(Last) Saturday in the Park

The summer is winding down, and I’ve been working almost constantly, as if in efforts to avoid the inevitable countdown to the end — real end — of my marriage, which is scheduled to coincide (approximately) with my wedding anniversary.

All work and no play makes me a dull girl.

I had planned on a sleep-in day LAST Saturday, which was foolish, because I was scheduled to be on-call at the hospital where I volunteer with Miss Blair.  We were scheduled to be on-call together for the first time since our training in January.  And while I have been on-call every month since February, I had been called in only once prior, which was, of course, the only other time I’d been second-on-call.  That was when I’d been crossing my fingers and hoping for time off — the week my mother was in town.

As reasonably expected, my phone rang at 7:45 a.m., and I called Blair immediately after.  We sprang into action; headed uptown after a brief exchange of information about our volunteer mission.

After several hours of work, we left the hospital in the early afternoon.

Do you want to come over to my house? I asked.


Is it too early for drinks?


To the Park?


And so plans were made to head into the park; arrangements were made to secure a bottle of Côtes du Rhône; I found the red cups we’d stashed from our earlier-in-the-summer days of making terrible “sangria” in my thermoses and playing catch and mocking the other Park weekenders.  And off we went.

We decided, on our way into the Park, to go to the ASPCA in the East 90s, to look at dogs, as a part of my methodical dog-vetting process.  As my marriage was coming into the last days, I was becoming ready to commit to something.  Maybe not a man, but definitely maybe a dog.  Perhaps.  Six months had been devoted to the task of scouring breed rescue sites and Petfinder.com, looking and calling and filling out applications; talking to people and being disappointed; more often than not getting cold feet

(There are few things in this world more pleasurable than wine in Central Park on a balmy Saturday.)

But the all-work-and-no-play thing…that had made it easier to just suck it up and go play with some dogs at the shelter.

Do you think you’ll get a dog soon?

Yeah, I said, I think I’m ready.

We smiled at each other, sunglasses over brims of red cups.  I had made a comment, earlier in the week, that all of our lives were about to change monumentally…but we were finally beginning to discover how prophetic the comment had been.

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