MAN OF NO RANK

As the snow began to come down more heavily in the early evening, I left dinner to take a photo of the front of our house. On the right is a low, flat stump, all that’s left of a magnificent oak that loomed over the house for years till it was cut down this last summer. Next to it is the scraggly apple tree that will soon get the sun it needs to grow bigger.

When we’re too big and gorgeous, we sometimes get cut down to size. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Life shows me my true proportion, which is usually a lot smaller than what I think it is.

Speaking of our true proportions, I think of our friend, Bob Lee, and the memorial service that will take place later today in San Francisco. We were in Israel together once, he, his wife Jane, a Japanese couple, and Bernie’s cousin George Plafker, renowned for his work with tsunamis and earthquakes that confirmed the theory of plate tectonics under the earth’s crust.

George and Bob decided to join a one-day tour of the great city of Petra. The rest of us bowed out, so the two men got up at dawn and joined a tourist bus group that crossed the border into Jordan and drove south. They came back late at night, tired, and in the morning, over breakfast, Bob took out a few dusty old coins and said, These are ancient, Eve, they date back hundreds of years before Christ, and I’ll give you a good deal if you buy some..

George at his side started laughing uproariously and we looked at him. What?

It seemed that the bus arrived in the parking lot of Petra, discharging the tour group that immediately began to walk the long road into Petra itself. But a young boy came around purporting to sell old coins found in the ruins of Petra. He was waved off by everyone, except Bob.

Well, let me look at them, said Bob in his deep bass, lugubrious voice. He found a seat somewhere and began to examine them closely.

George waited politely, but Bob was in no hurry, so George left and walked to Petra. Bob sat there with the young boy, bringing each coin up to his eyeglasses to look at it more closely. In the process he got lots of information: the boy’s name, where he came from, how many brothers and sisters he had, what his father did for a living, how long he’d bee peddling coins, was everybody in the family healthy, and did the boy go to school.

The boy stayed with him, convinced he’d hooked himself a dumb American tourist, and as Bob slowly examined coin after coin he kept on asking his questions: When did the boy drop out of school, could he read, what did he want to do when he grew up, and so on. He haggled carefully over each and every coin, and as part of the negotiations got the boy’s life story and the story of his family as well.

But what about Petra? I asked over breakfast. Did you ever get into Petra?

A little bit, he muttered. Didn’t get to see too much of it, but got lots of ancient coins. Made my fortune.

Ever since then, whenever he saw me,he’d say, I got a coin to sell you, you rascal. I was waiting for it when I visited him in Zen Hospice a little over a month ago.

Bob was a man who knew his true proportions.

Peter Cunningham took the photo below after a ceremony of recognition for Bob (who received dharma transmission from Bernie). Our custom was to include the giving of a bouquet of flowers to the partners of people being recognized and honored, gratitude for their support of their loved one. In this photo you see Bob, the Man of No Rank, or as we say in Zen, giving flowers to Jane, his wife, and then making three full bows to her.

She gets full prostrations, he grumbled as his knees hit the floor.

Photo by Peter Cunningham
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AN OUTING WITH LEEANN

 

Okay, since so many people want to know about my outings with Leeann, let me show you.

Comes 10:15 in the morning several times a week, Eve wraps the red collar around my neck (yes, the one that says STANLEY in big black letters just in case I forget my own name), says Come on, and when I pretend not to hear her she pushes me out the door and into the garage, and after a show of resistance the French would be proud of I jump onto the back seat.

Fool that she is, she opens the back window so that I could push my head out and gawk at the scenery, as though we haven’t done this drive week after week for almost three years. As though I ain’t freezing my kishkes off in this cold winter.

We drive up the hill to Leeann’s house, she opens the back seat and leashes me, otherwise I’ll make a run for Leeann’s chickens or the turkeys by her big garden. Along comes Leeann, whom Eve loves dearly. I’m heading back to the car but they don’t care what I want. Instead, Leeann takes the leash to bring me to her dog park while Eve waves happily and tells the world she’ll be back at 1:30 to pick me up.

And this is where Leeann brings me. I barely get my nose inside when I’m mobbed by hoodlums, all dying to smell each end of me.

Shove off, I tell Minnie the dachshund.

Get out of my face, I tell Daisy Lou the malamute.

