Diarrhea Dan – Part 2
*So, I wrote this story before Part 1, for a different creative writing course I was in. I really love the character, though, and wrote about him again (see part 1) as more of a backstory to this peice. Diarrhea Dan is also a sub-character for the book I am writing. He’s almost like family now 🙂
Diaherra Dan knew his job sucked.
He also knew his name sucked, as well as everything else in his life.
He tried to convince himself, when it came to his job, that it was actually noble. Maybe not royalty noble, but at the very least a little prince-ly.
That’s what kept him going when he walked the park, twice on Christmas, to pick up the used needles lying around.
Used needles from heroin and fentanyl that a kid, or even worse an animal (nobody said Diaherra Dan had his priorities straight), could step on.
Now, that would be some bad shit, thought Diarrhea Dan, and did he not want any more bad shit happening at his park.
His journey from boy, to man, to homeless and picking up used needles happened out of consequences that were beyond his control.
Same as his name, but that’s a different story.
He loved this park. It’s where he spent his first night when he arrived to the city and where he has stayed ever since.
Most homeless do. The vicinity to the heart of the city is a major draw for people looking for a no-frills, free postal code. That and the cheap beer that Ruby’s sells across the street.
The park is how Diaherra Dan first came into contact with Cujo.
The dog was a stray, and most definitely not called Cujo, but Diarrhea Dan loved that book and the name always stuck.
Cujo was a member of the no-frills postal code community well before he got there.
While a little skinny, Cujo was a beauty. Probably a cross between a labrador and a German Shepard, like most strays are classified when you don’t know the lineage.
He was big, black and smart. Nothing like Diaherra Dan had ever known.
Back at home, on the farm, all the dogs there were stupider than sticks. When one was dumb enough to get pregnant, the owners never seeing the irony that the stupidness actually lied with them, the litters would be stuffed into a bag and thrown into the river.
That’s all Diaherra Dan knew about dogs, until Cujo.
Cujo taught him loyalty, love and he even quite possibly saved Diaherra Dan’s life last summer.
Cujo was there every evening, when Diaherra Dan was most lonely. When the loneliness would seep into his soul like a wet blanket on a cold night.
That’s also when the crazies, the drunks and the rebel-rousers came out. One night last August, Diaherra Dan decided to sleep on the west side of the park. It had less trees and he wanted the stars to be the last thing he saw before closing his eyes for the night.
That’s when Cujo started growling. Instantly Diaherra Dan was wishing he had that piece of pipe he always kept under his pillow. But, he left pipe back where he normally slept, hidden from sight with the rest of his belongings.
The boys were drunk and Diarrhea Dan could tell that of the three the middle one was the leader. There’s always a leader, always a top asshole.
As the boys approached the air around them swirled with violence and booze and an edge that Diaherra Dan did not want any part of.
Cujo’s growling got deeper and louder with more teeth showing with every step they took towards them.
Thankfully for Diaherra Dan the boys weren’t so far off that they recognized this was a fight best to turn around and walk away from.
Diaherra Dan gave Cujo a smile and a nod. Both knowing the nod was enough.
Cujo never wanted anything from Diaherra Dan. He just sat there filling the void. Filling the emptiness.
It was a Tuesday when Cujo didn’t show up at first, but Diaherra Dan didn’t start getting concerned until the weekend.
That was one of the perks to living this life. No one to answer to, nowhere to be.
By Sunday Diaherra Dan knew something was wrong and it took a minimal amount of detective work to find out that Cujo had stepped on a used fentanyl needle the Monday prior and died of what was believed cardiac arrest.
Of course there were no vets on hand, no autopsy. He was a stray. No one’s problem.
So began Diarrhea Dan’s journey of ridding the park of used needles. Ridding it of the filth they represent and the heart aches that they can cause.