Sara Sota (Big Old Dog)

It was a cool gray morning and the rain was tap, tap, tapping on my window pane...it was the kind of day for sleep and taking long naps afterwards, for being lazy, or at least more lazy than usual, or at least just closing your eyes and shutting out the world...some days, that’s all you want to do, just shut out the crazy world and find a place all to yourself...the morning was passing sleepily and dreamily and peacefully when I heard a knock, knock, knocking on my front door...I’m not a religious man but I pray as hard as I can that whoever it was would go away, just go away and stay away and leave me alone to rest in peace...however, it was an insistent knock and an annoying knock and a knock that wouldn’t go away...I threw on an old robe and went to see who was bothering me and ruining my me time...I peeked out the window and it was Sara Sota...she’s a nice girl, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled to see her right now...I hid the whiskey bottle from last night behind the sofa and opened the old glass louvered door...“What took you so long” she asked cheerfully and so full of energy, but I didn’t have the honesty or cheerfulness or energy in me to answer...She had big old dog with her and he invited himself right in and tracked muddy paw prints on my already dirty carpet...she said she was going over to the park to take big old dog for a walk...she asked me to come along...lying, I said “Yeah, that’d be great.”...at least it was still sprinkling and overcast and the salty fresh air might do me some good...it was just the kind of day I love, maybe because it’s the kind of day most people hate...I excused myself and I went to my bedroom and changed into my best worst clothes and threw on some sandals and off we went with big old dog...in a short time we were at the park...also at the park is a marina with some real nice boats and I’ve often thought about commandeering one of them and sailing for Mexico even though I don’t know the first thing about sailing...we walked big old dog some and he smelled and all that other stuff dogs do, and then we sat down on a hard wooden bench that didn’t give my aching back any comfort...there were only a few people around...we watched the boats rocking back and forth in the bay and talked about life...it brought us up and brought us down as brought us all the way around where we were and nothing had changed...we just sat there in silence a while and the rain started tap, tap, tapping on my head harder and harder...I said we’d better go but Sara wanted to stay and enjoy the rain...she’s kind of hippy-dippy so that didn’t surprise me none...so we sat in the steady rain under the gray skies and just stared out at the blue water and the boats, boats, and more boats, getting soaked...finally, she looked over and big old dog who was looking like he wanted to leave so Sara decided we should go...on the way back home the rain stopped and we stopped at a coffee shop with works by local artists, a couple by her but none by me, and then we had to sit outside on wet chairs because we had big old dog with us...but we were wet already so it didn’t make a difference...I had an espresso, Sara had a decaf, and big old dog had a frappe with whipped cream and a chocolate chip cookie...naturally, he forgot his wallet so I got stuck with his tab.

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