scenes from the sun ray park

he looks kind of old and broken in, the way your favorite levis used to feel before they started making them stone-washed and pre-worn. he’s a german shepherd mix, i think, although my expertise on dog i.d. is generally limited to poodle, rat dog and big dog. this one’s big.

he’s at the sun ray park, but he thinks he’s in heaven. his mom has brought him here for a game of chase the tennis ball. she flings it across the lawn, over the picnic table, between the baseball fields, 50 yards easily. he takes off at a breakneck sprint, barely missing the ball on the first hop but snagging it with a leap on the second. he comes back, a little slower, trying to catch his breath while his jaws remain tightly clamped to the ball. they must have done this same ritual 50 million times over the years. still, it’s just like he was chasing it for the first time.

i watch them as i run my endless laps around the park. they play again. and again. and again. for a few moments on a perfect april morning, he’s a puppy again.

he and i have a lot in common. i’m old. i wear too much lipstick and i have a perpetual limp that causes people to inquire nervously about my health. i fall asleep in my chair watching the 10 p.m. news. my knees make funny noises that aren’t supposed to be found in nature.

but during that hour a day at the sun ray, i’m the person i was meant to be again. i’m the same stealthy runner i was way back in the day, chasing down lesser mortals on the trail and terrorizing rabbits as they try desperately to stay out of my way. the wind blows through my hair, the sun bakes my psyche, the comfortable cadence settles in, the sweat washes away the gloom of the world. it’s a timeless joy i will never tire of. for a few moments on a perfect april morning, i’m a puppy again.

i like being old.

but i love that daily run.

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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3 Responses to scenes from the sun ray park

  1. unironedman says:

    It’s November, 2020, and only earlier this year did I stumble upon your blog, and have been enjoying it ever since. I notice you’ve removed the option to like and comment, which is indeed no harm sometimes. But it sort of bothered me lately that I couldn’t at least doff my virtual cap in your direction for your regular dose of wonderful medicine for the soul.

    Greetings from the Emerald Isle. Okay, so maybe we’re a little less Emerald and more Yellow Brick of late, but we’re working on it…

    All the best for a positive result to the end of your year, in every sense.

    • gary says:

      Hi and thanks. I enjoy your blog as well. Whenever you visit, the Irish flag pops up on the list and I impulsively start singing The Roches’ song “The Troubles,” about their visit to Ireland. They reference strawberry apricot pie, which always makes me want pie. So because of you I eat a lot more pie these days.

      My niece, a far superior writer than I could ever hope to be, has always written without likes or comments. She says writing in that void, for one’s self rather than accolades, makes one a better writer. And I need all the help I can get. But I salute your workaround here. Please tell Odi I said hey.

  2. unironedman says:

    Damn, how did I miss this? Well, I know how, really. It’s a tech thing, so it’s not worth talking about really. I totally missed The Roches, so now they are playing away on YouTube as I type. Have you come across The Staves? Similar wonderful harmonies, and very much active these days. Also big fans of First Aid Kit too. But you probably have these two sussed.
    Yes, your niece has an interesting take on writing. I’m sure there is a place for that, without doubt, at the creative end of the process. But I think no artist survives in a vacuum. We create, and need the feedback in order to progress. We all love the nine lots of praise, but it’s the tenth little whisper of criticism that you actually need to push on.
    I wish you all the very best. My wife’s best friend has bone cancer, after two mastectomies, and another great friend of ours (late forties) has the same damn thing. You are probably tired of hearing about cancer, having said all that. So I’ll shut up.
    Love your stuff. I’ve been recommending your blog to a good friend of mine in the states, and she’s now a fan too.
    Odi says hello, and wonders if you have any treats?

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