The WideEyedSpouse scored a vintage Royal Racer sled on walkies last evening. There it was, plonked in the trash with an old broom, crumbling wood, and a broken snow shovel. A little yellow sticker on it says “SALE. $1.00”. The sticker itself is old.
I was going to write about that for a bit.
Then Hamish ran through a giant pile of crumbly leaves with a big smile and bouncy ears. The universe might have been created so that Corgis would have the opportunity to run through leaf piles on a sunny fall day. The joy-power generated might fuel cosmological function.
But the morning uni-blocker walkies this morning turned interesting on me. Characters and circumstances converged and the mundane transformed to epic.
We crossed the street in the wrong place because a young man on our sidewalk looked nervous about passing Hamish and Miss Tibbit. This unexpected act suggested adventure to the Corgi and the Useless-Little-Black-Dog. “What are we doing over HERE?!” they exclaimed to one another. Peeing on the neighbors rose bushes it looked like to me.
A young female dressed entirely in black with long blond hair nearly to her knees appeared ahead of us. She looked back at us every few seconds. Hamish stared at her. We crossed the street in another strange place – before the Cigar Man’s house and after the dying oak tree. “We NEVER cross here,” Hamish said, sniffing down the middle of the road, lingering to try to cause trouble with the bicycle coming.
“PPPSSSSSHHHHH-ACK!” Miss Tibbit lunged at the tabby cat sitting next to a redbud tree. She jumped and barked in mad joy. She smiled at Hamish – “Almost,” she laughed, “almost.” My heart and head pounded with unnecessary adrenaline.
We rounded the corner with the nine foot privet. Never can tell what’s behind it. Today a foot in teeteringly high leather strappy pumps appeared, followed by the rest of a mid 60s woman in tight jeans, leather jacket and full face make up with smoke easing from nose, mouth, and hand. “Oh, look at him!” she set her coffee down to pat Hamish, who stopped to receive his due. “Let me show you a picture of my dog,” she said. Tibbit jumped up and down next to me. We peered at a smart phone screen, smoke whirling around us in an alchemical haze. “Oh, that’s a big dog,” I said, looking at a massive border collie on a 2 inch screen. The person flip, flip, flipped through her images, stopping on a close up of two legs pressed together. “Now that’s someone’s thighs,” she said, “don’t know how that picture got in there. I thought it was a butt at first.” Flip flip flip…
The giant yellow mastiff from down the street turned the corner. Silence. Stillness. A low whistle sounded in the air, marking the standoff. Hamish, Tibbit, and I dove behind the hedge, the mastiff owner dragged him behind a parked mini-van, the woman gazed at her cell phone screen – who’s thighs were they?
Sweating, breathing hard, and soaked in perfumey cigarette smoke, we made it to the end of the block where a shaved-headed man endlessly, hopelessly raked leaves in a giant yard. He threw his rake down to greet Hamish. Tibbit jumped up and down. “I’ve had a lot of dogs,” he told me, “and you control them by making them sit every time they act out.” He looked at Miss Tibbit who sat quietly by my side, head atilt, curious. Miss Tibbit and I looked at each other, then at him. “Oh,” he said. Hamish peed on the leaf pile behind him.
Then we ran. We ran and ran and ran. Through leaves, over cracked sidewalks, around a corner and across the street again. Parked in front of our house a car steamed, hood up, nearly done for. Hamish paused, interested. He glanced at Tibbit, “Shall we?” “Cookie,” I stated firmly, I could see our door, I could feel the end of journey, I longed for my desk. Dragging feet, head low, Hamish and Tibbit followed me in, listened to the slam of the door, and bid farewell to the very best part of their day. Until afternoon walkies.