I got out with my dog just as the clouds were beginning to bundle up the sun and take it away like a trunk full of empties. We had the park to ourselves until a young family arrived with their old dog and a new puppy. The old dog was cranky, my dog rewarded its seniority with compassion. The puppy was glad to be free.
I had never seen the family before. Neighbourhoods are weird that way. We all scurry about like meth house rats in our Japanese cars, only ever getting to know one another if we crash into one another or our dogs have a play together in the park.
The family had no mother. She was probably away working at the mall. The father made sure the Hammer was not going to cause any trouble for his two kids or his dogs and then took off in his Subaru with a beep-beep of his horn.
The boy of the family stood there growing before my eyes like dope on a mid-summer day. He was an awkward fucker and it looked like he would stay that way the rest of his life - a Steepleton farm boy without a farm to kick dirt around in.
The girl of the family was a sturdier sort. Though only just old enough to have begun growing what will soon be the missile tits Steepleton women are famous for, she had the self confidence required to be wearing a big peace symbol around her neck. I admired the young lady. I admire anyone in favour of Peace, Love and Understanding in this Voo Doo Age of Video Violence.
Sonja and I then headed out with our dog. I cannot tell you where we went because it was in the very heart of the city and we had that rarest of city experiences: many acres of space to ourselves. It was just us, the smallest of families. To stay there we would be homeless; to visit was to be free.
"Remember when we used to have space like this to ourselves all the time?" asked Sonja with her faraway eyes.
I did. "That was before the fucking government started letting every village idiot in the world move to this country and fill it up like a god damn shithouse."
"I can't wait until we move to our country home and get out of this Olympic outhouse," Sonja added.
Dope City is a trap. Even if we have to chew off a leg, one day we will be free of it, free of all you motherfuckers, unless you show up on our porch with some beer.