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As I lie on my back, watching a cottony white cloud pass overhead, I find myself marveling at how easily dogs catch things with their mouths.

Perhaps humans simply aren’t biologically built for such things.  The canine jaw, as with most carnivores, is built to open wide, the better to allow large bones to be placed far enough back in the mouth to be crushed by the carnassials and molars, providing access to the nutritious marrow within.  Humans, omnivores that we are, don’t require such specialized dentition and jaw motion, so our mouths don’t open nearly as wide.  Certainly not wide enough to catch a tennis ball.

It’s not that I tried to catch it with my teeth or anything.  It just sort of happened that way.

The cloud is suddenly replaced by the silhouette of a person.  The otherwise formless being says something, but I’m distracted by the coppery taste in my mouth.  I run my tongue across my lower lip and feel the gashes left from the collision between lip and incisor.  I can put my tongue inside my lip.  This bothers me.

The formless person comes more sharply into view.  A woman with dark hair and a soft natural-looking tan stands over me.  She’s wearing capri-cut black yoga pants and a light blue form-fitting tank top.  A lovely, slender specimen of a woman.

“It slipped, I swear!!  Tonka just gets the ball so slobbery, it comes right out of my hand!  I’m so sorry it hit you!””

I notice the leash in her hand and follow it with my eyes to a large German shepherd mix, presumably Tonka, proudly holding the tennis ball in his mouth.  He looks at me as if to say, “See, this is how it’s done, dipshit.”

I finally sit up, groaning the entire way.  “S’okay, shit happens,” I mutter.  I spit a mouthful of blood into the grass between me and the dog.  He sniffs at it, then resumes judging my poor oral control.

His owner is more contrite.  She kneels beside me and puts an arm around my shoulders.  “Thank you so much for understanding!  Are you going to be okay?”

I’m more interested in her comforting gesture, and the view of the small-yet-lovely cleavage to which I am permitted from this angle, than I am my busted lip.  I try my most charming smile, but I’m sure its charm is lost amidst the blood.  “Seriously, it’s okay.  I’ve always wondered what dogs see in chasing balls.  I’ll consider this my first data point.”

She looks blankly at me.  “Your…. what?”

“Data point.”  I return her gaze briefly, then shake my head.  “Nevermind.  Bad joke.”

“Oh!”  She laughs now, seemingly relieved.  Maybe she’d thought I had a concussion or something.  “Well, you may have gotten more than you wanted.  There’s still some dog slobber on your chin.”

“The gift that keeps on giving,” I reply as I wipe Tonka drool off my chin.  I try not to wince.

She continues to smile, though her brow knits in concern.  “Seriously though, are you going to be okay?”

I laugh and nod.  “Sure, I’ll be okay.  Not the first time I’ve been hit in the mouth.  I just… you know… usually see it coming.”  She laughs again, and we make eye contact.

We hold it for a few moments.

She’s not looking away.

“But,” I continue, as though this were where I’d been going all along, “given the circumstances, I think the least you can do is grab a drink with me.”

She narrows her eyes and smirks.  “Oh really.  You don’t think your wife would disapprove?”  She gestures toward my left hand, toward the silver ring I wear.

Shit.  I almost get tripped up by that, but rather than call me a pig or some other barnyard euphamism, she continues to smirk.

So, I shrug and look over to Tonka.  “Most likely.  She’s more of a cat person.”  I reach out and snap my fingers, and Tonka rushes immediately to my side, dropping the ball beside me, eager to illustrate why his catching skills are superior to my own.  I pick it up and wipe some of the slobber off.  Tonka whines encouragingly.

“Me, I prefer dogs,” I continue.  “They don’t judge you like cats do.  They’re more in the moment, willing to overlook the unimportant details and quick to forgive any offense.”  I chuck the ball across the grassy field, and Tonka tears off after it, barking happily.  “Just give them a target, something to pursue, and they’re happy.”  I look back at her.  “I like that.”

Her smirk remains, but it’s more playful than before.  She shakes her head and rises, offering me a hand to help me do the same.  We stand a few inches apart, and she gestures over her shoulder with a nod of her head.  “My place is a few blocks that way.  You walk me and Tonka home, and we’ll see about that drink.”

“Fair enough,” I reply coolly.

Seven hours later, as I mount his owner from behind, I can’t help but smirk at Tonka as he watches me glumly, all the while thinking to myself, See, this is how it’s done.

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14 Comments

  1. Brilliant, Bi. Brilliant. I’m hungry for more, lots more. I’m going to throw balls at every man laying in the park from this day forth and hope my luck is as good as yours. I’ve missed these stories.

    • It was more, I was walking through the park, and a mis-throw on her part landed squarely on my lower lip. Unexpected tennis ball in the mouth will catch most people by surprise. I didn’t so much collapse as decide to sit, then lie, down, because, well, it was that or get pissed. And the grass felt nice.

      And, as always, thanks for the compliment, Hy. Means a lot coming from you!!

  2. Well written as always, my dear. I personally liked the “data point” line. It would have worked on me, but then I started out as a Chemistry major and spent a summer working in the biochem lab at Catholic University.

  3. Wonderful read, as usual…even though I knew how this would end, my favorite part is the last paragraph…I actually laughed out loud…

  4. I have to admit, I have mixed emotions when I read your entries. Nothing that a mere comment could possibly convey. From a writer’s standpoint, however, this was brilliant. Drink sometime? 😉

    • Yeah, they’re never really intended to be feel-good kind of stories, since they’re all true. I have a lot of happier memories, but I just don’t share them here. Perhaps I should branch out?

      Thank you for the compliment. Not sure I would call it brilliant, but I’m glad other people think so!

      And I am always open for drinks. 😉

  5. Lovely, Bi. And hot, as always!

  6. My mind is quite thoroughly stuck on being mounted from behind. Fatigue is making me easily distracted. I would have behaved much more awkwardly. Chucking a tennis ball at an attractive man would never yield the same results for me. Something about this makes me chuckle perhaps it’s your exchange with the dog. That’s gotta be it. 🙂

    • Nailing me with a tennis ball was entirely accidental on her part, so I doubt she could have played it cool at all. Had it not been for my usual promiscuous behavior, the scene could have played out quite differently.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  7. Loved the last paragraph – very funny! When you talk of happier memoirs do you mean you and Ashley? I’d love to hear more about you and Ashley – not of course that I’m not enjoying your carefreeness in lust – its just I’m curious maybe…

    • Not just Ashley, but Kelly, Maria, and several other people I’ve never talked about here. Not everything about me is depressing or secret-by-necessity, after all! 😉

      I’m considering sharing a few of the more positive stories. I just need to be careful about sharing too much information, especially about Ashley. But I’ll definitely give it some thought!


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