A Pile of Leaves Almost Killed My Dog
by Tommy Paley
Over Thanksgiving weekend we took off on a wine tour, sampling many rare vintages.
You felt that the Shiraz smelled and tasted like a 10 year old wine, while I commented that it may smell and taste 10 years old but is probably closer to 15 and that’s how it is with a wine of this caliber.
We drove back to the hotel in awkward silence and then you punched me in the nose.
We spent a rainy evening inside cooking a fabulous lasagna dinner, drinking beer and playing scrabble.
I argue that nothing is better than spending a wonderful evening with someone you love, while you take exception with my liberal use of the words “better”, “wonderful” and “someone”.
We drink to our health and then you usher me out of your house, slamming the door behind me.
Overnight it snowed and in the morning we were greeted with a beautiful white pillowy blanket covering everything.
The snowman we made reminds me of a shorter, whiter and more serious version of my dentist, while you believe that the snowman looks more like a taller, darker and more jovial version of your doctor but that he could very well be a dentist if he went back to school for more training.
We both shook our heads at each other out of bewilderment for so long that we eventually broke out into “The Robot”.
Who doesn’t love the circus? It is a wonderful after work activity that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
I felt that the big tent was a slight exaggeration and that it was only a tad over medium and that the whole tent thing was a bit of a disappointment. On the other hand, you felt that the tent was not only not medium, but also plenty big enough and that it would also make a wonderful set of curtains.
We enjoyed a bit of a giggle over it, then I pinched your cheek until it left a mark.
The morning air was fresh and unseasonably warm on our Sunday pre-breakfast stroll.
You thought that the relatively balmy conditions were further signs of the worsening environmental troubles confronting all humans, while I preferred to be optimistic either out of spite or as a devil’s advocate.
We agreed to disagree, but we did decide to try to reduce our impact on the environment by cutting back on burning effigies of those who wronged us.
Tuesday night we met with our book club and had a pretentious conversation about the themes of the depressingly realistic novel that was this week’s reading.
You believed that the true intent of the author was to humiliate the reader, while I was pretty sure that I already felt humiliated, and thus, it was really hard to differentiate between any humiliation I felt as a result of reading the book and the humiliation I carried around with me on a regular basis.
We hugged and went our separate ways, but only after you gave me what I would describe as an overly aggressive hug and an obviously condescending pat on the back and, as you were leaving, I swear I heard you mutter some insulting personal remarks.
We both enjoyed the movie and agreed that it was both hilarious and depressing.
I thought that it was a realistic take on the modern times in which we live, while you thought it was either too Kafkaesque or not Kafkaesque enough.
We laughed about it and then you smacked me on the back.
Then there was that time we flew our kites in the park.
You felt that the soaring kites, blowing in the wind, reminded you of two carefree butterflies full of joy. I felt that instead they represented the oppression of the proletariat by the rich bourgeois.
We exchanged a long, meaningful look before you suggested that this was one major reason why I didn’t have more friends.
That summer we traveled down to California and tried to learn how to surf.
I loved the refreshing time out there on the waves, while you compared the challenge to being tortured, understanding all the while that that was a tad bit melodramatic.
We both agreed that while the activity was neither of our favourite, your sunburn was something that we would always share.
Fall came and the intricately patterned leaves scattered themselves in the park.
I wanted to collect them and attempt to preserve the more attractive ones as a way of commemorating this period of time in our lives,while you just wanted to burn them all.
We opted to do nothing and instead to go to the movies — the unexpected offshoot of this story is that many years later a pile of leaves almost killed my dog.
Well-costumed kids were trick-or-treating — it was Halloween.
I felt that you would make a wonderfully scary witch while you stated that I would be but a mediocre ghost or a fantastic linen tablecloth.
We laughed about it and I decided to cut your hair while you were sleeping.
The winter festivities are upon us and the house is filled with food, family and holiday cheer.
You wondered aloud if you should consume any more eggnog worrying that you have had too much already, while I counter that that ship had sailed two days ago.
We looked at each other lovingly and decided to attempt to be less obtuse with each other in the new year.