A Walk In The Clouds

We took a lovely little walk today along the neighborhood in the sun-drenched evening. Peter Pan's ears bobbed and Barnaby MacDuff's bottom bounced. I hummed sum bars from The Music Man.

Near a friend's house we endured an intense debate regarding whether we should drop by for a visit. Knocking on the door, poking our heads in, saying hello and good evening and nice weather we're having, and carrying on. Doesn't it seem like nobody pops in anymore to sit in Salons and enjoy a nice treat? But it's dinner time! I pointed out, But we're in the neighborhood!

At a neighborly standstill, we slowed along a border of lava rocks. Undeterred, Barnaby trudged straight through, while Peter Pan, being of a daintier sort, tip-toed around errant rocks dotting the sidewalk and made a special, roundabout path of his own, safely removed from any textural unpleasantness. This caused the secure train of thought in the Holbs's mind to detour as well.

Isn't Barnaby funny? The Holbs asked, tugging on Barney's leash after he decided randomly to lay in the grass. He runs into walls, knocks into tables. He's impulsive. And then there's Peter . . .

The Holbs trailed off and we looked at Peter Pan, who was carefully stepping between sticks and twigs on the sidewalk, looking slightly traumatized by their presence.

The Holbs bent to pull the giant leaf out of Barnaby's beard that he'd been carrying for three blocks and we continued on in silence.

I have this idea that's been brewing, I said after humming a few bars of Seventy-Six Trombones.

It might be controversial, I added.

The Holbs seemed interested and so I carried on, letting Petey's leash slap against my legs.

Well, who do you think our dogs most resemble . . . personality wise?

The Holbs cocked his head to the side and pondered.

I mean, you like Barnaby best, I continued, and Barnaby is a total spaz. And Peter Pan is all complicated and serious and stuff, and, I mean, I like Peter best. And you like Barney best . . . and, have you ever noticed that . . .

. . . that Barnaby's more like you and I'm more like Peter Pan? The Holbs finished.

I looked down at Barney, the stupid dog, and gulped.


Yeah, I've noticed that too, The Holbs said thoughtfully. And then he watched a leaf as it fell dizzily from a nearby tree branch.

I thought for a minute about the synchronicity of such things in my life, enjoying the quiet way our preferences gently reinforce.

Then he hummed a few more bars, and we waved to a neighbor in a red minivan.


  1. If you lived in my neighborhood, you could stop by anytime of the day. It would be an encouragement for me to always have home-baked goodies on hand, since I'd never know when you'd be by!

  2. Please don't ever stop writing.
    That's all.


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