A couple of dogs were here yesterday when I arrived, and they have stuck around.
I have been giving them food, so I can’t be too surprised that they have stayed. I had an old can of soft food stashed away on the upper shelf of the corner kitchen cabinet. It didn’t look too bad; they ate it. They’ve also gotten a few of the heart-shaped Newman’s-brand treats, which are basically doggie biscuits. And I’ve given them some kibble I had tucked away in a mouse-proof bucket back in the main bedroom here at Farm, dateline Traderight, MO.
I’ll give them what food I have, for as long as they are here, and then I’ll restock with some fresh food when I return. Whether the new inventory will be for these two on some later visit or for my own dog Hugo or for some other rando dogs that might appear somewhere down the road, who knows?
They slept out front last night. They growled and barked a few times. Somewhere around one or two in the morning they woke me with barking and I had to pee anyway so I went outside. Even before I stepped out the front door I could smell something dank and rich and garlicky, a very deep and funky body odor let loose into the wild. Skunk. There was no doubt about it. Like a bomb had been released...
The next morning the coals were there, buried but lurid, glowing like rare orange gems. Across the distance of a cold night they were still hot despite being abandoned, despite being covered by a heap of fine grey ash as the prior day's fire faded in upon itself. I walked around looking for pieces to add to the fire, to bring it back. I was out at Farm again, waking up chilled from a night in the unheated farmhouse. I was in search of fresh fuel, the arms and legs of trees, fodder for the next go-round. Honey locust, sycamore, cedar. Walnut, hickory, oak. Just-fallen twigs, young limbs, old broken trunks half-rotted away, wet with the promptly melted snow of a Missouri winter. On top of coals prevailing through the wind and dark of night any wood will do...
Thursday. I’m in a goose-infested corporate office park parking lot, waiting for my wife, who is inside a Red Cross, donating blood. Some machine is out in the distance, intermittently backing up, backing up. Emitting that insidious beep, beep, beep, beep. Other than that, the soundscape is pleasant. Sound of the wind. Birds. Sparrows, a cardinal, the geese.
There are empty swathes of spaces in the sprawling, interconnected parking lot. The office buildings are arranged in a wide ring around the parking spots at the core. There are still a number of cars parked up close to the buildings, packed tightly, the businesses in those buildings still humming along, essential or stubborn, it’s hard to say. Who’s gonna get close enough to inquire, to stick their nose in it?
I gave praise to steel you confidence. You gave welcome to feel me love. Rooster sang crow to share us morning. Eugene broke fast so we'd build house. Water washed clean so we felt ourselves. Earth sprang mountain to keepsafe sun. Wood took flame so we'd have fire. Wind gave owl wing and we had night.