Who Died?

This evening I came home from soccer and found my Polish landlady sitting on the stoop, wearing a black dress.

‘Is everything okay? I said.

Fine, she said, Fine [having come to the US as an adult, my landlady still has that awkwardness in her second language that makes it easier to repeat simple words than make sentences].

Did somebody die? I said.

Not exactly, she said, It was one year ago today that my dog died.

I remembered her little dog, Nunik, and his terrible fate. Nunik was one of those annoying, snarling rat dogs that women find so attractive (Nunik was a Chihuahua, but there are similar breeds).  Nunik was old, stank, and had lost most of his teeth, a blessing, as he bit every stranger he could. Krystyna took him with her everywhere. Carried him. Adored him.

One day she was sitting on her stoop on Bedford when the phone rang and she went to get it, leaving Nunik there. Although she was only gone for five minutes, some do-gooder woman strolling bye decided Nunik was abandoned, and wanting to help, brought him to the pound.

Krystyna searched frantically for her dog, for days, but bye the time she tracked him to the pound, he had already been put to sleep. She was devastated for weeks.

‘I’ll say a prayer for Nunik tonight,’ I said as I went inside.

Old Age Is a Mutha

Used to be, I would listen to rock songs and their three-minute anthemic dynamics all the live-long day. But now, I find a steady diet of the jazz avant-garde much more pleasing to the ear. Archie Shepp and Mal Waldron this week.

4th of July

I went to watch the Macy’s fireworks at the waterfront on North 3rd. It was much more crowded this year, but I was able to pick my along wharf wall in front of the big white warehouse building. Sadly, the real estate moguls who have constructed a forty story ‘luxury condo tower’ on North 4th, had leveled the small wood that grew above the breakwater there and set their goons to chase off anyone who tried to get closer to the water.