Posted by David
on Sep 7, 2004 in Upside-down Hippo
| 0 comments
It’s warm outside, but there’s a faint prickling in my arm hair, a certain tinge to the air, that tells me that autumn is right around the corner. I can’t tell you how happy I am. Nothing depresses me as much as the sultry transition from spring to summer and the endless succession of broiling days that follow. Autumn is my favorite season, and Goblin’s too. She and I were out this morning when we encountered a woman walking with two very small children, one in a stroller and one toddling behind, grasping something that resembled three walnuts.
“Oooh, can I pet the dog?” the boy with the walnuts asked his mother.
“You’ll have to ask the dog’s owner,” she said, but he was already reaching for Goblin, who seemed quite anxious to keep walking.
“It looks like that dog wants to go,” said the mother. The boy with the walnuts looked crestfallen. “Well, she has squirrels to chase, that’s all,” I said pleasantly. I’m trying to be a more pleasant person.
And then it happened. Why, oh why did she say it?
“Those squirrels must not be afraid of that little dog,” said the mother. “She doesn’t look like she’s much of a threat.”
Goblin, upon hearing this, instantly devoured the one child (spitting out the walnuts, ptooie ptooie ptooie) and eyed the other one, in the stroller, who began screaming. “Don’t worry, she’s not much of a threat,” I said, dragging Goblin away from the mother, her remaining child, and the three glistening walnuts on the sidewalk.
Later, taking a break from working, I was watching “Judge Judy” and eating pasta salad when the doorbell rang. I had changed back into my pajamas earlier, but I opened the door anyway. A timid looking man stood on the stoop. “I’m here to apply,” he said.
“To apply for what?” I asked pleasantly. I’m trying to be a more pleasant person.
“For the job.”
His eyes hardened. “For the night chef’s job. They told me to apply at this address.”
“Who told you? I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”
“This is the address,” he insisted, looking around me into the foyer, as if I were keeping an entire restaurant secret from him.
I sent him away.
Autumn is in the air. It affects things.
Last night, Rob and I were invited to a Labor Day party thrown by friends of the couple who used to live in our house, Scott and Jerry. It was a lovely evening, although rather unusual, to be sure. Not only were some of the people I had never met before intimately familiar with the inside of our house and the workings of its erratic plumbing, some of them have been reading this web log and were intimately familiar with the details of my life. I don’t know why I’m always am stunned when I encounter people who read what I write or who can knowledgeably discuss the sewage pipes in our basement, but I just am. Later, Goblin came over and charmed everyone, and I drank wine and discussed the Bulgarian fairy tale about Baba Metza with anyone who would listen.
Then I came home, reveling in the cool breeze in my arm hair and the warm glow of new friendships.
I am always a more pleasant person in the fall.