Ezra Titus

1966 – 2009


Subj:  Hard day at the dog-tag factory
To:      Libith

Brilliant email. I loved it. Reading all that Nabakov has affected your style. Nice.
OK, so here was my day. I woke up swollen and trembling from the Paxil. Typed, hands almost in convulsions, a short reply to my friend Marta from Brooklyn. Headed off to the sweatshop.
I slave over tanks of hot green acid. Boss got me gloves, Said I was six times as productive as “Maghdi” the other, Indian worker. I walked the 200 pound rotweiler, who sometimes growls and barks at me. I’m afraid, but I yell at it, and this works. The dog now respects me. It shits on some fag’s storefront on Christopher street who is very upset about it. “Good girl”. The dog barks at the screaming fag who jumps, startled.
Back to work. The grinding wheel burns through three pairs of gloves. “Try this new abrasive” says Holly Hemingway who yes, is Ernest’s great niece or something. “Is it good?” You, mom, know the tone in which I reply, “Yeah, it’s good, fine”. The dog barks at me and stares at me with head tilted in a half snarl. I tell it to stop looking at me that way and decide to have it out right now.
I grab its toy and we fight for about an hour. Finally, the dog loves me, sleeps at my feet as I grind- put in acid bath- dry- grind again- lacquer- hang to dry, 50, 100, 300 clover-shaped doggie tags. Now, Gladys, the Rotweiler is my best friend. By the end of the day, she barks at anyone who comes near me. We walk around Sheridan square where fags think the dog is cute, reach out their hands to pet her- and jerk them away in terror as Gladys barks in an outraged, terrifying pitch, foaming at the mouth and pulling at the leash with all her might, fangs flashing. My scorched fingers crack, holding on with all their strength. I imagine letting go, the dog running free after a chosen queen or homeless person. “No, not today”. “C’mon Gladys, you fuckin’ jerk!” She reluctantly obeys.
So, it’s July 4th. All the young couples make out in the street, drunk. I feel lonely. I remember making out on July 4th. Remember lying in the grass at “Magic Meadow” in Woodstock with a laughing girl. Wonder if I’ll ever do that again. Probably not. what a drag. Oh well, I’ll see what else life has to offer. Fights break out here and there, but not near Gladys and I.
Explosions and cheering in the distance feel so natural after so many years. I think about what they might mean on another day. “No, no more armageddon phantasies”. I control my mind, and Gladys barks at me again as if to say “Hey! Get it together! What is it to fear? Where will we be then? Let’s go. Because, between you and I, we’re invincible, so let’s enjoy the heat, and the smell of the air, and the air of superiority.” “Walk like I do”, she says. “Plough through the heat and the people, driving them to either side. We’ve got places to go.”
Love you,