The Hammer and I joined Sonja for a bit of shopping today. The dog was all for it so long as she was permitted a walk by the river. My only pre-condition was to be able to bet the races being simulcast from Santa Anita.
I parked the car in the furthest corner of the lot from the storefronts. Sonja hit me on the arm. "Why do you have to park way the fuck over here?"
"You know the answer to that. Plus, the walk will do us all good." I always park as far from my fellow ignorant humans as possible. Nobody gives a fuck. It is the only way to keep your motor from being banged into by hurriedly opened doors or mashed by drunken fenders.
Sonja disappeared into a store, my dog and I took off for the river. There were log booms tied up at the river's edge. Yellow cedar pecker poles, the bark peeled away by the chuck, the rain and the wind; a few sections of big gravy Douglas fir, the green gold of what is left of our old growth forests; several sections of Douglas fir pecker poles; and seven sections of boom sticks, the straight logs, re-used as often as possible, that form the skeleton of a raft of logs.
A tug had just arrived as we did. The deckhand jumped out onto the boomsticks and untied them from the cables attached to the pilings close to shore. I admired his lazy agility. The tug's skipper peeked out of his cabin, coffee in one hand, smoke in the other, so as to be able to more easily communicate with his deckhand. Soon the tug was puffing black smoke into the sky, the boomsticks heading back up the coast to form another boom.
In the river below us, between the shore and the logs, $5000 worth of shopping buggies lay on the bottom like beached sea creatures. It was a beautiful sight. They were Wal-Mart carts. I fucking hate Wal-Mart. I hate their fucking shopping carts. I hate the motherfuckers they hire to greet you at their door. Fuck them.
We walked back to the stores and sat in the sun waiting for Sonja to meet us with her shopping bags. Lots of people walked by. Lots of people. No one spoke English, or French for that matter. I live in a strange fucking country. English speaking Canadian people will usually come up to the Hammer and talk to her and shit. They say stuff like, "Cool dog!" or "Does she bite?" People who do not speak English steer around us like they are watching a monkey beat off off in the zoo. Their children look at us between their sticky fingers. Some of them look like they might like to say something to you but they cannot break out of the prison of their mother tongue. They walk on by while the Hammer and I sit there and beat off. Whack! Whack! Whack!
When Sonja met us she asked, "You see anybody you know while you were waiting?"
I told her, "Just the usual assholes I used to only see in low budget foreign movies."
I bet the races, hit four of nine and still lost a little.