Saturday, June 05, 2004

A perfect day.

Today started with a long, lazy morning in bed and out of it as I tried to recover from the effects of not-even-a-pint of dark beer last night. Ugly, ugly. I now remember why I don't drink dark beer.

Several gallons of water, a backrub, three aspirin, four cups of coffee, and some scrambled eggs later, I took a shower. I found a bar of heather soap I thought was gone and used that.

Then I dressed in my favorite elderly and quite filthy jeans, a tank top, and a linen shirt. I grabbed a straw hat that makes me look like one of the dancing mushrooms from "Fantasia", loaded on all the big amber jewelry I own, and went out to the town square.

One day a year our town becomes "Dogton." The central square is given over to the Dog Days Festival. Businesses around the square, including restaurants, allow dogs inside. There are booths of pet goods, dog-themed jewelry, single-breed adoption agencies, the SPCA, you name it. The name of the city is officially changed for this one Saturday in June and anything goes--if you're quadripedal.

I petted six Greyhounds, a 156-lb. bloodhound who told me in no uncertain terms that he loved me, an Irish wolfhound named Ranger, several Boxers and Bulldogs and Beagles, and a couple of 57-flavor mutts with bicolored eyes. Oh, and the Great Danes (three, including one all-white with blue eyes) and the chocolate-colored Shar-Pei.

Then I bought a large, heavy amber pendant from the beautiful Indian woman who runs a shop out of her house. I said hi to my Pakistani friend who displays glass bracelets on beds of red lentils. I stopped in the Irish imports store to say hello to Liam (Irish), Dawn (not Irish), and Pudge (canine) and hear Liam talk. I was bought a beer and given a tour of the new wine store downtown by the very handsome owner of said store. Then I went and had a blackened cheeseburger and fries at a patio restaurant and shared some of my fries with another Great Dane.

Then over to the used bookstore for Laurie King books, then to the coffee shop for a breve, then into the blessed air-conditioning of my car to come home to more blessed air-conditioning.

I'm now slightly woozy and very happy. It was cloudy all day, so I didn't even have to wear sunscreen. I'm crusted with salt from sweating and festooned with dried ribbons of spit from the bloodhounds. I'm covered with sixty breeds of dog hair. I wonder if I should just give up and shower now, taking the chance of falling asleep with my head under the running water, or nap first and then change the sheets.

It's rare that a day this good all around comes along.

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