Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Shampoo, Laura Stamps

Turn, turn, turn. In this dog magazine. To the next page. An article. How to give a dog a bath. It’s about that. But this. This I wonder. Bathing a dog. Is it like giving a cat a bath? Or trying to. I mean, let’s face it. Trying is all you can do. With a cat. Just ask Paula. My best friend. Last year we gave her cat a bath. In the kitchen sink. A blood bath. That’s what it was. For her. For me. But not for her cat. Never her cat. That crazy boy! Although, he was hyperventilating. He was. I swear. By the time we finished. He was. But dogs. They love water, don’t they? If I had a dog. (Okay. I don’t. But maybe. One day. Maybe. I might. Possibly.) I’d give him a bath. Every month. I would. Just like this article says. Plus, there’s dog shampoo. And so many kinds to choose from. Lavender and mint. Oatmeal for sensitive skin. Deshedding shampoo. (Really?) Whitening shampoo for white dogs. (What? What?) Probiotic shampoo for dogs with hot spots. (Are you kidding me?) Green tea. Bergamot. Honeysuckle. Shampoo, shampoo. It can change your life. It can. Seriously. This. This I know. Because, because. On that day. Years ago. When I arrived in Wilmington. All I had was my purse. And my car. That’s it. No clothes. No luggage. Nothing. But when you escape. You grab what you can and run. That’s what you do. And I did. But in Wilmington. I stopped. For necessities. You know. Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, comb, shampoo, makeup. That stuff. And there she was. A woman. At Walgreens. In the shampoo aisle. Talking on her cell phone. Placing an ad in the local paper. A furnished apartment. Hers. For rent. It sounded nice. Really nice. So I grabbed the shampoo. And turned toward her. “I’m interested,” I said. That apartment. Saw it. Loved it. Still love it. Still live there. Ten years later. And I’d do it again. Leave my ex. That is. Start over. With just the clothes on my back. And no shampoo. I would. Again. In a heartbeat. 

Laura Stamps loves to play with words and create experimental forms for her fiction and prose poetry. Author of 43 novels, novellas, short story collections, and poetry books. Most recently: CAT MANIA (Alien Buddha Press 2021), DOG DAZED (Kittyfeather Press 2022), and THE GOOD DOG (Prolific Pulse Press 2023). Winner of the Muses Prize. Recipient of a Pulitzer Prize nomination and 7 Pushcart Prize nominations.  

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