerous places.
So instead, they sent me to a different third world nation – Mackie’s farm.
(To be continued...)