Mack Williams: Old dog, old man

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2022

One recent Sunday morning, I had something of a revelation regarding the inter-connectivity of life. This involved an old dog crossing a street, and an old man (me) driving down that street.

I’ll conduct this in the fashion of a “one-man play”, where I play both parts, making it a “one-man-one-dog play!”

But essentially, both viewpoints are mine; since my mind reading abilities penetrate neither the human nor the canine skull.

I (the dog) had been resting on my lawn in the early morning, soaking up the sun’s rays. Since I’m a mammal, and not a lizard, I don’t really need those early streaks of light to get me going, being blessed with my own internal power plant (warm blood).

Like all non-plant life, I abhor the inertness, feeling the necessity of moving around a bit. So, I started across the road without a care in the world (except that of making it safely across the road).

I “senior-dog-ambled” partway across the road, when a rather slow-moving car came around the corner. The slow car swiftly stopped(a paradox), allowing me to safely amble to the road’s far side.

This driver evidently respected an old dog!

Now, back to me (as me).

It was Sunday morning, and I was running just a wee bit late to church (“wee bit,” appropriate Scottish lingo for Presbyterian use).

For a short cut, I made a turn down a side street. But since this street curved, I had to slow down; and was I glad I did! For, at the other end of the curve was an elderly black dog ambling across the road. I knew he was old, not just by reason of his “amble,” but also by the more-reflective gray hair atop his head. In the mid-morning Sunday sun’s angled rays, that gray glowed as bright as snow against the other hair of the dog (despite being Sunday morning, it wasn’t “that” hair of the dog).

I thought about how far ahead the drivers begin slowing at Food Lion’s parking lot when they see a gray-headed person (me) walking towards the store’s fire lane. I guess they see me as an “old ambler” too.

If I had hit the dog, my Sunday at church would have been ruined! Even with Communion, I would have remained unforgiven (by me).

I was still worried about the dog after church, because, instead of the short cut, I took the long way home. I feared and imagined the dog’s return trip across the road might have met with misfortune from an unattentive driver, and I would see the it lying there.

So, in this piece I “ambled” from being an old dog to being an old man. I tried to give equal time to both, except my thoughts did wind up being more and varied than the dog’s, some even touching on the metaphysical.

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