Kaya, Queen of the Mountain because she’s Leeann’s dog and likes to stand on a big rock and survey the world, comes through shoving everyone else out of the way, overjoyed to see me as usual. It’s you, she says. How can you tell? I growl right back.

I have no idea why Eve thinks this is a good idea. She says I miss canine company. Do I sound like I miss canine company?

This time there’s a new dog around: Charlie, a young German Shepherd. He shivers nervously when the news goes around and the others crowd around him—Hey, new guy in town! Leeann’s coaxing them away to give him breathing room and even I feel sorry for the guy, so what does he do? How does he reward my empathy? Who does he choose to hang around with? That’s right, moi.

Why? Because he knows that I don’t care about him, I don’t want him, I don’t want to play with him, get him out of here! So I’m the one, of course, he chooses to get friendly with. The others already know my predilection for monkhood—Leave me alone!—but Charlie doesn’t, so I have to do my best to educate him. I growl, I snap, I run out back to take a shit, and I can’t shake him off.

Finally Leeann takes everybody out on one of those long hikes up and down Mt. Toby and half a dozen other hills, always telling me to catch up. It’s a miracle I don’t get a heart attack. To make matters worse, who’s at my side? You guessed it.

Please gift your company to others, I tell him.

I want to be with you, says he.

You’re younger, why don’t you run up ahead?

I want to be with you, says Charlie.

You don’t understand, I’m not playing hard to get, I am hard to get.

Finally we get back to Leeann’s dog park and a line of cars is already waiting to pick us up. All I can say is Eve better be on time. Just one more minute with canine company, one more minute with Charlie, and I’ll roll over, pretend I’m dead. That’ll teach them all.

 

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TIME TO GET BACK TO YOUR FOREST

Yesterday I took Stanley back into our favorite woods, the forest above the Montague Farm where we lived and worked. I’ve taken him there for 13 years but always stop when the winter snow gets too deep. Most of the snow has melted, and yesterday a voice whispered: Time to get back to your forest.

He knew it as soon as I let him off the leash by the barrier on the road. I’m sure these particular woods are home to him, his territory; nobody else knows it like he does. He wagged his tail with joyful vigor—he looked five years younger—as he rounded the barrier and walked up the road, first towards the Farm itself, and then further up towards the upper pasture and the woods behind them.

Once in the forest he goes off on his own, never bothering to check up on me like he does elsewhere; we know the trail very well, and if he is diverted by a smell I know he’ll find me soon enough. He knows that if I wish to take a photo or examine certain animal prints on the ground, eventually I’ll end up where he’ll end up, at the pools at the far end, wide and large now due to the rain and snowmelt.

The rock is there, where for years I’ve sat and looked far out to the other side of the pools in search of my Arctic wolf. I know it doesn’t make much sense to sit on a rock in Massachusetts and look for an Arctic wolf, but I’ve done that all these years ever since the time over a decade ago when I saw what looked like a white wolf far out in the clearing. And if it was just my imagination, my imagination is just as real as some naturalist’s facts.

So what if I look far out for the impossible, the unnatural, what makes no sense? I will keep on sitting on that rock and stubbornly gaze far into the distance. Perhaps it was a unicorn, not an Arctic wolf at all.

On the way to the pools there we see trees that fell this winter (photo above). They obstruct the path and we have to circumvent them, going around splintered trunks and flattened limbs, creating a new path along the way. So much life and death happening, and almost no humans to take notice.

Stanley was overjoyed. He and his Pit Bull friend, Bubale, played here for a decade, chased a coyote pulling them away from his den, and were in turn chased by a big mama bear all the way down to the creek. They’ve chased down deer and growled at a large moose on the other side of the pools. They’ve splashed after ducks and were almost mauled by a low-flying ruffed grouse eager to get them away from its nest on the ground. They leaped over fallen tree trunks never thinking once about what died there, and they raced down in hot summer days to drink from the creek.

Stanley practically danced all the way. At his age it’s not clear he’ll survive the winter long enough to make it back here in spring. His companion Bubale took her last walk here one warm March day, the first walk since fall, and never again; she died 3 weeks later. Stanley will have more than this one jaunt this springtime, and it seemed as though he’d lost five years of age as he trotted happily, tail wagging without stop, in his old hunting grounds.

