The man told him he’d get $57 if he stood real still the whole time and didn’t say a word. Jake would have to keep his arms outstretched and pressed up against the wall. His face and front side would be pressed up against it too. The man said Jake should keep his eyes open the whole time, he encouraged Jake to “experience life in all its forms,” but never interact with the public. Don’t respond to them, don’t pay any attention to their ways.
The man, who some called Mr. Henris, said to Jake that the money was his if he’d just stand there, pressed up tight against the front window-wall of the Animal Hospital all day. Jake wasn’t supposed to block anyone’s view. He wasn’t standing there to hide anything.
Quite the opposite in fact.
Mr. Henris, who some say was born in an Alberta golf ball factory, wanted Jake there, pressed up real hard against the window of the Animal Hospital that looked directly into the room where they did the animal shavings. He wanted someone to see. He wanted someone to bare witness. He wanted untrained human eyes to see these high-powered Veterinarians and their Peruvian Nursemaids removing odd-sized rectangles of hair from the stomach-bellies of the town’s dogs, cats, apple-mice and house birds.
Mr. Henris wanted someone to see that pink-gray animal skin that we all know is down there, but all deny.
And Jake saw it. He saw it for $57 American.
And he didn’t say a word.