Fall 1985 • Vol. VII No. 4 Fiction |

Pounding the Dog

We are very much like the dead," Mary tells me, "except that we have the use of our senses." She is kneading Polish sausage meat with her bare hands. Clouds of white pepper hang in the air around her head. Her thin hair is the color of a mouse, pinned just over her ears in two pugs. She is being mental again, what I mean is she is going off on flights of fantasy. Since I work for her, I always feel like it is my job to bring her back. "Sounds like Tol Bayer," I say. "He had all the symptoms of an alcoholic except that he never drank." Mary Lavelle brings out the worst intimidations of my heart. I can't help myself from pulling her leg. Now she walks over to the salt barrel and stands there, looking quizzical, before she picks up a handful. She walks back, throws it in the meat, and starts kneading again. And for a while that is enough of her boolah about the dead.   Mary tries to get her imagination to mend the holes in her understanding. So I come to see her in

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We are very much like the dead," Mary tells me, "except that we have the use of our senses." She is kneading Polish sausage meat with her bare hands. Clouds […]

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