'Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.! Aldous Huxley 1894-1963.
It behove Esther the responsibility to put the record straight regarding her step-fathers unimaginable actions.
Life has moved on since her memories on the street where she once lived decades ago. Dogs for the disabled, whether they be guide dogs,hearing dogs or dogs who can put clothes in the washing machine are treasures without price to those that own them and love them. Hero's and friends as much now as they were then.
A life-line leading them back into the world where they might lived again! Her step-fathers cruelty to his dog was heinous but thankfully rare. It is our responsibility to report something that doesn't seem right if our world is to be a place of compassion and care. Seeing anyone or anything suffering but not reacting stains the mind with a memory that will never ever be wiped clean; and it shouldn't!
Esther still saw in her mind his Guide dog cowering outside their red back door. His faithful friend laying flat to the cinder path; ashes from yesterday where he again beat her with the same leather leash used for her to take him out into the world.
She had done nothing wrong; just to be there to take the strikes that flew through the air as mad foam seeped from his thin-lips. Never showing a bearing of teeth; a docile animal with a soft grey coat and with eyes that could never understand.
Esther knew but she was a child; did anyone else out in their world know what was going on?
Years had flown and life moved on.
The other world
Esther tentatively knocked the young man’s door and suddenly there he was standing in the doorway with a stray cat at his feet, looking very wet. He grinned and looked back at the kitchen as she walked into this her first proper job, after her children had grown, and Joe a painful memory.
“I’m sorry but it’s a bit wet in here, do you think it might be better to take your shoes off?”
Obligingly she removed her shoes and socks and then rolled her jeans up to her knees as she moved through to the kitchen where take away foil cartons were floating and his shared younger tenant was trying to bail the water out into the yard. Looking at the water trickling down from the ceiling and beside the light switch in the middle room she enquired probably rather stupidly. “Why didn’t you ring the emergency number you have been given by Colin?”
“It wasn’t a big flood,” muttered the freckle faced thinner young man as he splashed his way down the galley kitchen. “We thought it would be best that we wait for you, and we did stop up to watch it, didn’t we mate?”
So together they looked for an arsenal of cleaning materials having first located where in the hell the electric mains were, and then she had called an electrician and her boss. They were happy young men who were never rude or coarse and didn’t understand why others might point at them or call them fools. The irony was that they, in their bigoted ways were the fools in the street, as they poked fun at things way beyond their understanding with cheap booze in their hands which they threw away before joining the nearby dole queue. Somehow for months they lived in that Ordinary Street where they learnt about budgeting, cooking as well as social skills, which always caused great hilarity at home with food that her own family threw in the bin behind her back.
Now determined that perhaps she might do something a little more useful after the pleasure she had gained in seeing others grow in confidence she parked her red mini outside in a side street and crossed at the traffic lights to Bedford College. Later she sat in a hut with other trainee social work students fairly certain that with her background she may perhaps be able to help others and take her mind away from herself. So they were tutored by tailored characters with bespoke lives who may never know of the world other than social policy, sociology or interviewing skills but with little mention of the benefit system or how they might go to sleep at night with case work increasing and doing too much or nothing at all. A system that quietly let families down whilst the dominant member of the household sunk into the depravity of drink and anger with the world that had let them down, so what were they supposed to do but beat the dog ,their wife or at the end of their tether, their child? Knowing she couldn’t change the world she saw, and was never clever enough she walked away from that.