I arrive at Towl Park and immediately see the dog of my dreams. A tiny, curly haired white dog. He and his human trot proudly up to me. I ask what kind of dog this is.
The human laughs. "We don't know, he's a rescue," he says. "But, he looks like a half maltese, half poodle, don't you think?"
"He's a total pain in the butt," he says with affection. "You see those ducks on the pond?" I nod. "Well, yesterday, he saw them and went berserk. He jumped right into the pond after them. He can't swim. I found that out yesterday, too. So, it is very lucky that I had a hold of his leash! I had to drag him out of the water and there he was, furious with ME! ME! His rescuer! He stunk so bad. He just reeked. He totally stunk up my car. I didn't have a towel with me or anything, so I had to take off my sweater because he was shivering. It took me all afternoon to get the stink off of him. My poor sweater is now at the dry cleaners and my car STILL stinks. My wife and I scrubbed and scrubbed and it still smells like dirty feet!"
The dog sits cosily in his human's arms as he talks to me, nodding a few times as if he is in on the joke. He licks the man's chin a few times. This dog actually appears to be listening to us and grinning, like a naughty child listening to his parent talk to the neighbors about how he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
The man and I part, smiling. As he drives away, I realize that I failed to get either of their names. Next time, I vow. Next time.
I gaze out at the pond and realize, with dread, that the ducks are near to where Harvey the turtle was set loose yesterday. Oh, well, I think. Survival of the fittest. I had berated myself when I arrived home yesterday for not rescuing Harvey. But, as I thought about it, I realized that I truly did not want to care for a turtle and it is now nice enough outside for turtles, fish, and ducks to survive. Well, unless winter comes traipsing back. But, I saw the weather forecast for the weekend. 68 degrees! I think we are in for a very early spring.
Today is Cupid's day. February 14th. Not one of my favorite days. When I didn't have a valentine, I felt left out. When I did have one, I felt pressured. T and I are old hands at this now. She knows that a card and candy are expected. Ditto for me. But, we are far from romantics. Today, she called me from work.
T: We had our Valentine pot luck today at lunch. There's a ton of leftovers. I know you like cheesecake, so I will bring you home a slice. Do you want plain, fruit topped, or chocolate?
Me: All three. Cheesecake keeps well in the fridge.
T: Oh. Ok. How about fried chicken? Breast or thigh? Wait. A breast for you and a thigh for me. I'll bring home some of that salad that you like with the crispy noodles in it, too. So, VOILA! No need to make dinner tonight or go out.
Me: Good. Everything is always crowded and expensive on Valentine's Day. This is great.
T: I aim to please, ma'am!
That's about as gooey as we get. Ma'am.
I look up from my writing when I hear shouting. Two teenagers are having a massive meltdown of an argument. He is silent, head down, wearing a black hoodie and jeans. She is a large girl, maybe 16. She has on a black and white plaid lumberjack shirt, jeans, and a very bad attitude. She is really letting this guy have it.
"You're a dumb ass," she berates him. "All my friends agree. I told them that you don't even have a decent sized dick!"
At the word "dick", he and I happen to meet eyes and we both quickly look away. I feel myself blushing and I start to gather up my things to go. I don't want to hear this and she is just being hateful right now. I don't know what he's done. He's not fighting back at all. I do know that no one deserves to be spittle screamed at like that.
I start towards my car. The girl quickly runs past me. She turns to give him both of her middle fingers and yells, "Douche bag!" She jumps into a truck, slams it into gear and peels out of the parking lot, dust spiraling all around.
I get to my car, put my chair and notebook inside. There are no other cars in the lot. Well, now. He probably doesn't have a ride home. It would be really foolhardy of me to ask him if he needed a ride. And this could be a con. For all I know, they could do this all the time to soft hearted, fat old women all over the city.
As I start my car, he sits on a rock, looking morosely out at the water. Ok, I tell myself. You managed not to get emotionally attached to a turtle. You can manage to stay out of this fight. Besides, there is a bus stop right at the top of a hill. Surely he has a cell phone.
As if he heard me thinking, he pulls out a cell phone and punches in some numbers. Relieved, I drive away.