Drop 165: Good Boy

bag of poopTom runs into Sarah in the park.

‘Long time,’ he says. ‘How you doing?’

‘Great,’ she says.

‘And who’s this handsome feller?’

‘Oh, this is Duke.’

‘Hey there, buddy.’ He pats Duke on the head. ‘Aren’t you a good boy?’

‘He sure is.’

Duke jerks his head away and watches Tom with distrust.

‘Well, most of the time, at least!’ she adds, smiling timidly.

‘Bet he loves the park.’

‘He sure does. Hates being cooped up in the apartment. Runs around like crazy once we get here. He’s obsessed with the squirrels and the birds. I really should bring him more often—but anyway, what’s new with you?’

‘Not much. Work is slow. Went to Montauk for the long weekend.’

‘Great. Love Montauk.’

‘Yeah. Terrific weather. Fresh seafood and–oh my, will you look at that!’

‘Duke, no!’ Sarah shouts. ‘Not here. God, I’m so sorry,’ she adds, slinging her backpack off her shoulder and struggling to produce a plastic baggy.

‘I guess you just gotta go when you gotta go, hey.’

‘It’s a new thing, to do it around people like that. Right at their feet. I don’t know why.’ She is clearly embarrassed as she crouches down with the small blue bag and picks up the sizeable turd, knotting it tidily afterwards. ‘You know, we should really be on our way. Sorry. Come on, Duke.’ She starts leading him away but he resists. ‘I said let’s go, Duke. That means now!’

‘But I don’t want to go, Mommy,’ Duke says, straightening the shorts he just pulled up. ‘I want to play on the jungle gym.’

By EM Vireo

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