So it’s blizzarding outside, meaning I get to somewhat fulfill Joe Scarborough’s portrait of me. There aren’t any Cheetos in the Flophouse, but I intend to work from the warmth and comfort of my pajamas and my Snuggie as long as I can. I also have a reported piece on Iraq withdrawal to file by this afternoon, which has already involved more actual reporting than Scarborough will ever conduct. While I ate Cheetos in my underwear, motherfucker, what.
First a Kingsley story. We picked him up from the Washington Animal Rescue League on a day in February 2003 that was absolutely blanketed in snow. He was about four months old and tiny enough that I cradled him in my arms while he shivered in the blanket-lined milkcrate we kept for him in the car. The concept of snow confounded him — the ground never feels like this; it doesn’t look wet but it is; it’s cold to the touch; help. He went limp when we took him out of the car, his eyes drifting up as he sank slowly into a curbside snowbank, asking, softly, why.
We carried him up the stairs and into the apartment. He was throughly relieved to be on dry land again, so he relieved himself. We decided it was time for his first walk.
Getting down the stairs moments after he just escaped the torment of the snow displeased him greatly. Two steps were all he could take — the snow would have been up to his chin if he had a chin — so he looked to us to carry him the rest of the way. Our landlord must have shoveled the walk earlier, since the sidewalk in front of our apartment was less carpeted by snow than our neighbors’. Kingsley took the opportunity to get his snow legs. One paw in front of the other, weight centered, the hind legs providing stability. This wasn’t so bad.
So then he shot off. Down the block and across the street was a Shaw elementary-school playground. A snowbank. leaned against the playground’s wire fence. Kingsley demanded to run through that snow. He nearly toppled me over, he pulled on that leash so hard and so fast. Once in the snowbank, he didn’t run through it so much as he bounced like a frog, kicking his legs together against the cold ground beneath the snow, sending flurries up in his wake. I ran to keep pace, unsure if he’d run away if I took him off the leash. He never did and never will.
We had a fun walk this morning.