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WOMAN ON A STOOL PAINTING

The other day I walked on the road and saw a painter seated on a stool inside the woods and painting on the canvas she’d set up. I thought briefly about taking her photo—we don’t see many painters at work around here though I think ours is a beautiful area—but didn’t wish to disturb her, she was so deeply and quietly working.

But I was curious to see the scene she was so intent on capturing, so the next day I walked off the road to where she was sitting and looked around, and the above photo is what I saw. I was sure of the place where she sat, knew it was by a small culvert just before the road curved taking us to the horses.

I stood there, surprised. We have so many pretty views here, what is it that drew her to this spot? There’s the rivulet of water across the middle, and a very small glen papered with dried leaves. Still, a turn of the canvas would have captured the curved road and the bigger woods on the other side. I tried to recapture her perspective, the ground and figure, and couldn’t. And realized that once again, people have their personal views on life and landscape that are plain bewildering to me.

They have their stamp collections they’ve painstakingly accumulated over a lifetime, whereas I can hardly be bothered specifying which first-class stamp I want to buy for our regular mailings.

Recently I got two gold coins and the husband of a friend sold them for me. He sat down and told me how all his life he loved coins and learned all about them from an old coin shop owner he’d hang out with after doing his paper route as a boy. He would have happily spent days in our home talking about coins, and when he left I wondered to myself: Who would think someone who worked in the business of package delivery could have such a private, lifelong passion for coins?

Something calling you out of yourself and saying: Look here, look here! No one else responds to that particular call except for you.

If the woman is a good artist, she might convey to me and others what it was that drew her here, what it was she saw that needed painting, and a private vision becomes shared. But she may also leave it hanging privately at home, her private secret, unsure herself whether anything can truly be captured. Like many writers I know with hundreds of pages of unpublished books and stories sitting in their cabinets or computer files.

We respond to those calls, do the best we can, and leave it. When we die it’ll be recycled in no time flat, without leaving a trace–except the memory one woman has of seeing another seated on a stool and painting in the woods something only she saw, no one else.

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YOM ASAL, YOM BASAL

That’s Arabic for a day of honey, a day of onions.

It’s also the title of a short poem by Chana Bloch, as follows:

In every maybe the fear of yes.
In every promise a shattered glass.

For every portion a cutting edge.
For every rift a slippery bridge.

In every hope some pickling salt.
In every bungle a touch of guilt.

Unto every plan God’s ringing laughter.
Unto every death a morning after.

Sunday night Stanley seemed to have a seizure of some kind. He breathed fast and hard, fell smash on the floor from the sofa, and seemed to lose his vision as he catapulted this way and that, stumbling over his legs, smashing against edges of furniture and bringing things down on himself and on the floor, including the fireplace screen and heavy accessories. He barely saw me.

I finally leashed him and dragged him to the guest room up the stairs, which has the least amount of furniture. In his state I couldn’t take him to a hospital. He circled round the room again and again, still breathing fast. But after about half an hour his breathing slowed down and he tired. He lay down finally and seemed to doze off. When I got up he opened his eyes and I could see that he saw me. I left the room, he followed me to the bedroom and fell asleep where he always does.

The following morning he seemed back to his old self, just a little more tired, a little more faded. Less hungry. But still loves his walks and went on a long outing with Leeann today, grinning all the way.

I’m getting good at waking up in the morning and looking for signs of spring and renewal. This morning I took my fast walk and stopped by Gala and T to give them apples. They look up from their forage before I even round the curve, and canter to the fence. Gala goes straight for my pocket, and if there’s no apple there she’ll go for the phone. But there were apples, which made her happy. T behind her has a face covering protecting his eyes from the sun, like sunglasses.

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THE AMARYLLIS AND BOB LEE

This amaryllis has been going strong for over a month. It opens up and opens up, and then, when you think it can’t anymore, it opens up some more. Eventually it’ll curl and crumple, fold into itself before shedding petals. But before that it will open till there’s nothing hidden.

I watch it day by day and think of Bob Lee, our friend who passed away last week (see below). He started out as a family physician and became a psychiatrist, eventually heading up the psychiatric services of Kaiser Permanente, probably the nation’s pre-eminent health insurance program.

Bob was also a Zen meditator for at least half a century. Unlike other Zen practitioners/therapists who tried to combine or reconcile the two approaches in some way, Bob kept both very separate. Instead, he helped many Zen practitioners, at no cost, to mediate relationships with partners, children, teachers, and inside the sangha.

