Mark Rothko, Red, White, and Brown (1957).
Like being pulled into an infinite void — or
Back in the Winter of 2006-2007 I used to take my
dog Baron for walks. It was cold but not too cold
that year, and for the walks I took to wearing my
black hooded sweatshirt. I would leave the apartment
building with Baron and pull the hood up over my head
— which always made me feel like a Benedictine monk.
Just for variety, I started taking Baron on a new
route. We would walk North up Elm, then head West
down to Cannon and The Elk Tavern. Then South down
Cannon and back East on 2nd Avenue to the apartment
Baron was very old by that time, but I think he
liked the smell of good food that always came from
The Elk. And of course he would stop and pee on
something — or try to — every ten feet. As for me,
I was in none too good shape myself. The pacemaker
was yet to come, and my heart function was in the
sub-basement. It felt sort of natural to get into
a kind of meditative mode on those walks — perhaps
it was the hooded sweatshirt, perhaps the realization
that, one way or another, these were me and Baron's
final days together.
"These days I'll sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten
My friend, don't confront me with my failures
I had not forgotten them"
— Jackson Browne
Baron is gone now. I still miss him. But I do so
love my new dog Sasha, and I no longer grieve. As
for my medical condition I am still here. Somehow.
And life carries on as a chain of question marks.