Hello Hello

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Lucy, are you OK?"

"Ye-es? Why?"

C.'s daughter jabbers in the background, her words inaudible. "Because this afternoon I drove past your house, and I swear you looked like you were limping up the driveway."

"Oh! I was! Why didn't you stop?"

"Because we were running late for gymnastics. And your back was turned, so..."

"So you thought you could sneak by," I say pointedly.

C. refuses to be shamed. "Yes. Anyway, why were you limping?"

"Because I slammed my knee against the front door jamb trying to stop a runaway dog."

"Oh, no! Which one? Pep? Salsa?"

"Pinochet."

There's a full beat of silence before C. speaks.

"Lucy."

"What? I opened the front door to check the mail and he headed out!"

"Isn't he like a thousand?"

"Um, 90 or so in dog years, yes. Deaf as all, too."

"And isn't his top speed basically a slow walk?"

"I know! But it was pure instinct to reach down and try to grab that weird overcoat layer of fur he has. And the wretched dog is so heavy now from living the good life that he's kind of like some sort of heavy boat plowing through the water. A tugboat maybe, or a barge."

"A freighter?" C. offers.

"Fine, a freighter. Anyway, once he has momentum, it's hard to stop him."

"How far would he have run, do you think?"

And now I start to laugh helplessly. C. starts to laugh, too.

"That's the worst part, C. - he probably wouldn't have even made it to the driveway steps before he would have had to lie down and rest."

We laugh together for a minute more.

"Oh, your poor knee," C. says finally, because good manners prevent her from saying, You are a fool.

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