Okay. I probably should have picked a warm place to write instead of going to Towl Park again. It's really too cold to be sitting outside writing, even wearing my new gloves with the fingers cut out mid-knuckle to help keep my hands warm. The sun is out but it's a weak little slant of light, We're supposed to get a "wintery mix" tomorrow. Not a fan and I won't be writing again until after Christmas since Therese is off and we have movies planned for every day or time with guests.
I suppose I just wanted to be here. Tomorrow is a medical appointment that I'm not looking forward to attending. Since it is so close to Christmas, I won't be hearing test results until the middle of next week A long wait. I tell myself that it is nothing, not to worry. But, I DO worry in that inside place that I share with no one, not even Therese.
An older woman walks by with a small dog who looks exactly like Toto from "The Wizard of Oz." I ask her what the dog is named.
"Toto," she says, curtly. She obviously has little interest in the dog's resemblance to the real (long dead) Toto, so I just nod and smile. Besides, she has probably heard that a hundred times.
The air is a bit sharper today. The wind a little more brisk. I will not complain. Good grief. It's December 22nd and I'm writing sitting outside in a park! That is the perfect Christmas gift, in my opinion.
Another lookalike dog appears with his human. A man in a warm woolen coat. This dog looks exactly like Tramp from that old television show, "My Three Sons." Tramp's owner is slightly more friendly. When I ask for his dog's name, he smiles and says, "Scamp" but doesn't stop to chat. Hmmm. Tramp. Scamp. I'm seeing a pattern. I must now be on the lookout for brindle bull dogs named Jack. For collies named Lassie. Dalmations called Pongo and Perdita. St Bernards named Beethoven. Golden Retrievers called Brinkley. Pit bull labs called Chance. Jack Russells called Eddie. Sheepdogs called Rex. Poodles called Tiffany. And cartoon dogs named Scooby Doo.
I start imagining a day filled with television and movie characters. Waking up, finding myself in a teenaged girl's body, living in a house between The Brady Bunch and The Partridge family. Laurie Partridge and Marcia Brady could be my besties. Their brothers, Keith and Greg, would vye to be the one to walk with me to school. My school would be Forks High School and there would be a strangely pale chemistry partner of mine named Edward Cullin. The school would be full of memorable teachers. Mr. Hand would teach American History. Mr. Walter White would teach chemistry. Mr. Feeny would be the principal. Ms. Frizzle would be our art teacher and she'd gleefully tell us to "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!" Mr. Pryzbylewski (Prez) would be our cute school counselor. Miss Bliss would be our English teacher and we would all imitate her perfect English accent. Coach Fredricks would teach P.E. Mr. Schuester would teach music and we'd have flash mobs frequently in the school cafeteria. Mr. Kotter would be there to teach remedial classes and there would be that cute Vinnie Barbarino in his class so some girls would deliberately flunk classes just to be in the same room with him. Mr. Collins would teach math but this time, he wouldn't die. Ms. Reynolds would be our drama teacher and she could date Mr. Schuester on the sly. This would be the talk of the girl's bathroom.
After school, we'd alternate going to the Brady house for some of Alice's homemade brownies and to the Partridge house for some good womanly advice from Shirley Partridge.
Life in a sitcom. Oh, my. Sometimes real life just sets too heavily on our shoulders and it's fun to go somewhere else in our heads for a while.
I look up to see a woman with a very serious expression on her face, power walking with her fluffy white dog trotting happily beside her. Walking behind her, more sedately, is an elderly Chinese man with his small black mutt. She doesn't stop to talk but nods briskly. The Chinese man stops and when I nod in acquiescence, he allows his little dog to come over to be patted and pet.
"What is his name?" I ask.
"An old Chinese name," he answers. "Bill." We both laugh. I swear that Bill laughs, too. You know how some dogs just look like they know a good joke when they hear one? That is Bill.
We talk for a little bit about Bill. He is seven or forty one in dog years. He eats dry dog food but gets his own personal hamburger on his birthday which is October 18th. He could play fetch with a ball 24/7. He does not like visiting the vet or even if it is spelled (V-E-T), he will go hide under the sofa. He enjoys sneak treats of potato chips and sweet tarts occasionally. He once caught a squirrel and brought it into the house through his doggy door where it got loose and was never found! The man chuckles now but says that he and his wife barely slept for a week, worried of a midnight squirrel attack. This man's name is Bolin, which means gentle rain, but I can just call him Bo, like that volatile Husker coach. Bo is retired from Hy-Vee . He worked in their produce department for over 30 years. He and his wife have one child, a daughter. She is married and lives in San Francisco where she helps her husband's family run a restaurant in Chinatown. They have three grandsons who spend Summers in Omaha with them. It is Bo's favorite time of year because his house is filled with Qi, pronounced Ch'i. Good energy.
Bo wishes me a Merry Christmas and invites me to his church on Sunday to hear his wife sing in her choir.
"Its in Mandarin, but quite beautiful to listen to," he tells me. I tell him that we just might be there. In fact, it sounds like a lovely way to celebrate Christmas, I think.
I suppose my imaginary life will just have to wait. My real life has suddenly become rather intriguing.