My pal Pam has known me for twenty years and yet still, inexplicably, loves me. We met for breakast yesterday morning, caught up, took her dog up into the hills.
Pam’s boys are tall now. Their dad Dave, my boss at my last job (and yet still, inexplicably, glad to see me) packed the boys off to the skateboard park as Maya barked from Pam’s car. We waved.
Maya is protective of Pam, and a bit suspicious. It took me a full twenty seconds to win her over. A shepherd mix with floppy ears, long dark and lithe, she covered prodigious distances with each stride.
I’m gonna get your stick, Maya. Gonna GET it. How long since I had played that game? Years and years.
A mile or so of hike, and back. Ridgetop views of the bay and interior hills. I have avoided this, feared the pain of looming separation, the stupid vindictive resentment of the soon-to-be displaced. Home this
may not be next year, the green wet season carrying on without me, but home it remains for now and my spine unkinked a bit, if my heart did not.
And Maya, oh Maya. You are a beauty, and your human partner sees past my skin so effortless. I could almost live without a lover had I friends like you two around me.
And still there when I left work to go home.