Feeling stupid after an email conversation, I go out to exercise the dog. The oval lies over-sheened with western sun. Light billows like a sheet, particulate and all-pervasive until I shade my eyes. The dog scoots, mostly ignoring the ball which I throw for my own exercise, walking on and to pick it up and throw again.
The stupid feeling persists like tears in my throat despite a say-again breeze and all the catch-me-can-blue. I look up. White hessian clouds matt the sky. I stand for a minute, head tilted, sucked up into their warp and weft, entranced by the regularity.
Back on the ground, the dog has disappeared into a ditch which I know contains a perpetually smelly puddle. He’s due for a haircut and I know he’s hot after all his running ignoring the ball. I don’t even bother to call. Sure enough, he emerges in knee-high baggy grey socks, loping in a pleased way. “You’re going to need a bath!” I tell him, pitying myself more than him. He looks at me for a couple of seconds, seems to understand, and runs away.
Still water on sodden ground tainted with burned tyres. Bruise and bruise again.