Monday, September 27, 2010

Dog Outside Starbucks

There’s a dog outside Starbucks. He wears a Green Bay Packers coat and smokes the remains of cast-off cigarettes. People walk down the street. His ears perk up. He holds out an expectant paw. Not pads up for a handout, but down for a shake. Woof, he says. But with a question mark. His head turns as people pass him by. They’re off to buy shoes. Get cash from the ATM. Pierce and tattoo their bodies. He looks after them. Mouth open. Tongue hovering. He breathes smoke in. Breathes it slowly out. Yawns. Scratches his balls. Here comes a mother, father, their college-student daughter. She stops to light a cigarette. Her parents go on. She shakes out the match. Drops it. The dog clearly speaks her name. He tilts his head. She cups his face in her hands. Remembers her puppy. The girl gives him a kiss on his forehead. She sighs as she moves away, wreathing his head in angelic smoke. His tail wags. And here come more people.