Wednesday, September 17, 2008



Melancholy yet calming: Driving through a midwestern town in late fall/early winter at 5:00 PM. No one's out on the street. The sun and shadows are long and angular. You pass a bar. You wonder about the town.

On your way out, there are a few houses. One has a white dog out in the yard. You think for a could stop in, have a chat, have a cup of coffee...maybe watch a little bit of the game on TV. It's the end of the third quarter and've been listening to it off and on for the past hour. You wouldn't agree on politics and other things with the middle-aged husband and wife who live there, whose kids have moved away (although all but one stayed in the state...and there's the one in college), but you'd get on fine. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with talking about the weather, and complaining about the ref's call, making small talk. Just a way for two or three humans to bond...the words are helpful but really it's just the fact that you're there together, in a warm house, one late day, on the earth, on the road, in no particular's unsaid, but each knows the others has some pains and fears, some sad and happy memories, but also looks forward to better times.

On your way out, the dog runs out, into the front pick up a stick and he fetches it and brings it back to you. Okay, one more time, this time you give it a good, hard throw...he chases it feel like you could do this forever. But you say, after a pause, with a half-smile, "Well, I better be going now."

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