When we were developing the Greyston organizations in Yonkers, New York, he’d fly over from San Francisco to be with us. We all knew we could talk to him individually and privately. The work was grueling and the hours were long, and in those early days we still hadn’t developed approaches to help us handle conflict and complexity in community.

Funny how naïve we were then, thinking that sitting meditation in silence would solve everything. Thankfully, we’ve learned some lessons since then.

But the Zen Community of New York had Bob. He’d sit in someone’s small bedroom and people would come to him with their troubled hearts. Years later Bernie and I would go to him for couple counseling during the year we lived in La Honda.

Again, it’s funny how tough so many of us were in those days. It was as if Zen practice was the antidote to everything. After all, there seemed to be a diagnosis: You’re confused because you don’t see that there is no self. So who’s there to get hurt? Diagnosis and cure all mixed together.

Funny what big circles we could run around feelings and wounds. It’s as though we had to become Spartans all, in denial of that most basic truth of the Buddha, that suffering was part and parcel of the whole shebang. The amount of energy spent on denial in Zen centers at that time could have powered our planet because many of us were warriors, gathering up strength not to open like the amaryllis, but to build stronger, thicker armor from the mess that is life, the mess that is love.

Along came Bob, who knew so much but seemed so simple. You’d talk to him, empty your heart overladen with the debris of denial, and he’d listen, giving a brief and low hmmm every once in a while. His voice was very low-pitched so that even in the early days you had to listen hard. At this point I don’t much remember the content as much as the softness he encouraged in me, addressing hurt in a kind and gentle language that one didn’t much find in Zen centers those days. He himself didn’t do long-term therapy, he felt that a lot could be done in just a few skillful sessions, eschewing stories of the past and focusing on the moment and our reactions now.

As he got older Bob was like the amaryllis, opening up and opening up. He became transparent in those later years, deriving so much joy from the people around him. Well, hello, you rascal, he would say to me in his low, lugubrious voice.

His eyes positively sparkled when he saw Bernie. He loved Bernie, and Bernie loved him back. They were from an old era, shared recollections of old teachers and friends. They had a language together that was coherent to others but contained a depth of emotion and association that I think only they recognized.

The years passed and Bob just unveiled and unveiled. Even as his body hardened and stiffened his mind seemed to grow more boyish, experiencing surprised delight at a new sun, a new book, and new/old faces.

Finally he crumpled, as the amaryllis will shortly do.

The Buddha may not have been right about everything, but he was right about many things, including the fact that one flower could transmit the dharma for many, many generations.

Photo by Jane Winslow

 

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GROWING UP IN A ZEN HOUSE

Exhausted after translating

Sometimes people ask me what it’s like to grow up in a Zen house. Wow, you’ve been living all your life with two—not one, but two—Zen teachers, what do they talk about? What’s it like?

Let me tell you, both of them are totally insane.

There’s the guy who sits there looking out into space, saying almost nothing. Nothing perturbs him, nothing bothers him, you could tell him a war just started over in Greenfield and he’ll say Is that so?

People come by. How’re you doing? they ask.

He says: Okay.

How is it after the stroke? Okay.

How’s the winter been? Okay.

How’s Donald Trump? Okay.

Everything’s okay no matter what.

I’m not saying he doesn’t have feelings, just that you don’t hear too much about them. Doesn’t complain, doesn’t explain, likes to look across the room for a long time. I look there, too, only I don’t see anything.

Then there’s the woman, and she’s something else entirely. Jumps up from bed before the sun, fills the birdfeeders, tells me it’s freezing outside, strokes me till I tell her to stop, opens windows to air out the house (you’d think there’s no air in the house), worries about icicles around the branches, gives apples to horses and leans so close the juices go all over her jacket and pants, constantly asks the guy how he feels, what he wants to eat, how’s his nose, how are his eyes, can’t stop noticing everything.

Stops in the middle of dinner and tells us to look out the window. Do you see the sunset? she asks excitedly.

Okay, says the guy.

What do you mean, okay? says she. It’s gorgeous.

I’m color-blind, says the guy.

I’m with him on this one. Why would anybody stop eating to look at a sunset? Why would anybody stop eating?

And who’s smack in the middle between these two? Moi. And when they can’t communicate, because they can’t be more different from each other if they tried, who translates? You got it.

