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Wednesday, December 23, 2015


dog and likeness
Drove to town today for lunch with friend Bob I've seen from time to time over the last thirty-plus years, though seldom to sit and have a conversation with for an hour. I'm glad he likes La Mexicana, my favorite restaurant in town, where the food is not Tex-Mex. It's cooking as done in Latin America, the cook from La Paz, Bolivia. We have another good Latin restaurant run by Cubans who came here from the Canary Islands, Las Palmas. Also a new Tex-Mex restaurant that is nice. And the one that has been here for years, Mis Arados (My Plow), known as the best restaurant in Sparta since it opened. It is family owned. The kids that were toddlers, waddling among the people at tables spreading cheer with their glowing round faces, are grown up now, worked through high school as waiters in the restaurant, and now have husbands, wives and babies. One beautiful young woman I watched grow up in there, I saw at the gas station a few weeks ago, she had a baby in the car. I said, "You have a baby." She said, "I have three." My jaw bounced off the cement between my feet like a golf ball.

curled up waiting
Next stop, the grocery store for donkey carrots, then the drug store where I saw Teena, who gifted me Sofia, and hardware store. From town out to Stratford, a township in the western part of the county, to deliver my friend Carole's Christmas present. We don't do that. However, I saw a book in Chris Davis's shop about Zentangles, which I knew Carole did not have and needed. I'd have bought it on sight for her in August, or any other month. I called it a Christmas present due to time of year. I drove home over the mountain on Spicer Mountain Road that connects hwy 221 with hwy 18 at Whitehead, singing, "good dog Corena," simple words dog can understand from words I speak to her. It is a slow road with curves galore, a third of it mud on a rainy day like today, though not bad, and great scenery, blue mountains in the distance, black cows in the foreground, the meadows still green on a short-sleeve day two days before Christmas. The girl at the grocery store register was one I didn't remember seeing before. I looked at her name tag. Corena. Bells rang all over the inside of my head. Why hadn't I thought of it yet?

   dog at home  
I'd been feeling that Rena was missing something the name needed, unable to find what it was. It was like the name Rena was too lean, needed some fat on her bones. I was thinking of calling her Black Rena driving into the parking lot, spoke it a few times to hear it and liked it. Thought of the song, Black Betty. Great name for a dog, but she's not a Betty. I think it was the way the girl at the register spelled Corena that caught my eye. She was gorgeous with black wavy hair. Lots of new spellings these days. My favorite is Mysti. I also know a Karina. Co-Rena. Rena modified. It fits and flows with Sofia. In sound, o-e-a, only the C-n and the S-f distinguish them from one another. Yet the names have very different sounds. Sofia is soft as a down cushion. Corena, too, is soft with a sense of self-assertion, like bear fur. All the way to Carole's and all the way home I sang Corrina Corrina, "I love Corrina, tell the world I do." I was out there on the highway in the rain singing to my new dog, "Corena Corena, won't you come on home, aint had no lovin since you been gone."

dog says I wish it would stop raining
so I could go outside and bark
I remembered Aster, and having no dog for eight years, like Corena was Aster come home after being gone so long, riding the mountain roads in her seat again. The feeling is very much like having Aster return after long absence. Wherever this dog's soul came from, she found her way to me. She has the same soulful eyes as Aster. I know it is the breed of dog, lab mix, that determines much of their behavior, personalities and thinking. It's not the same dog, but like the same dog. What more could I ask? A chance to have Aster back as a young dog. Curiously, it's like we already know each other. Today was dog's day to learn by experience another aspect of living here, riding in the car and waiting for sometimes a few hours. I keep windows open enough to let air pass through, but not for her to escape. Twice I left her in the car for an hour and twice for a half hour. I took her out for a chance to pee after the first hour but she did not. Let  her out later and she did not need to. I put her outside for bathroom before we left. After we'd been home a few hours, after my nap, I sat with her and thanked her for being a patient riding companion today, thanked her for finding me, hugged her, told her she has legs like a deer and beautiful eyes. Big yawn.

corena corena

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