The Gentlest Thing

Julia's nice clogs and Dolly
I was walking on Prince Street in Soho this morning, on my way to Elena’s Saturday morning yoga class, and I noticed a tiny white poodle standing on the sidewalk, collarless, all alone. She was just sniffing around outside a freshly opened bodega, her feet, wet from a puddle of chipped ice, leaving tiny blotches (you couldn’t exactly call them footprints; they were more like the imprint of a little paint brush after you’ve washed it) on the pavement.

Then I noticed that her mom—a bedraggled hipster with bedhead—was waiting in the barely opened doorway of a tenement in her blue bathrobe and bare feet (red toenails). I had a fantasy of her: last night in her little black dress and her leggings and her gigantically tall heels running down the street arm in arm with five girlfriends, all on something, laughing. I’d seen a mob like that, you see, at around 7:00 PM while I was on my way to the theatre: they said, “Harvey Keitel!” and all bent over laughing; their mouths were such perfect Os you could have had them for breakfast with milk in the morning.

Anyway, that dog. I continue to feel that dogs are the best people around, and I continue to miss mine (Scout), and Julia’s (Dolly and Scooby)—all of whom died in a cluster this fall (did I say clusterfuck?). Then, when I miss Dolly and Scooby, I start to miss Julia, and how she’d love on that tiny shih tzu, grinding her front teeth (Julia’s) while picking the ubleck out of Dolly’s perpetually wheezy eyes. I loved that love, Julia’s for Dolly. Anyway. (Am I gossiping about Julia? I’d certainly say it to her face, if I had a chance: I loved that love, and I miss you terribly. Oh, and while I’m at it, I’m sorry, once again, for all the ways I made you feel bad. I hope you are really well, and feeling happy.)

Sooooo. This is one of the things that Elena said this morning; that the gentlest thing in the world is an open mind. Thank you, Elena.

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