“Yyou’re doing this to yourself,” she said. It was the sickness again. The impossibility of anything. I ought to give it a name, like an invisible raccoon, and tell it to go sit in the corner, except it would probably be the size of an elephant with fangs like butcher knives!
Related or not, for some reason I was thinking about Lady yesterday. I used to have a dog, a smallish white German shepherd—raised her from a pup until I came home from the vet with just a collar… Twenty years ago that was, and no dog since. That’s the way it is after a relationship like that. How could any animal replace Lady the Wonder Dog? She’d even climb trees that had a little tilt to the trunk. So I was sitting here like I am now and wished out of the blue that I could stretch my arm and grab a panting dogface by the snout as he or she walked by. (My hand remembers what that’s like.) Perhaps wherever she is, Lady has helped me to forgive myself a little, that I could feel this way again.
We drove by a couple of houses for sale, too. Neither was affordable without a twenty percent haircut, and even then they were both ridiculous unless traffic noises are your thing. But instead of merely driving past and swearing, I actually parked so we could get out and walk around, peek in the windows, and get a feeling for the atmospherics. It was a lovely day in any case. At each location there came a point where my wife said, “No need to see any more!” and did I ever love that we were on the same page. But something was different this time. We didn’t get depressed. I’m not sure how to handle that. It might be that a different narrative is settling in. Something more than “Jesus Christ, we’re old and poor and fucking doomed!”* None of that, it just felt normal, as in: we need a house, we’re looking, neither of these will do.
* El Mapache