The woman asks the guy, What do you want me to get you from the co-op?

Nothing, he says.

She looks at me and I translate: Diet Coke and Bart’s Malted Vanilla ice cream.

Later that day:

She: Bernie, do you want a second blanket? It’s chilly in the room.

He: I’m okay.

She looks at me. He needs another blanket, I tell her.

The other way, too.

She: OMG, my eyes are finally clearing up. For a week there I could hardly see anything, and now this medication is causing everything to clear and I can see the world and I can drive and look at faces and actually see you!

He: That’s nice.

Me: He couldn’t be more thrilled.

She: Bob Lee passed away. What a wonderful soul, what a bighearted man. Remember the couple’s counseling we did with him so many years ago? Always so ready to help and be there for people.

He: Yeah.

Me: He’s overcome with grief.

Finally, when I can’t stand to translate anymore, I pretend to be deaf and go off to the sofa for my nap. I know I know, without me they won’t understand each other, he’ll stare into space, she’ll bury herself in the office. But there’s only so much I can do. Imagine, a dog my age working so hard!

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REPORTS OF MY IMMINENT DEMISE ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED-

photo by Leeann Warner

. . . and highly premature. I’m still living and plan to be living for a while  longer.

I don’t know why Eve is such a drama queen, always expecting the worst. I once asked her and she said it’s because she’s Jewish. Let me tell you, that woman has catastrophe in her bones! She does make an effort, looks for my cheerful snoring face first thing in the morning, searches for signs of early spring, loves to open up windows and cause the rest of us to freeze to death, but actually, the woman has catastrophe in her blood cells.

And who’s the one who takes care of that? Who’s the one that gets her to look up at the sun and the sky, who takes her out on walks into the woods, who reminds her to remember the birds outside, to remember life?

Moi!

I grin, I smile, I wag my tail, I chase after squirrels. I scrounge around for sunflower seeds under the bird feeders so that she could yell at me. I dig up old bones and bring them upstairs and shake the mud loose right in front of her onto the rug so that she could get pissed–because the wise ones among us know that there’s energy in getting pissed!

Now who’s going to do that for her once I’m gone? She threatens that the minute I go she’ll bring two new dogs into the house. No mourning, not even a shiva! If she does that you’ll hear from me from beyond the grave, I promise.

Why do I wear that stupid red Eddie Bauer winter coat when we go out? For her sake. She thinks she’s doing it for me, but in fact she has no idea who the true Bodhisattva is around here. We’re always doing things for you humans, but you guys think you’re taking care of us.

I let her take me out on walks in the coldest of days—I mean like: Say what? Do you really think that at my age I need to walk in 0 degrees, even in an Eddie Bauer winter coat? She’s annoyed, says Look at all the layers I have to put on to take you out, and I grin and wag my tail when I’m really thinking: You dummy, I’m doing this for you! Or going into the woods during shooting season for God’s sake, and wearing that ridiculous orange vest that won’t deter any hunter who’s not drinking too much from taking a good shot at me!

Or letting her take me to Leeann, where she sees a dozen crazy dogs playing rough—like at my age I really need Romper Room! But do I complain? Do I report her for abuse? No, sir, I wag my tail as Leeann marches me off to the horde, and as soon as that malamute scampers over I whisper: Shove off, Daisy Lou, even as I could hear Eve behind me thinking: Isn’t that sweet!

Does she know any of this? In fact, I pretend to be deaf so as not to embarrass her, especially when she’s singing to me or talking like an idiot: Come on, you pretty dog. Oh Stanie Mannie Shmannie. Oh love love love, doggie doggie dog. Disgusting, but do I let her know I can hear every embarrassing word? I do not. She makes up the most awful songs on earth, things she’d never tell you in her blog, you don’t want to hear the tune or you’ll get sick. Maybe one day when she’s not watching I’ll put it all on YouTube, I’m sure it’ll go viral.

And then there’s the other Zen guy there who leaves half his food on his plate and sneaks it down to me. Do you think I eat it because I’m hungry? Of course not, I do it to give him pleasure. Two Zen teachers acting silly, but you see, all that singing and feeding and purring gets the love out of them. It builds up affection and enthusiasm, gets those nurturing hormones working, and I know that’s going to lengthen their days even if they don’t.

Who do I do it all for? For her! For him! For them!

