Sparky, a Chou-Labrador mix, swart and swift as a wild boar launches herself into my crotch–a spicy island lover who never learned the decorum of airport parking lots. She is one who snaps at the moon in her waterdish, and who galumphs into bed when the big thunder bowls fear along the alleys of her dog-mind. Sparky and I wrestle for the shotgun seat in the car, and she settles for keeping two paws on my shoulders and her tongue in my ear, glad as the slapping water at the side of a refreshing pool. Little Michele glances over at me laughingly, snapping her teeth and shivering excitedly. “O,” she says, gunning the starter.
Later, at Martin’s cozy home in Marin, Martin–thin as a pair of trimming scissors–leans back easily in his easy chair, blithely high, and plays at playing Puff the Magic Dragon until our eyes shine.