Mottled like a hog


The other day we went up to Chris’s house and explored, which is about all the walking Miss Boo can do since she has to wear a little plastic bootie on her foot that makes her slip on the ice (I took a video.)

I also organized my filing cabinet, tossed out about 70 pounds worth of junk, cleaned up the garage, cleaned out both trucks, lifted weights, ran on the creek path, stretched, browsed plumbing supplies at Home Depot, fixed the espresso maker (no more dripping), shut down the shed, cleaned up the house and did a load of wash.

Used to be I didn’t have to wait for the weekend to do all that stuff. Whatever. All things considered life is great. I love the dogs, beat up as they are. Wish I worked from home again so I could spend more time with them and my wife. The last three days have been great.

Little Mountain Ash is on a job. I’ve stayed here tonight, instead of going out, because I love it here. The dogs are asleep at my feet. A cirrus of incense smoke swirls beneath the hanging lamp. The fire is softening. On the radio there is jazz.

As I listen I imagine the Chicago skyline as a radio dial, its backlit buildings an expression of the airwaves themselves, rising and falling like sound, awash in the studio silence of the vast lakes to their east.

Although I was born in Chicago I’ve become used to the vernacular of the American West: azure sky above grassland swale, stone ruins of dustbowl farmhouses, break-stick walls of ancient mesquite corrals, and in the distance a wavering mirage of the high peaks. Colorado’s gritty, warm, wide print fits my hand.

Tonight the room swims in the minor threat of Seward McCain’s Sarcophagus: a shade too dark, a little too late, disconcertingly confident. It’s the music of basement bars, glass façades, knowing glances. Yet it feels strangely at home in the company of wood smoke and worn oriental rugs.

The dogs and I are alone in the hush of this alpine night, waiting for Ash to return. Soon we’ll all be alone together, simple and vulnerable as we were eight years ago, the four of us crammed into a dusty truck, making slow switchbacks into the Colorado mountains toward an empty rental and a new future. We were on top of each other in our tiny cabin. Now we’re slowly turning into one, like the melting snow outside.

Blender was just in my lap, his side shaved bare, skin mottled like a hog’s and stapled together. He yawned. We got up, turned off the lights, and left the living room to the wind and the dying fire.

imageSexy Miss Boo workin’ the cone. Loves it.

You never really get to see dogs’ skin. Blender is spotted. Who’d have thought?