Share The Moon – Episode 2: Esteban Escobar – Chapter 5: The Dog

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… continuing the novel “Share The Moon, Episode 2, Esteban Escobar” … here’s chapter FIVE, below!

(or, start from the beginning!)

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Ch. 5 – The Dog

A sign outside “Holy Spirit Dog” says “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service!”

The graffiti says “No Atheists!”

AKC-registered as “Zeigfried Wigglesworth of Manhattan Island, Protector Of Children,” Ziggy, a well-known New York City Pit Bull, is the mascot for the “Holy Spirit Dog” restaurant chain. The popular pup is also believed, oddly, to be descended from a somewhat clouded figure in Modern Literary Mythology, a reincarnation of a Biblical character variously referred to as “The Staffordshire,” “White Sock Dog,” or sometimes just “Pig.”

In the Book of Job, believers say the dog is referred to as “Purest Mutt” and “Eyes Of The Pit,” and is attributed with salutations “Savior of Child,” “Protector of Loyalty,” “Giver of Perspective,” and “Holy Spirit Dog.” Most Christian scholars say these are many different animals, meant only to represent a palette of virtues, and claim an animal can’t embody virtue, or have a soul.

Still, many agree Jesus, in the Bible, might have had a dog!

Large gatherings are held by “Zigglanders,” a Christian faction dedicated to dismissing what they call myths the “Holy Spirit Dog” didn’t exist, and forwarding the concept during candlelight “chant and dance” sessions that Manhattan’s Ziggy is a conduit to heaven! They say a reincarnation is viable, and challenge traditional scholars, claiming the Bible doesn’t specifically say a dog can’t have a soul!

The dog himself is not only a legend, but a real dream; a silver-colored deep-chested atypical perfect specimen; white boots and dark blue “get whatever you want” eyes, and personality to fit. Ziggy’s got a good wag about him, a good vibe!

Ziggy’s owner, Joachim Jesus López de Santa María, a slim Mexican-transplant-turned-big-businessman who goes by just “Jesus,” is a smooth, enigmatic man with long, dark hair and darker, but trustworthy eyes who calls America the “Promised Land.” Jesus knows about his dog’s reputation, of course – and plays it up when he can … for publicity!

The Holy Spirit Dog restaurant, 12 Disciple St., New York, is a hot dog place that thinks of itself as fancy, known for its long “communal” tables and white tablecloths. The official name of the company is “Canis Incarnate Corp..”

Jesus likes “Escobar’s Chicken,” but complains their tables are too small! At the big, long tables, Jesus sometimes jokes, in a serious way, that this is the “last time” they’re going to have supper together if his workers don’t do their jobs well. He’ll say something like “See, I’m not really Jesus, because I make fun of the Bible! If they’re meeting at Escobar’s, he’ll usually joke he’s “not really Jesus because the tables aren’t big enough!” He likes to play on the idea his dog has spiritual connections!

Jesus, once more in the mysterious coincidence department, has a very strict father who he doesn’t talk about much, preferring to let people think he comes up with all his ideas himself. And while the employees think the “last supper” joke is a threat to them, Jesus tries to tell them if things don’t go well it’s all on him! He’s a hot dog martyr-preneur!

The Holy Spirit “Dog” itself, the one in the advertisements and on the restaurant signs (along with the logo, featuring Ziggy’s face), is the largest and most elaborate hot dog on the menu. Jesus brags all the time about his “Roley-Poley Holy Spirit Dog” (registered trademark). The menu calls it a “divine experience” with “Roley-Poley Sauce,” and says “It’s so big it bites you back!”

Once Jesus was asked by an interviewer if he believes in divine intervention, and replied in his low, smiling baritone: “Ah, friend, do you know my dog came up with all my best marketing … and it was definitely inspired!”

And while dogs and dressings may have been the draw at Holy Spirit’s, over at Escobar’s Chicken, the Manhattan branch (7b Wright Way, corner of Nodon Garden Rd., a city-subsidized low-income residential area and dead-end) the real deal was not about chicken sandwiches at all! It would be years later Aina would hear the publicly-traded chicken company was putting a thousand-dollars-a-week on its books just for rubber bands to bundle their billions of laundered dollars!

Also worth a mention is “Unicorn Jubilee,” Chinese, near the pet store and only a couple blocks from Aina’s apartment (and where the cat reappeared), run by Chinese mobsters who shamelessly call their spread the “Buffet of Danger.” It’s very mediocre, but the owners are more focused on getting your attention than making food, while nevertheless, interestingly, it’s also the least interesting of the three restaurants!

“Unicorn Jubilee’s” logo displays a virgin in a cage that no-one really notices. The four owners, all dark-haired, spindly men, Pat, Chin, Chan and Paulie, usually wear black t-shirts and to-be-seen jewelry, drive small, modified Korean sports cars and have yet another new perception of what “classy” means. They seem to not listen to anything their customers say, and when they talk to customers they sometimes say very strange things as if they didn’t intend to be heard at all! They often try to send customers to the pet store next door they also own.

Customers sometimes refer to them as “the guy” because it’s hard to tell the men apart. Their lack of conversational-ness makes them personality-less!

NYU kids call them “The Uni-Four.” No matter how hard they try, this gang can’t even seem to be scary!

dragon flying

(end of chapter FIVE)

(more to come!)

(or, start from the beginning!)

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