I can hear Hudson’s little toenails tic-tic-ticking as she races up the stairs with great momentum, afraid she might fall back down if she stops. She has a thick white body, perky pointed ears and a smashed-in face, and she has come to join me as I write. You could say she is my writing companion. She likes the silence and coolness of my office and I think she knows that without her I get very lonely. When she is in the safety of our home Hudson is very out-going. Sometimes she does little leaps, flinging herself into the air and twisting around like a pretty ballerina. Other times, she rolls onto her back, sticks her small legs into the air and groans so happily and so loudly you can hear her all over the house. But the second she steps over the threshold to go outside for her daily walk she becomes painfully bashful, pulling away when we meet someone on the street and hiding her head between her front legs. I love her for that. I love her for this eccentricity of hers. One day, a lady with purple bangs and a silver post embedded into the tip of her tongue, walking something that looked like a hairless rat, said to me, “Oh my, she’s a handful, isn’t she?” I was so angry I wanted to accidentally step on her rat. But instead, I just moved on.
Writing can be lonely. There are so many better things I could be doing with my time. When I’m in New York City, where we have an apartment, I walk in Central Park for hours, even in the rain, especially in the snow, and do things like watch the old man who feeds the squirrels and shares his bag of nuts with passing children, or tourists, or me. I always walk towards the music in Central Park. There’s always someone playing something, day or night. Once, I came across a bunch of people waltzing wildly under the stars to music from an accordion. I spend a lot of time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, too, going on the hour-long tour, where I learn something new each time. I also get a kick out of shopping till I drop and buying nothing. Most of the independent bookstores are closed uptown now, so I take the R downtown to some of the great bookstores there. When you buy too many books at one time, however, which I have a tendency to do, you have to have a husband to help carry them all home.
My husband is a New Yorker. I am from Pennsylvania. He didn’t used to like NY, but we moved away to LA in the 70s, and now he does. When he’s not working, he likes to take the subway to Coney Island and walk on the beach. He went to the High School of Performing Arts when it was located near Broadway. Sometimes he would skip classes and go to see Vaudeville shows. They all closed down just after his freshman year though, so he made it just in time. It cost him a dollar. That’s all.
Hudson is looking up at me now. Her dark shiny eyes are telling me that it’s time for her dinner. She eats at five. Right on the dot. Outside in the back garden. It’s a hot day. The sun is still blazing strong. I’d better put on my baseball cap. I have to stand there while she and Gracie eat, so maybe I’ll take a nice cold gin and tonic with me. And my cell phone. My extremely handsome husband from the Bronx is off on one of his road trips. I think he’s in Cheyenne by now. It’s two hours later there. Maybe I can catch him before he goes to dinner. I’d better hurry.