Passings

2 May

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I am a bicyclist, I don’t drive anything beyond two wheels and no motor. I don’t go as far as I used to, as I have problems with my feet and my ankles. But I do the errands: I go to the post office, to the grocery store, to the water mill. Back and forth, same routes every time, along streets with pleasant landscaping and good dog fencing, because it is not fun to be rushed by loose dogs when bicycling.

The other day I was coming back, loaded up, and noted a fellow waving around what looked like a line trimmer, strolling down the street towards me, carrying on at some unseen party at the top of his voice. OK, what is this? I thought.

I bicycled up slowly, moving to swerve widely around his trajectory. He looked up suddenly, startled, and as I approached, said “Oh, I’m sorry! I was busy.”

I immediately responded “It’s all right,” in my deepest voice, and nodded my head reassuringly. As I bicycled off, I could hear him behind me.

“Thank you!”
“You’re a really great person!”
“God bless you!”

*******

I also sometimes take Falcor out for a walk on these streets. Falcor is the Great Pyrenees border collie cross canid who lives here.

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A few weeks ago, we were coming back, and a man approached another man behind us, by a house, and they exchanged greetings. The man on the street continued on towards us shortly afterwards, and as Falcor likes to take his time, he caught up with us quickly.

I looked behind, and seeing him coming, said “Hello.”

He came up to us a few moments later, looked at Falcor, and made dog noises and reached out quickly to scratch the dog’s head. Falc was like, this is cool, we should do this more often.

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I looked up at the man’s face and smiled in pleasure. He was covered with tattoos, all over his face, thick bars under his eyes. What do bars under the eyes mean? I wondered. I know tears are dead people.

We stood there like that for just a moment, both wondering about each other, a little uncertain. Then he laughed, sounding a little embarrassed, and averted his gaze. “You got a pretty dog,” he said. “Thank you,” I replied.

Then he turned and walked off, to whatever his day held, as we went on to live the rest of ours.

 

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