As fate--that fickle old rascal--might have it, I also ended up going on vacation this past Thursday. Well, it's more of a glorified weekend trip to PA, but for a New Yorker that most definitely qualifies as a vacation.
Now here's the thing: Pets are not allowed in our (expensive but too small) Bronx apartment, and plants of all religions and denominations worldwide consider me their mortal enemy (having not two, not three, but TEN brown thumbs), and the view from our apartment is exactly what one might expect from a place named after a man unironically sporting the last name of Bronck.
Thus it is with great pleasure I present to you, dear Reiders, lurking reef dwellers, and other assorted sea creatures of ill repute, Gracie--the closest thing I'll ever have to a pet.
She lives on a farm in PA. Our eyes met the moment the blond-headed Amish boy led our small tour group into the stable filled with the unmistakable aroma of reality. There she stood with a yearning look and a mouthful of hay. Within a mere moment the air was abuzz with the sizzle of magic and romance (It may have been horseflies, though. I'm not 100% sure).
I said: "Why, hello Beautiful." She playfully nuzzled my forehead. I laughed gaily and pulled an extra-absorbent napkin from my pocket. I then offered her a big lump of sugar. She excitedly stepped forward and returned the favor by giving me a massive lump on the shin. Stars filled the room, ecstasy overcame me, and twenty-two simple words imprinted themselves upon my heart: Sometimes love, true love, pure love, the kind of love that makes you go "Mhm, mhm, mhm," is so real it hurts.
"But, Casual-T," I hear you say, "what about Mrs. Casual?" Yes, of course, you are right. I am a married man, and I love my wife dearly. I would never leave her (for a horse). But I simply can't bring myself to forget those tender, honest, and ever so bittersweet moments I shared with Gracie on that hot summer's day in Pennsylvania. I will remember her for as long as I limp. (Have you ever seen a shin the color, shape, and consistency of an eggplant? It's quite a sight to behold.)