There are many ways to die. One is to be a poorly bred dog of a poorly bred drunk. Every evening, just after six, my upstairs neighbor – I don’t know his name – beats the shit out of his bite-size dog, which I have seen roaming around the building, when he wasn’t there. Sometimes, I hear these high-pitched sounds – something between a squeal and a cry -- that only animals can make. At other times, I hear flat thuds against his walls or my ceiling. The drunk is throwing him around, like a ball. Afterwards, I see the dog in the hallway; he looks messed up, though he is not bleeding. I open my arms, but he doesn’t approach me; just stands there, his eyes big and wet. He doesn’t touch the baloney I leave for him, even after I disappear inside my apartment. I wonder if at night, as he goes to sleep, he prays he would wake up somewhere far, far away, or not at all.