You Were Good To Me

My name is Stanley Rutherford. Right now, I'm standing in the arch of the hallway of my house which is currently being shaken up pretty badly by an earthquake. Not just my house, but everything, as far as I can tell. I haven't looked out the window since it's not safe to go anywhere besides the archway, but if I did, I bet I'd see everything out there all broken and on fire. Maybe there'd be so much smoke that I couldn't see anything at all. Maybe it's so awful out there that the smoke decided no one needs to see it.

The only thing to say to something that awful is, "Oh well." And that's how you respond when something bad happens but you're still going to try to get by with ignoring it. It's a horrible way to respond to anything, obviously. It feels kind of good to say it, though.

Right now, something heavy just fell on my microwave oven and crushed it. I think I still had a White Castle hamburger in there from earlier. My dog is sitting beside me in the archway, and he barks any time something falls and makes a loud noise, like the microwave and the hamburger did. I don't think he's figured out how to use his paws to cover his sensitive ears yet, so he barks a lot. I think he does that because he's trying to force the pain that's in his ears out through his mouth.

If I ever decide to name my dog, which I don't plan on doing because I think the whole idea of it is nonsensical, I would name him after my uncle Jeffrey, who was deaf. He would make barking sounds when his ears hurt, too.

"Good dog, Jeffrey," is what I'd say to my dog if I ever decided to give him a name. But there are much better things to give a dog than a name. Why not give him a bone instead? I don't know about your dog, but my dog loves to chew on bones, and he always seems happy when I give him one. I think if I gave my dog a name, he wouldn't even realize that I'd given him anything at all.

If this earthquake kills my dog, I'm going to get him a tombstone. And I'll have them engrave a bone on it, along with the date he was born, hyphen, the date he died. That would be today, February twenty-fourth, two-thousand and five.

Here comes the ceiling. It's all coming down now. I don't suppose there's much we can do besides wait and hope we can make it out. I don't feel too scared, to tell you the truth. I wish I had some things to reflect back on, though. I never married or even had steady girlfriends. I'd kind of like to write a letter to this girl who I dated briefly several years ago, but I know I'd end up making it too sentimental. We only dated briefly. It would seem kind of pathetic, you know? Maybe I could keep it simple and friendly, though. I could write something like, "I've missed you," or, "You were good to me." Something like that wouldn't seem too pathetically sentimental, I suppose. I don't know, though.

Jeffrey's barking up a storm, and here comes the rest of the ceiling. Everything has just been crushed. Jeffrey just ran out the door. I kind of feel like I should go after him. There's no way he could stay alive out there. I'll stay here, though. Good luck, Jeffrey.

The whole house just came down. The only thing standing is the archway and myself. I can see Jeffrey now, running frantically down the street. "I'll miss you," I call out to him. And then, "You were good to me."

About the author:

Logan lives in Owensboro, Kentucky and is twenty years old.