You know what I bring to her life? Delight. Da-light. I bring delight to her life1

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BLACK PANTHER(S)

Like the rest of the country, I went to see the Black Panther last night, on the first weekend it opened up. I don’t particularly like superhero movies, but a friend invited me to join her and her family, and I felt pulled to be part of what seemed almost a national wave of people going to pay tribute to a film about a black superhero, directed and acted by mostly a black cast.

There I am, one white female face in a sea of white faces (our part of New England is mostly white). By now the reviews are in. It’s a terrific story, acted beautifully, and visually gorgeous. I loved the movie’s strong women, their humor, poise, and grit.

There’s the black king, born and raised in a part of Africa never colonized, permitted to evolve in its own way, holding on to its traditions and ways of life even as it soars technologically. And then there’s the usurper, the man born in a poor Oakland, California neighborhood, who comes to claim the throne.

It’s to the credit of the movie that it gives him lots of sympathy despite his bad intentions. He’s the one who most fascinated me: the man half-in, half-out, a product of American urban slums leaving the only way he knows how, by joining the military and fighting in our wars around the world, becoming a highly trained killer, and finally going to his ancestral home. But he can’t relate to their way of life either, he’s a broken man. The king sees that brokenness, even has empathy for it, but in the end he has to play his role just as the usurper plays his.

A wave of white people in the Cinemark theater in Hadley cheered for the king and his people, cheered for the movie, and hope it will start changing things in Hollywood for African-American moviemakers. Breaking box office records this weekend didn’t hurt.

For me it was a call to the imagination, even a cry to imagine something better and finer for this world, something that could have been and still could be. A call to ignore those cynically content with things as they are, and imagine a different future.

I thought of the Black Panthers in the 1960s, and finally of the Angola Three, members of the Black Panthers who were put in solitary confinement in the Angola penitentiary in Louisiana for at least 25 years, two of them for at least 40. Forty years in solitary confinement! The warden of Angola explained he did this because the three were members of the Black Panthers.

A friend once told me that he talked with Anita Roddick, the English woman who founded the Body Shop, just before she died. He asked her what he could do for her, and she begged him to continue her efforts to free the Angola Three. He agreed, and as a result of work done by him, lawyers and advocates who wouldn’t let the cases die, some years later the three were finally freed, though one died immediately after release.

I met Robert King, the first of the three to be freed, in New York City and in my friend’s house, saw his demeanor and listened to him talk. Watching the movie last night about the Black Panther, I thought of him.

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NOT THE WAY TO LEEANN

I don’t know, this isn’t the way to Leeann. Everything else feels the same. I’m sitting in the back seat of the car and it’s morning, but this doesn’t feel right. So either you forgot how to go to Leeann or you’re going the very long way.

Actually, you’re right, Stan. We’re not going to Leeann, we’re going to Dr. Brown.

Oh no! The House of Horrors!

Look Stanley, you have allergies in the winter, you’re scratching hard, you’re not sleeping!

So?

I want you to get a good night’s sleep, Stanley, not walk around the house like a zombie all night scratching.

You mean you want to get a good night’s sleep. I’ll live with being a zombie.

And your back legs are getting weaker.

They’re my back legs.

You’re eating less, Stanley. You always had such a good appetite, and now I have to cajole you into eating breakfast.

So I’ll lose some weight. Could we turn around now and go home?

Come on, Stan, you think it’s easy for me to take you to the House of—Dr. Brown? As soon as she enters the exam room you turn to the corner, showing her your butt. She calls your name, Stanley! Stanley!, and you don’t even turn around. How do you think that makes me feel?

You know, there’s something you should know that you don’t want to know.

What’s that, Stanley?

I’m old! I’m slow! I do my best to catch up with the rest of Leeann’s gang, but it’s getting harder and harder because I’m old and sometimes I hurt. I’m aging, I’m falling apart. So what?

What do you mean, so what? It’s tough seeing you in pain, it’s tough seeing you limp sometimes or else walk around during the night not sleeping. It’s tough seeing you lose your appetite.

I’m going.

Going where?

You know where. It’s slow going, but I’m still going. So what? Do you see me getting upset?

You know, Stanley, instead of taking you to Dr. Brown so early in the morning I could have gone to my yoga class!

Next time do the yoga class! And start letting me go.

Go where?

You know where. It’s time.

Now?

Not now. Soon.

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