I waited for the sun to cool and stepped out with my pug, Pilgrim. Our older neighbors were drinking Tecate and smoking cigars on their steps, speaking in whispered Espanol. We headed towards Red, White & Bubbly. Still a bit warm, Pilgrim was reluctant to take the path with gusto. Upon arrival, he spread himself in front of the glass door, much to the dismay of the eager wine salesman who was on the other side, waving a milk bone at me.
I scooped him up and took him into the AC. He snacked on the biscuit and rubbed his little dink and balls all over the cool floor while I read labels. I finally settled on one of the staff recommended picks: Craftsman Pinot Noir Rose (Hungary, 2005).
We headed back to the apartment- bombarded by familiar faces , "Would you give me some money for my basketball team?"
The blond woman smoking Parliaments with a glass of red, on a cheap card table. Four men playing dominos, outside the American Legion.
As we turned up our street, the group of twenty-something hippies were drinking beer on their stoop. A girl ran out to me, "Oh, I must meet your dog. I see you walk by every day!"
I let go of his leash. He hopped over the curb and towards her.
"There are such great dogs in this neighborhood. Have you met Jerry?"
"The bulldog, right?"
"Yes, Jerry. I always hear his owner yelling, 'Jerry, please!' outside my window in the morning."
"They are a pretty funny crew. Some mornings, when I'm walking Pilgrim, I see her pleading with him in the rain, 'Come on Jerry, I know you don't like the rain. I know you have to pee, just do it already.' "