Dogwalkers

Yesterday, it was eighty degrees. Summer had bypassed spring the way it does.

In the park, I heard a woman singing from far away. Maybe she had a room-mate who didn’t like it. She was sitting on a green hill by the ball fields. When we walked by, I saw she was deep into it. A rock song from the eighties or nineties. Maybe in her head she was auditioning for American idol.

All over, people were out in their crazy splendor. The runners and bikers, the amputees, and old men. A line of trucks on third avenue provided services to a film crew that had taken over the deceased barber shop for kids. They crowded the sidewalks, and pushed the dogwalkers into the street, but we didn’t mind. It was such a beautiful day. Everyone was smiling.

Later, I reached page two hundred in the book I write every day.

Ten year old Chloe came to stay for the weekend. She’s an animal lover, too. We played with the cats, and fed the squirrels. We even went to the Central Park Zoo. Her favorites were the bats. After, there was face painting, and a man who tied up balloons.

At home, we  drew on the blackboard and wrote a song together. Her first line was:

A pink guitar, balanced on her shoulder, stickers all over.

She’s got the gene. Saturday night we walked together from the movies, behind families, and loose end people on Third Avenue. Chloe still wore her face paint, and a pair of oversized purple sunglasses that we got at Gap Kids. Girl is a little hipster. Sunglasses at night.

I could see clearly the gift of life is to have your own family. Mother and father holding hands, kids racing to the corner. I held Chloe’s hand in mine, temporarily part of the world.

By this morning, spring had taken itself back. Cooler temps and overcast skies. First walk of the day, messy hair and unbrushed teeth. A raincoat thrown over leggings and a t-shirt. All the other dog-walkers are the same. We say good morning and keep our distance. The dogs foil our plans to make a quick getaway. This morning, a handsome man in a rain hat. Doe took a liking to the small grey rat at the end of his leash. But I turned my face away from his greeting. That part seems all over. I don’t know if it will ever come back.

Now, at the table,  first cup of coffee cooling, guitar in its stand, words waiting to be written.

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