Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pink Slip

Saturday afternoon, at a pocket park in Chelsea, I waited for my last boyfriend. (OK, so he was also my first and so-far only one.) I’d agreed to meet for coffee, a year after dumping him.
At a nearby café table, a group of young men chatted. One of them wore pink hot pants, pink tiger-striped sneakers and his uncombed, harshly dyed hair knotted and held by a gold plastic comb. An orchid fell from his hairdo each time he turned to yell at his dog. “Don’t embarrass me,” he scolded. The meek bitch looked nervously up from under a thick, cheap pink bow tied over her ears. The ribbon looped twice around her head and fell in her eyes. I think she was a mix of boxer and pit bull. She also wore a pink leather collar and leash.
The man entertained his friends with stories. “I was dragging this stuffed dog around, tying it up outside shops . . ..”
The boxer crept quietly over to me.
My ex arrived and looked at me, then the dog. She looked back at him, and then hopefully at me.
“I have a dog now,” I told Marc. “She’s named Precious.”
He raised his eyes sideways to the sky with a plaintive look that said, “Since she lost me, she’s gone barking mad.”