4th Street and Avenue A

3:30 p.m., walking the puffy poodle through the apartment complex past a benchful of old ladies. Head lady–froth of white hair, jazzy black-and-silver sparkly T-shirt–calls us over.

Lady 1: Look at him, he’s wonderful. He’s a wonderful dog. We had a dog, a Lhasa. We got him when he was a baby and had him until he died, fifteen years. Then we had two cats. Now just people. Me and my daughter, my husband’s gone. My daughter’s boyfriend comes over and he’s welcome anytime because he cooks. Dogs don’t cook. They don’t provide that kind of service. They only provide love. But love makes the world go round.

Me: That’s right, it does.

Puffy poodle luxuriates in strokes, running the gauntlet of the ladies’ open palms.

Lady 1: He doesn’t mind being an apartment dog, does he, as long as he gets to come outside and march the love parade. But what about you? Who’s loving you?

Me: Yeah, when I walk by a bench of people nobody calls me over to stroke me, what’s up with that?

Lady 1: Hey, Alice, come on over! Hey, Alice, we’ll stroke you!

(…Alice?)

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Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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