I am enjoying a rural Arizona morning. I am on the patio of a rental house. The birds are greeting the day.
Beside me is a dog. A neighborhood stray maybe. The dog is white, and he smells like a billy goat. I place my hand on his head. He is smiling.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
I’m good at naming dogs. It’s a gift. Show me a dog, and I’ll name it.
“You look like a ‘Duke’ to me. Do you like that name?”
He does not. He sneezes at it. And this is a shame because I’ve always thought Duke was a perfect dog name.
Next door is an old woman working in her backyard garden. I can see her through the fence. She is dressed in a nightgown, white-haired, she is barefoot, smoking a cigarette.
Arizona is a different place than I’m used to. People here talk differently, they dress differently, they do different things.
Yesterday, for example, I saw a young lady in a grocery
store wearing a golden leotard with turquoise hair. Her husband was dressed like a wizard.
Even so, people are people, no matter where you are. Leotards and all. All humans have the same basic needs. To love. To be loved. And to eat lots of cheese.
The elderly neighbor woman is digging holes, planting things. Her son is helping, but she is not friendly to him.
“Mom, why’re you planting whole apples?” he says.
“Because I like apples, dumbass.”
“You don’t expect them to actually grow do you?”
“Then why plant them?”
She throws a shovel at him.
This is what I’m hearing right now.
On the street before me, I see a man in a cowboy hat, walking. On his shoulder he is carrying a lizard. A very big lizard.
Like I said.…