I rarely eat before going to work. That’s true even on Sundays, when a later work time allows for a longer morning at home. Because I often work alone on Sunday, and because it’s a short day, I don’t pack a lunch, either. By the time I get home, I’m famished.
Today, after work, I greeted the dogs: Darla and Rosa Parks, did a couple minor chores, and put bacon in the frying pan.
“First, I’m going to eat,” I told them, “then I’m going to write. After that, we’ll take a ride.” They each gave a slight tail wag in acknowledgement, but were more interested, at that moment, in what was cooking on the stove. As I pulled eggs out of the refrigerator and put an English muffin under the broiler, they sat at attention. “They love watching me cook,” I thought to myself, and stopped to give them some attention.
“You love watching me cook,” I told them as they rolled to offer their bellies, “such good girls! Such nice doggies!”
Getting down to dog-level is much easier, lately, than getting back up. On the floor with hands-in-fur is a nice place to be; we were all comfortable. Then I smelled the meat cooking.
“Oh, my goodness,” I said, jumping to my feet, “I have to spin the bacon!”
“Spin the bacon?!? What is that? Of course I should have said ‘turn the bacon.’ Oh, you guys, that sounds like a danger sign! Maybe I’m getting senile!”
Darla looked at me adoringly. If she could speak, she would have said, “No way! You’re perfect! There is nothing wrong with you!”
Rosa Parks, a skeptic and a realist, raised one eyebrow. Running through her mind were the not few incidences when I lost track of the time, and gave them their dinner late. She was thinking of when I forgot to fill the water dish, and all the times I seemed unaware that she had done something worthy of a treat. Then there were all the minor slip-ups, when I called Darla “Rosa Parks,” or called Rosa Parks “Darla,” when I missed the drive to go down to Fox Lake, and when I forgot to invite her in to the bathroom when I was going to take a bath. If she could speak, she would have muttered, “It’s possible…”
The conversation, real and imaginary, went on as I finished cooking my brunch. Everyone was thoughtful, and made good points. Though the talk was centered around loss-of-memory, feeble-mindedness and senility, I think it’s worth noting that at no time did any of the participants think it was at all odd that the entire conversation was between me and my dogs!