Old habits have me searching for background sounds, sinking into the couch with the Hallmark channel or binging on my iPad.
But that way leads to time loss. Great chunks of timeless limbo.
But this is my extended me time. What about the exercise room, city walks, soaking baths, the actual paper books, the quiet?
Quiet. Right. Less than a mile from the hospital, echoey high rises. When is there not a siren?
I miss the cats. I miss the mess? Yeah, I remade that here. Albeit localized to one desk.
This building allows pets. I barely talk to people, but I inquire after each dog I meet, petting and conversing. There’s a medium sized handful on this floor; black and curly, and poodle mix with a cutesy breed name ending in -poo. All love and energy. She doesn’t bark, the yips I hear are too high pitched to be her. Most dogs get carried in the elevator. Except for the larger breeds.
She’s a chocolate lab mixed with a more slender breed. Well behaved, privileged to walk instead of being carried. Quiet. In the lobby she stands between his legs — comforted by his presence or simmering energy under his control? He seems like a nice enough young man. But is there something darker under the surface?
Her name is Girlfriend. “I’m going for a walk with my girlfriend.” “I love snuggling with my girlfriend.”
Sit Girlfriend. Heel Girlfriend. Girlfriend, Stand. Girlfriend, Down. Stay Girlfriend.