THAI MEATBALLS AND SWEET POTATOES

Oh oh, hindrance up ahead!

Isn’t the rain amazing, Stanley?

No.

It’s as if somebody up there took a giant hose spewing cascades of water all over New England, every single tree, bush and blade of grass, missing nothing. And you know what’s even more amazing, Stan?

No.

We don’t pay for it. Not a cent. It’s just done for us, watering the irises and the hydrangeas, coaxing the phlox and dahlias to come out—all for free, Stanley.

I’m paying for it. I’m not going to Leeann today.

She canceled her outing. But today wasn’t going to be a regular outing, it was going to be Sniff & Greet. You know, the special sessions for old dogs like you that can’t take big hikes anymore in the heat of summer.

I just sniff, I don’t greet, so pay her half, ok?

How come you’re not more sociable, Stanley? You don’t like anybody. Not Minnie the dachshund who adores you, not Ruby the German Shepherd—

Who certainly doesn’t adore me, just bosses me around like all the other females in my life.

Stanley!

How come females like to boss around males?

We do not, Stan.

Look at Gaia and T, the horses I never see. She pushes him around all the time. Whenever you bring them apples she won’t even let him approach the fence.

Am I bossy, Stanley?

Is it raining cats-and-dogs outside? By the way, why do you call it cats-and-dogs? Of course you’re bossy! Look at how you boss me around. The Man, too!

I do not!

Oh no? How about when you get him up in the morning to go to physical therapy, or when you push him to eat more? He’d give me the food he doesn’t eat but no, you have to tell him to finish it all. You stole Thai meatballs and sweet potatoes right out of my mouth last night!

Oh Stanley, it’s all about love.

Of course it’s about love! I love Thai meatballs and sweet potatoes.

It’s much more than that, Stan.

That’s enough for me.

There’s the rain pouring outside and the leaves shivering, Stanley. The birds quiet this morning, the slumbering man in the next room, the slumbering house, tears everywhere,–

Thai meatballs and sweet potatoes–

You know what Rumi wrote, Stan? Every thirst gets satisfied except the thirst of the mystics, who long and long. And then he adds: “No one lives in that without being nourished every day.” Get it?

No.

The yearning and thirst are themselves the nourishment, Stanley. You yearn for love but the yearning is the love. You open your hands, you stretch out your arms, you reach out again and again forever—that’s the love, Stanley, not what you get back.

Are you telling me that my yearning for Thai meatballs and sweet potatoes is more important than having the real thing in my bowl?

That’s what Rumi said, Stanley.

Man’s a lunatic.

The yearning is the love, Stanley. I know, it’s hard to get.

It’s non-gettable!