April 23, 2005

dog days

written Monday April 18th:

I'm sitting on a bench in a small gated playground on Carmine Street in the West Village. Enclosed, safe, so pleasant. Damian plays nearby, seems relaxed. I love New York.

Dan said on the the commuter train this morning that what's strange is how normal it feels to be here. And it does. Our new to-be life? Or just playing out a fantasy alternate reality? The only way to know is to dive in.

Damian is fascinated with all the below-ground basement storage docks here that so often open onto the street. As we walked, we saw a man standing on the steps of one; his torso was sidewalk-level, he looked like half a man. He held a heavy box of wine bottles. As Damian gazed into the cavern, the man smiled at him. "Want to help?"

Further on down the street, we approached a woman walking her tiny dog. "Want to say hi to Jake? He's very nice." Damian tentatively said, "Hi." From a distance. Cautious. The woman laughed. I encouraged him to pat the dog, and as he did, the woman chatted about how soft Jake's fur was. Damian concurred.

Half a block on. A big dog lay panting on a blanket, an older Italian man sat on a folding chair next to him. Another man, his hair black and sleek, encouraged Damian to approach and pat the dog. Damian did so readily, and as Damian smiled at the big animal, the man contemplated the dog. "He's a Doberman/Rottweiler mix," he said, "but sweet as can be." Both breeds, of course, have a nasty reputation. Undeserved, the man said. It's all about the owner. Much like this city, I think. It has the potential for aggression but at its core is a great sweetness. Especially to children, it seems.

I'm glad to be here right now.

Posted by Tamar at April 23, 2005 08:32 PM | TrackBack