Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Twin Comets

We took Duncan's stick to the park tonight, the stick we found months ago and have saved ever since, bringing it down from it's perch in the shelf near the front door only on special occasions to prevent it from becoming routine and boring. It's a perfect length and thickness, with a slight curve on the end, like a handle, from which I can toss it, creating a nice rotating arc before it strikes the ground. I brought it down and carried it across the street, Duncan hopping and whining for it as we jogged across Bowles.

I took him to the lower soccer field, which is at the bottom of a slight bowl and tossed the stick back and forth for nearly 45 minutes and Duncan chased after it tirelessly, never quite bringing it back but circling around me and plunking down in the snow, greedy and suspicious of my every step while he gnawed on it. After we both grew tired I spread myself flat on my back in the snow, which has refrozen and been covered in the fine white powder of last night's storm, making a satisfying crunch and sighing sound as my back slipped into it, my weight pushing up a nest around me. While Duncan sprawled out next to me chewing and holding tight to the stick with his strong paws, I watched a few wispy clouds blow across the night. The stars, far away above them, seemed like familiar faces at a party, coming and going across my sight, appearing briefly between clouds, fading from sight and slipping just as effortlessly back into view. They were clear but their constellations were lost behind the orange haze of Denver around me. Mars was not as red as it has been the last few weeks, which means it's moved away from us, but it was still bright and prominent. The snow was cool on my back and dusted the back of my neck but I didn't mind. Somewhere over my shoulder and to the east, perhaps up near the memorial, I could hear the tags of another's dog's collar echoing over the snow fields and the hushed voices of two people talking and strolling through the night. As the clouds rolled slowly past it looked as though the stars were moving and for a moment, if I forgot about the feeling of the earth against my back and filtered out the frame of the trees on the edge of my vision, it seemed as though I were floating through space, moving at a lazy speed, gliding across the southern constellations, my dog–the reason I was there in the first place–at my side, the two of us twin comets, oblivious to the sound of traffic, the cold air or the warm pull of home across the street, blazing our own path through the night.

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