In this country, jingoism and patriotism come to a head on the 4th of July and we shoot off these dangerous and illegal—in the wrong hands—pyrotechnics to show our love for this country. (Wrap your head around that!) We are also instructed to call 311 with reports of any illegal fireworks being shot off. (Unfortunately, there are all these independent contractors out right now, even though they're clearly not part of the show, which is long over; it's after midnight.)
This year, the fireworks were shot off from spectacular Brooklyn Heights, where I walked a dog this afternoon; they went into lockdown mode after 4 PM, at which time no cars were to be moved. So I only got the above picture when I happened to be out with my dog, a couple of hours ago, from my neighborhood.
I walked a dog in Brooklyn this afternoon, and although I'm familiar with most parts of Brooklyn now, I decided to get myself a little lost so I wouldn't get back too early. This made an hour-and-a-half walk turn into two—we ended up going to downtown Brooklyn, Flatbush Avenue and almost to Park Slope—and was fun but I got a little dizzy with hunger—having only had a donut and coffee for breakfast. Just as we were getting back to Brooklyn Heights, I managed to snag my ankle in a tree well, and went down.
This freaked Olive (the dog) out, which is why I always keep the leash wrapped around my hand, as a contingency measure. I just had to explain yesterday in a text to Michael, who is Olive's daddy, that I have ataxia as the result of a car accident over 30 years ago; he had sent me a text complaining to me that I had left smudges on the walls of his new apartment. (Well, if you're going to require that I take off my shoes before I enter your home, I have to hold onto something; I'm not a dancer. Oh, and did I mention I hate texting?)
Worse than the humiliation of the fall itself is walking around with a scab on my knee for a few weeks—especially in summer, when I usually wear shorts. No matter, I'll just rock those big band-aids until the scab chips away; this, I know, is a surface scrape, so it should heal pretty quickly—probably within a month.
One nice thing about late June/early July is that mulberries are in season. There are many mulberry trees around town; I'm always delighted to discover them. There's even a fruit-bearing mulberry tree in the Hillside Dog Park, where I take Olive some days. Although the tree (and park itself, of course) is right by the BQE [Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, for you out-of-towners] I'm not afraid of exhaust fumes settling on a few berries; that sure isn't going to be what kills me. The thrill of picking wild berries and eating them eclipses any danger there might be to it.
We didn't go in there today because it was a little misty and I even wore a slicker and rain hat. Overkill, but I hate getting caught in the rain and having my wallet soaked. And my phone, now that I carry one.
So it was a good walk; I didn't get to say it—Michael didn't ask "How was the walk?" when I returned—but honestly, there's no way I'd rather spend my day off. It would have come out sounding sarcastic if I had. Olive is a fun dog; she loves me and I love her.
That's the crazy thing about Aaron, to whom I said, "My dog's a better date than you!" Most dogs are better dates than most guys: they like to go places, they're excited to be with you, and they'll lick your face and gaze into your eyes. It's just the truth; there was no reason to be offended by it.