I hadn’t seen Shimmer for awhile. He had been away on a Winter Holiday vacation—or at least I assume that’s where he was. Probably hanging out at the ski slopes with St. Bernards. He’ll never tell me, he’s notoriously tight-lipped about his down time.
You know how it is when you come back to work from vacation and there’s a pile of stuff for you to catch up on? It’s the same for Shimmer. But, instead of emails and memos to read, he has pee-mails and bushes to catch up on. He leaves an occasional response, too.
The winter storms of last week had caused some damage to the park. A tree had fallen across our usual path, and looked like a giant-sized version of the discarded Christmas trees we passed on the way down. Shimmer eyed it with the same disdain he did the others. I have always admired his withering sidelong glances, something he and drag queens have down pat.
As we headed home, we passed an older woman sitting on a bench, basking in the sun. “Does your dog like to exercise?” she asked. (It is not an odd thing for a stranger to come up to Shimmer and I and start talking to us, often in the middle of a conversation they were having in their own mind, so we weren’t taken by surprise.)
“Well, he used to race, but he’s retired now,” I answered.
“Does he like to get out and run?”
“He’d rather sleep on the couch.”
“We all do at our age, don’t we?” she said, looking at Shimmer.
We all laughed, except Shimmer, who gave her one of his glances.
As we turned on our block and walked up the hill, Shimmer took one last stop to deliberately pee on the front wheel of a new Mercedes Benz SUV. Satisfied with his day’s work, we went home.