It’s December and holiday social madness has hit my calendar: This year, I decided not to decline a single invitation. My social circle needs widening. I’m booked up on all the weekend evenings and most of the days, too. So, The Alum and I agree to meet at a wine bar on a Tuesday evening.
I feel a bit odd but I remind myself, it’s just a glass of wine. Not to mention, I need the dating practice. The match.com guys didn’t feel like practice. They felt like auditions for a reality show.
Tuesday evening arrives and I’m rushing around after work: Rush to school to pick up The Child, feed her, feed The Dog, get ready. Text message arrive: he’s running early, there’s no bridge traffic like he expected.
I hear a screech and a thump outside my window. There’s a line of cars in the dark and drizzle, and at the front, a golden retriever struggling to get up. The owner is there, and someone I assume is the driver talking to him. I can’t hear them, but I can see, it’s frantic.
I do hear the yelp of pain as the dog is picked up; the driver helps them into his car and they drive off.
The Child comes in; she heard it too. What happened? she wants to know.
I don’t want to tell her, but I do. There’s nothing we can do, I tell her, except hope he’s okay. Then I start to lecture her about sidewalk safety.
She tells me to please get dressed and go out. She already knows this stuff, she says.
I want to stay home.
I want to wrap her and The Dog both in bubble wrap.
But I keep going.