When Mark told me he was going to adopt a new dog on Sunday, my unspoken reaction was, excuse me? I was in the city, he was out in Springs, and I thought, and this is how we do things around here? YOU'RE going to adopt a dog? After all, we've spent the last six dogless years talking about what the next dog might be, maybe an English bull, maybe a pit bull, maybe a Bernese mountain dog, maybe-- But a Golden Retriever? Hadn't I just said, French bulldog, with unexpected authority, not two days before? And on and on Mark went, and he couldn't of course see my forehead pressing hard, harder into my right hand as he told me he wanted, needed this. And my mind started drifting to the lesbian couple in Lisa Choldenko's film The Kids Are All Right, which we'd seen just a few nights before, with its funny, sweet, and very grave exploration of marriage over the long term, and I instantly experienced myself as the landscaping Julianne Moore character, shoving her hands in the dirt, planting things that wanted to leaf and lengthen and bloom over time. And maybe I, just like the landscaping Julianne Moore character, needed to be having hot sex with the Mark Ruffalo character for just a little while. (Or the actual Mark Ruffalo. Mark Ruffalo: what do you think, buddy?)
To make a long story short, as they say, I heard rustling at 6:30 this morning, got up out of bed, and there he was--Ned, all of three weeks old, tail slapping the flagstone as I walked out to see him. And there I was, running around the backyard, after praising him for making a big steamy poop. And I had to have been out there for a full ten minutes before I realized I was running around in my jockey shorts, the American Apparel jockey shorts with the words LEGALIZE GAY printed over the back of the butt, the very underwear that I used to snort and roll my eyes at whenever I passed the window display on Eighth Avenue, which had somehow ended up in my shopping cart, because I'd mistaken them for PLAIN underpants, damn it. And just now I'm looking out my study window to see the smart, pensive, curious, tricky, very self-possessed little one nosing through sedum in the garden. He could start pulling up plants in the garden, for all I care. I am home.
Click here for some more shots of Ned.