It Is What It Is

the Gracie Stories, part 6

A difficult day; too hot to leave Gracie outside today, I let her out in the morning, helped her down to the grass and into the pen next to my Italiano home, let her hang out there an hour or two with a couple of delicious meaty chews, brought her back in. She was worn out, I had to carry her inside and she didn’t finish one of the meaty chews. First time.

I called the veterinarian who is sympathetic and helped me through the passage of my last noble beast, the great Wallie mighty bulldog, who lived long and well until the last day of her life. Yom Kippur. I asked the vet’s assistant to have him call me back. About what? She asked.

I want to talk to him about. . .I don’t know the language. . .I’m generally quick with words but I couldn’t get the words out from under my tongue. I wanted to say euthanasia but that didn’t come out, put her down or whatever that expression is always seemed so artificial to me I don’t believe I’ve ever uttered those words, I want to hold her on my lap while the life ebbs out of her is what I was thinking but I just couldn’t say it. I understand, she said, I’ll have him call you back.

I put Gracie upstairs where it was cooler [it’s 90 degrees today here in Paradise] and went on my way to do some shop shop for the coming holiday. I am an able and quick shopper. I know the grocery stores like a frog knows the pond, as Plato used to say. I know exactly where everything is and just what I want. I can load up a sophisticated mid-size SUV imported from Detroit full of groceries in half an hour — tops.

I went to the local mega-store last night too, late enough when I wouldn’t have to deal with any traffic, hurtled my way through and made most of my Passover purchases. The lady at the check-out was impressed at my skill and also commented on my elegant Milanese fashion; I have taken to wearing suspenders and do not dare go out of the house without the complete attire — natty straw fedora, a very tasteful red iridescent tie, vintage, that I found and stole off of ebay, one of the suits I purchased in Detroit and had tailored by my personal team of Lebanese couturiers.

I was meeting with someone later that day about some grant requests I am recommending and my veterinarian called. I have to take this.

I went outside and told him that Gracie was declining. When it’s time, I said all in euphemism and innuendo, I want to come over when there’s not a lot of people; in the evening if I could, come and go quietly if you don’t mind. He assured me that however I wanted this to happen, he would help me.

I returned to my meeting. Finished it and bought my sacred partner a sandwich without bread, it is wrapped in lettuce or something, it’s not Passover yet but we are all starting to think this way and when I got home Gracie was snoozing quietly in her lair. Hot outside, good to be inside. So – did we snatch away another day?

My sweetheart gave me a nice plant someone brought over, it was drooping and she asked me to put it out in the sun. I did and as I am sitting here tap tapping away I can see the plant reviving in front of my eyes. How I have missed these mysteries of life, death, resurrection that are all around me in the most natural within-nature ways is overwhelming me. I am in Italy as I sit on my upper porch, of course, which adds I think to my sensitivity to natural law and beauty.

I am in love with life on life’s terms. Bring it on, yours truly, Giacomo Buonomo