They say your life flashes by when you are dying.
I was born when the riots broke out. I was young and smart. Or so my mother always reminded me whenever the other kids would make fun of me. They say you don't remember much from that age, but not me, I remember. I remember everything, who can forget the carnage that took place that day. My parents did a decent job of hiding me behind a dumpster, while they went scouring out for food and water. We had been starving for a long time. When you live on the streets, it becomes part of your life I guess. But they didn't return back that night or the night after that. I gathered some courage to venture out from behind the dumpster just as the angry noises slowly faded away, punctuated by loud bang-bang noises. They were from a gun, but I had no idea what a gun was or what noises they made. But those noises were loud and scary.
Life beyond the garbage dumpster was both beautiful and unsettling. The sun caressed the horizon while engaging in foreplay with the lipid dark pools of liquid shimmering on the road. I was hungry and thirsty. I couldn't even bring myself to wet my tongue to lick some moisture into my skin. And the pools of liquid were welcoming enough for me to gingerly kneel down and taste it. But it tasted like nothing like water. It tasted like nothing I had tasted before. It was warm and thick and the pool of water was fast turning into a stream. I stepped back, both with disgust and fright and cautiously allowed my eyes to trace the source of this disgusting water. And the road looked like a massive dump yard, of bodies, human bodies and body parts. And as the fear took roots in my legs, I surveyed the place, I saw few faces I recognized but couldn't remember their names. And there was still no sign of my mother and father.
But the whimpering raspy sounds of somebody's breathing perked my ears up. I turned around, slowly, afraid of what I may see or happen to me. And then I saw that guy who used to run behind mother whenever dad wasn't around. His face covered with that disgusting water and dried tears. He had a deep slash running from his stomach all the over his back. The slash seemed to be having a life force of its own, and with every single forced gasp of air he breathed, the slash got big and then small like a pair of angry nostrils. I just stood there, looking at him, staring at his wound, listening to him breath, forgetting my own hunger and thirst. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally stopped breathing, but the disgusting water kept oozing out of his wound.
I went back to wait for my parents. I don't know when, but I remember seeing men wearing black come in hordes, on horses. And one of them saw me cowering behind the dumpster and before I knew he took something and made that bang noise again, and again. And before I knew it, my leg and stomach hurt, a lot. I knew I was going to die. I didn't know when, but I knew the end was near.
I guess this is what dad meant whenever he said "it is a dog's life".