It will take two to three days for Yo’s letter to reach her husband. The letter is her way of being nice to him. I wonder what he’s done with my sport coat.
Come on, I say, to the lunging brown Lab. Heel.
Afternoon. Seems like the right time to have a beer. I leave the dog in the car, find a stool at the bar, and pretty soon I’m looking at dozens of pictures of cats. My neighbor is a cat breeder, as if cats needed any assistance with that. She drinks wine instead of beer because she doesn’t want the carbonation to bloat her.
I feel intimidated, even though she is not trying to intimidate me. Instead of reaching to kiss her and wonder, wonder, wonder where it may lead, I become philosophical. “Shouldn’t it be illegal for bars to have parking lots?”
Quadratic and I let ourselves into the chicken coop after dark, paws skidding. There, waiting, the magnetic-eyed Yo, and there, on the kitchen floor, a bowl of cold water. Even though she detects on one of us the smell of Subway sandwiches, and on the other, the odor of Japanese cherry blossoms and a few stray blonde hairs—she lets us stay.
In the morning I find her note by the coffee pot. It says the reasons may seem unclear now. They’ll make sense in thirty years—in about four dogs’ worth of passing time. It says to never call her again, and never write, and not to ask in any incredulous tones, You left without taking your horse?
The banker was right. When the farm sells I stay on as a hand and slowly become one of those people who don’t drink enough water. Something merely wet or what doesn’t have to be chewed, that’s enough. I throw around handfuls of salt to confuse my feelings. It’s possible to taste the rain in anything, but people’s faces turn yellow when they don’t drink enough. I tell everyone it’s from eating marigolds.