Tuesday, December 29, 2009

“You think dogs will not be in Heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."

—Robert Louis Stevenson


It was as if they had it all planned. But that's impossible, you can't plan such things on a Christmas Day. Having the dog fart in the room, the dog they brought out with them for a visit, just so they could disperse the room? How do you coordinate this with the dog? It's only six months old. It doesn't know yet between a full bowl of dog food and an empty one because it's been chewing on the empty wooden bowl for an hour now thinking food may appear in it. It won’t. The dog chews.

They sit together across from his parents. She's a girlfriend with very silvery and attractive earrings. Her face is heart shaped. Legs bean poles. Not at all the right footwear for the backwoods which is where they are, because of his parents.

No matter how hard you try, nobody wants to be a relic, but after age 50 everyone is a something-or-other-relic. Still the son gives his father a new music group on sterling LP, and the girlfriend has tried very hard to pick out just the right cheeses and jams, packed in flimsy yellow straw. Everyone tries.

But the dog. The dog got too hot by the woodstove and moved to the middle of the room between the two couples and just let out a silent but very deadly. They've been here two hours and even got in a small hike. Shared all the little tragedies couple to couple. There's nowhere else to go but to repeat everything already said, or take it to the next level which may cause sudden strife, arguments, or really settling down and becoming actually and possibly comfortable. First they start to giggle and then laugh because they know their dog, their dog's farts. Now we all smell it. Only the mother is willing to withstand the aromatic torture, but too late, the visit's over.

Bob Arnold says don't read unhappiness, read one big unknowable glorious

photo © bob arnold