15 October 2015

Real conversations I didn't make up.


A guy with sweat pants, very little hair, and a big crystal around his neck smiles beatifically as he approaches me walking all the dogs. He's really tan, even his mostly bald head. Is that good to have a tan bald head?

"Blessings!" he says, with a smile.

This seems about right to me, that's a big ass crystal hanging round his neck.

"That's a lot of dogs! Can I say hi?"

That's a common saying and common request. I am the freak show of the neighborhood, all clown shoes and dogs and unflattering shirts.

"Sure, they're all friendly except this one," pointing at Otterpop who already is in her people-want-to-pet-me position which is laying down behind me facing away from the nice people. Otterpop is extremely clear, even if she's a jerk.

"My dog transitioned this year," he tells me.

At first I'm all thinking, like graduated? Like he's going to be elected president of something? Then, maybe, he means dead?

"Like, he died?"

He has such a beatific smile. I didn't even know that word til I tried to think of a word for his smile. His shirt is the kind a 16th century lute player might wear. He probably sewed it himself out of organic hemp and native grasses grown on his sustainable back porch.

"He was a kind soul. Lived to be 16. I love dogs." All the dogs love him, too. Well, not Otterpop. Banksy will go off with almost anyone who pets her on a walk. She's ready to go home with Mr. Crystal.

I tell him my dog Timmy died when he was 16. And it was so sad. We shared a little sad moment then off we went, me towards the beach and he the other way. He didn't just walk, he sort of floated, all the way down the sidewalk when I looked back.

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We were walking back from the pond the other day, when a big, wet lab came running by us with a crinkly pack of something in his mouth. He dropped it on the dirt near us, a pack of Ritz crackers, I think. Maybe some other morsels. He starts ripping up the paper and diving right in to the crackers. And looks like some cheese, too.

I saw a lady standing near where he came from, and called out, "Hey, you know your dog's eating garbage over there?"

She scowled at me and yells back, "That's not garbage! That's my daughter's lunch."

She just stood there and stared at him while he ate through the paper and chowed down on cheese and crackers.

"He stole it!" She sounds really pissed off. At me. Your dog's Ritz cracker thing, not on me, lady.

"Oh. OK," I call back as we walk by. Thinking, um, maybe you should steal it back?

When I turn around to look back, she's still standing there watching her dog eat the lunch. Her daughter was playing alone in the mud down by the pond. I guess he was really hungry.

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So I'm (illegally) walking my dogs on the little hill above the tennis courts. A lady who's also (illegally) walking her dogs goes in the tennis court to yell at some kids (illegally) skateboarding in there.

"You need to stop skateboarding in there right now!" she yells. Yelling is legal.

Three of the kids stop, one doesn't.

"You need to stop skateboarding in the tennis courts RIGHT NOW!"

This has caught my attention so I (illegally) walk the dogs over closer so I can hear. Banksy loves it near the tennis courts, she thinks watching tennis is as awesome as I think evesdropping is. Also sometimes she finds balls in the shrubbery.

"You are NOT allowed to skateboard in here!"

The kid still skating rolls over to her and her dogs and says, "You're not my mom. You can't tell me what to do!"

Her dogs are now (illegally) inside the tennis courts, too.

There's some muffled, low kid voiced sounds, I can't hear what he's saying anymore. His friends are not backing him up. They've totally shrunk into a little pile and are backing off the yelling lady.

"That's it. You don't need to be so rude. I'm calling 911!"

I'm thinking, Hello, 911? I'd like to report some rudeness?

She does, too, as far as I can tell. She whips that phone out and has it up to her ear and the kids all grab their boards and leave. Not very fast. They saunter. The cops never show up out here. They cruise by me where I'm tossing the ball to the dogs and one of them gives me the finger. I just grin and wave.

"Hi guys!" They just keep walking. Muthatrucken old ladies with dogs.

The lady lets her dogs run around in the tennis courts for a while. The cops never show up. But I keep an eye out, just in case we need to make a run for it. We don't.

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