E. and I were able to stay in Toronto for about six weeks in May and June. I was busy with work at the time and wasn’t able to pull together any pictures. Our apartment was in the middle of a downtown shopping district called Yorkville and down the street from a city library.
Luckily (or unluckily) for us, we were able to take care of our landlady’s cat for about a week. As I’ve detailed in past dog and cat posts, I love animals, but I have a moderate cat allergy. After a couple of days, I was sneezing so much that I had to carry around a box of tissues. Our landlady must have had a guilty conscience because she dashed over one night and took our fake pet away.
Photo Credit: Bracani….Antonio
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write for example, ‘The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.
A portion of Pablo Neruda’s poem XX, Twenty Love Poems and a
Song of Despair
There are mosquitos the size of bats on the ceiling. I’ve been grading papers for 12 hours now. In the courtyard, the beagle still bays out every day. He’s been joined by a cat that sometimes yowls for hours. I am going to miss this courtyard, especially the mornings heavy with rain, the cool patter on the tiles outside.
I look out into the night and see the lit lives of families. Those that dine at 10 p.m. passing salad around the table. Our mysterious next door neighbors who come by once a week to use the apartment as a party base. The woman who sweeps her balcony as her bull terrier tries to bite the broom.
Do they see me? The room darkly lit by a small table lap. Me at the computer, with white pajama pants, navy slippers, and a glass of wine. This girl who sits at the computer every day and every night. They can see me perfectly, as I can see them.
I joked about becoming a dog walker when I arrived in Buenos Aires; then I discovered that dog walking is serious business. It’s not uncommon for a professional walker to walk 15 dogs or more.
I’m just not that strong…or brave.
I did, however, become a dog walker of some sort. A friend lets me walk her greyhound twice a week. He is insane. Although he is one of the fastest runners of the world–one of the most sporty dogs ever–he detests going outside. He would rather curl up in his propio dogbed or sun himself stretched out on the Indian rug than go outside with me. Some days he doesn’t make it for an half an hour outdoors without trying to drag me down the street to his home.
I’m never so popular as when I am walking this dog. Porteños are fanatics for dogs, but they are particularly drawn to his delicate and puppy-like appearance. “Es un GALGO?” (greyhound) they exclaim, and caress his muzzle and coo. Teenage girls come running after him like groupies.
His tiny ears feel like swatches of velvet. His eyes are golden. I have to admit that he is pretty precious.