Monday, March 22, 2010


Pope is our current black dog. We've never had a brown dog, or chestnut, or brindle. For the entirety of our marriage, barring a few months when we took a break from dogs, we've shared our home with a black dog. Often a white one, too. Our dogs balance the frenzy of daily life. They get excited when it's food time, or walk time, and the rest of the hours they lie like puddles on the rugs. A half hour on the couch is a victory, a clandestine sprint down the road is a vacation. They never ask hard questions like, "Why do we have wars?" or "What's for dinner?" They don't moan when their bellies ache, they require no signatures on any permission slips, and their homework consists of blinking once in a while so I know they're alive. Pope's muzzle is nearly all grey and one of his eyes is leaky. His breath is bad, his joints are stiff, and if there is a matchbox car left anywhere on the floor he will trip on it and frighten himself. He asks very politely for attention, so politely we usually don't notice. He is afraid of commotion but he adores people; he can usually be found in the midst of a party, his eyes brimming with ardent hope that nothing will fall on him. Here's to many more hours on the rug, Pope.

I've never been one to favor the color black. Given a choice I will always choose blue ink, brown mascara, and charcoal or navy clothes. Black always seems so harsh, the final word on any subject. End of story, case closed. Maybe that's because I associate it with mourning and funerals. In terms of everyday style - especially when it comes to teens - it strikes me as being unimaginative. When I was little, I remember watching TV shows where the villain was often depicted with a black hat. Subconsciously back then I found myself gravitating towards lighter colors when I got dressed in the morning. Not white, exactly, but something light enough to make it known that I was one of the good guys. Now that I'm a "grown-up" (note the quotes) I find that black often provides a nice background, giving other, brighter colors the opportunity to contrast and really stand out. It provides a nice base layer, sometimes a starting point around which to build the rest of the outfit. Waking up in the morning I may discover that it's a Mary Jane day, and some days only sneakers will do. Maybe that's why I seem to own so many pairs of black shoes. of course they are all different, to suit my mood or need. I'm sure that's what any woman with a closetful of footwear would say. I wonder, though, is that rationalizing or a truth?

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