Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mares At Night

My early morning reverie is disturbed by a nightmare. I know what it means and I don't like the information any more than when I lived the nightmare with my first wife and her ugly, alcoholic parents. I didn't realize how deeeply affected I was by the short and fat Lt.Col(retired) and his schoolteacher, cigarette smoking martini drinking wife.

So I get up despite the darkness and early hour. I'm puzzled that the puppyis very quiet tonight. The cat paid his visit, curling up next to my calves and vigorously washing his ears. After padding around the first floor, turning off the TV that my wife forgot to shut down and looking out the kitchen window, Mandy appears on the stairs. She'd been sleeping in the "futon" room and I didn't know it.

After answering several e-mails to my daughter whom I'd neglected by copying an earlier post to this blog and sending it off as a reply with a short note whining how busy I am, I walk outside in the early morning light. Except for a few buzzing crickets the silence is deadening. On a Saturday at 5:30 am no one is speeding down the highway to get to work. The fog would put an end to any speeding, anyway. It shrouds everything but the foreground.

The cat quickly ducks down under the garbage can platform next to the garage. A single bat flies back and forth in the backyard. The bat finds a perch at the top of the shutter on the bathroom window and slips behind the hollow shutter back. Something's not right and the bat reemerges from the shutter dipping and swooping through the back yard. The flight pattern above the grass tops gets the cat's attention.

To protect myself from mosquitoes I slip on a yellow plastic rain slicker. The plastic is cold against my bare back. I know they'll not bite through the fabric. Still, they hover around my face. A few slip inside the house when I hold the door open for a meandering cat and a distracted dog. Pouring coffee over the sink, I set down my cup to swat.

Yesterday, Mandy and I are trapped in the car. We're parked in front of the library. I roll down the window to wave at Diane inside the building. In the short time the window is at half mast, the armrest and Mandy are wet with rain. The dog stares out the front window until condensation fogs the glass. An occasional rumble of thunder makes her ears stand straight up. The library is closed over the weekend. I'm returning movies and a book, hoping to replace it with the real life story of Monty Roberts. In Nicholas Evans fictional book, The Horse Whisperer, Monty was one of the horse resource persons. The gist of the book is that for 6000 years horses have been misunderstood and often mistreated. Roberts has a gift for reading horse body language from hours, days and weeks of observing them.

I'm intrigued because of the correlation I make with dogs. As another misunderstood animal, dogs are frequently cooped up, tied up, chained, beaten and ignored by people who treat them as dumb animals.

When the rain subsides, I hurry Mandy inside. She runs over to various people at the computers who reflexively reach down to pat her on the head. Before I can say hello, I'm handed a book. "It fell off the shelf and we took it as an omen." The title of the book is How Dogs Think. Mandy continues to greet people several of which she regards as friends by putting her paws on the knees and slurping them behind the ear. The head librarian offers her a Fig Newton. "Where's my Fig Newton," I whine. "The dog gets better treatment than me," I say.

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