It’s Saturday night and the babysitter comes and we’re heading out, The Desoto Hour blaring Big Band on WREK. The Glenn Miller Orchestra fills the car, flooding my senses so instantly that I smell him, ever-clean, Old Spice when Old Spice was still the thing a kid might clumsily wrap up for Father’s Day, and I see him, sidling up behind my mother in the kitchen, and I can tell he’s feeling romantic as he hums and wraps his arms around her, reaching for her hands, but she’s working and shoos him off, irritated but not really. He whistles, swaying along with the band, and I feel her softening, trying not to smile, and he feels it too, and begins rowing her arms back and forth until she gives in and they’re dancing on the faux brick tile, one circle, then two, ‘til she’s had enough nonsense and pushes away, “alright, alright,” turning back to the stove, affecting nonchalance, but the moment fills the room, and now the car, and still my heart, eclipsing death like saxophones swelling around a clarinet, transcending melody.
Waiting at the vet, Aud spies a box of chocolate glazed Krispy Kremes by the coffee and helps herself. I tell Brooks to climb up on the digital pet scale, curious to see how much he weighs these days. As if the very act turned him into a dog, I have to keep zeroing it out, encouraging him to hold still for a few seconds until the numbers stop at “Hold”. Aud wanders over and takes a turn, and as she stands there watching the readout, I notice she’s holding her arm out at a strange, backwards-diagonal angle.
Me: “What are you doing?”
Aud: “Oh, I’m just trying to keep the doughnut off.”
Nobody can make you do weirder shit than a dog. Just realized I was straddling Floyd, swaying and singing in a baby voice, “Pardon me please, is this the Chattanooga Choo Choo?”
Commercials airing during The Shining are like toddlers appearing during sex.