S T R E A M # 9

The dog ate the tomato in the yard thanks to my neighbor to the East. The dog didn’t know any better. The dog loved to tease me about the path of righteousness he waged his tail father toward. In the morning I went to the store to get a pound of chicken shit that would, as advertised, not spoil. That’s got to be worth something, right? Something to use as a conversation-started at Passover this weekend. The coffee tastes better this morning for some unknown reason. Perhaps it’s the weather. The banner atop the paper read something like “Six months in the making: A 73-degree day.” But the radio said we’d only hit 72. When I walked down the driveway to fetch the paper there was the dog again with the tomato in his mouth. Thank God it wasn’t a cougar. They shot one to death the other day just south of here. It was a beaut of a beast. When I walked down the driveway to fetch the paper it was windy and well below seventy degrees. But the day is young. I squeezed a zit just above my right nipple. What an ugly red mess it’s made. In the morning the dog waits for the tree to bear its fruit. The tree makes the dog wait. The tree likes the attention. The tree likes the attention of the birds, too. But the tree especially likes the dog, because the dog sits patiently, looks up, and, with his long tongue panting out one side of his mouth, he looks happy. The birds never smile. But, perhaps, the dog never smiles, either. “They” say humans are the only beasts that bear their teeth to display happiness. Maybe apes do, too. I wouldn’t know. The dog ate the tomato that belonged to my grandfather because my grandfather ate the dog’s bone. No, he didn’t really. My grandfather has three cavities, says the dentist, so he’s got to go back next week. Speaking of old Pop, he just called out, “Okay!” as the phone rang – that is, he called out, “Okay!” before he had actually answered it. Perhaps he was making a declaration to all of Existence. It’s early for him, but his “lady-friend,” Betty,* always calls at eight a.m. – always right on the dot. She should know better, but she can’t help it because she worries about him and her memory is going. She spends the whole day in a little room in the medical wing of her retirement community worrying about my grandfather. It takes her mind off the constant pain in her hip and in her back. She’s a nice woman, but I wonder about her past. Her husband ran a linen-cleaning business which I have reason to believe was a front for organized crime. But her lousy memory has gotten lousier, so she is not able to speak about the past. That, and she is in the habit of overlooking a person’s negative qualities. (A smart trait for anyone who seeks to marry into the Mob.) But I was talking about the dog and the tomato – not that there’s anything interesting to talk about on that subject. I don’t know why I keep bringing it up. It’s an associative thing, I think. Anyway, bottom reached. 

16 April 2008 

*[06/05/22: A few too many members of the fairer sex born in the early twentieth century referred to themselves as “Betty.” Methinks it was part of a secret plot to confuse men. As I’m sure you already know, the best way to control a man is to confuse and/or frustrate him. But you’ll really have him under your thumb if you threaten to take away his right to do something stupid.]

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