Angel’s Wings And Fighting Monsters

Last night was relatively quiet, as I tucked myself in for the evening. Somewhere out in the village, someone has a radio on maybe, playing old country tunes? Just too far away to hear who is singing, but someone with a Patsy Cline twang.

I certainly will admit, I find it a hard thing to achieve, this not thinking so much. I think cycling is it, as being lost in thought is counter to my objective – not being hit or maimed by a vehicle.

On the cycling paths I’m safe, so out I went into the early evening.

Cycling past the after dinner joggers, the serious cyclists whizzing past me at speed, like a Porsche to my early 1970’s VW Bug, chugging along the parkway that runs along the river up to the University.

Dingle, dingle goes my bell as I pass the sweet older couple, probably on their ritualized evening walk. I admire their closeness, their longevity.

I like dinging my bell, cause they say every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings.

DINGLE… DINGLE

I didn’t go as far as I wanted, as I hadn’t dressed for the cool evening air, and I turned back after about 5 miles on. And, under the bridge, still kissing was the young couple, as I came back the same way. Still hiding from whom, I wondered, both times I passed and still at it, a half hour later. Again, admire their longevity. Their closeness.

Painting in details of lives of these strangers I encounter, minute scenarios to encase the brief glimpse – like the blond woman one day I saw, in dirty clothes, bending down and reaching into this bag, grabbing something, and heading around the wall. That’s when I noticed the scattered signs of a nightly campsite. She lived there, for now. Temporary lodgings. I cycled past and felt a wash of gratefulness wash over me.

Oh, look my country bumpkin sister once said someones camping down at the river.

I’m like, “Lex, people don’t camp down at the Forks of the Thames, downtown London. They’re homeless”.

Along the route, as per usual the last few months, are the Pokemonsters. There are far less of them, but you still see a few standing around, seemingly aimless, staring at their smartphones. Like some sort of failed zombie invasion, they’re thinning out and moving on.

Yet, you rarely see one of them alone. Not like you NEED to have someone there with you…but I bet “hey, wanna go play Pokemon in the park” is still a trending tweet. Everyone wants to get away from their shite.

And they’re setting up for some late summer festival in Thames Park. The stage is being set, the tents are going up. Cranes, and fencing, and food trucks all over.

As I dodge the now rather docile Canadian Geese, and Mallards that casually wander in front of me, the joggers, and supercyclers, I am somewhat successful at not thinking. I’m moving on.

Almost.

HA. Tents in the park! THAT’s where the music is coming from, I realized, as the night sounds waft in through the open window.

“BEEP”
.
.
.
“BEEP”

And then, just as I’m about to type my next letter, as the last remnants dangle off the tips of my fingers, her golden head knocks my arm aside, as she pushes her way between me and my thoughts.

The building fire alarm gadget affixed to my ceiling starts to beep. Damn, battery needs to be changed.

Now I know this, but the 80-pound golden retriever cross I now have on my lap, shaking like a leaf, does not. Pinned to the chair, I hug her shaking, terror-ridden body, as she climbed aboard.

“BEEP”
.
.
.
“BEEP”

More shakes. I wonder, if there was a fire, how she thinks pinning me to the chair is to her advantage?

So I sat there for awhile, protecting her from “the hooded fang”, and smelling her doggy scent.

“BEEP”
.
.
.
“BEEP”

So I hug her a little closer, tighter, as her body quivers again. At some point, as my legs are falling asleep, I dislodge her from my lap and darkened pools of brown fear look up at me through her blond doggy lashes. She looks at me for some reassurance…as if to say “so there is no monster?”.

No, Irish, there are no monsters, I try to reassure her. She believes somehow I’ll protect her, and these are things I know about.

She has faith in me.

There are monsters. One of them we together went on walks with, back in Grey. I don’t consider him as such, but to some, he would be a contender for inclusion. Or, perhaps, a demi-monster, if there is such thing.

She doesn’t see it that way, or see him that way, either. These labels we give humans don’t translate into a Dog’s life.

How does one reconcile the monster from the man? Untangling my grief from my delusions, I see him now a lot more clearly.

“Beep”
.
.
.
“Beep”

It is morning now, and java in hand, I debate on how I’m going to reach that damn thing. Irish has finally chilled out and has decided that sound is not a monster. Good thing, too, cause I’m not sure how I would have carried her around with me… I don’t think they make baby snuggles for dogs. It is going to take me some thinking on how to change that battery, after all.

The two of us snuggled up last night upon that bed once we shared with him, and I eventually drifted off with her boney bits digging into my back. I don’t believe she could have slept any closer, seriously.

“BEEP”
.
.
.
“BEEP”

On our walk yesterday, again I let her off leash down at the old orchard, and so she romped off down the path ahead. Catching brief glimpses of her blond shaggy head, brown eyes looking my way for reassurance. Then off she would go, after something only she can see, only she can hear.

No monsters here; not anymore. All those were exorcised, and inoculated with a signature on the divorce papers. But that was a different monster, more a vampire, and it was a long time ago.

The old orchard is becoming a forest. I crane my neck, raise my hand to block the sun, and up circling in the blue sky drifts the Vulture Irish scared out of the shrubbery earlier. Circling and circling, I try to capture him, if only with my camera.

Hawk circling

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