Johnny’s always running around trying to find certainty. He needs all the world to confirm that he ain’t lonely. Mary counts the walls. Knows he tires easily. Johnny thinks the world would be right if it could buy truth from him. Mary says he changes his mind more than a woman. But she made her bed, even when the chance was slim. Johnny says he’s willing to learn, when he decides he’s a fool. Johnny says he’ll live anywhere, when he earns time to. Mary combs her hair. Says she should be used to it. Mary always hedges her bets. She never knows what to think. She says that he still acts like he is being discoveredâ€”scared that he’ll be caught, without a second thought. Running around. Johnny feels he’s wasting his breath trying to talk sense to her. Mary says he’s lacking a real sense of proportion. So, she combs her hair. Knows he tires easily.
Many many years ago, my father remarried, built a new house, and settled in for the rest of his life. He and his new wife soon adopted a short-legged, charismatic little pooch they’d noticed wandering around the neighborhood?er, more specifically, they adopted him when they noticed him wandering around Lee Highway.
They named him “Marion Barry.” Quoth my Dad: …we named him for the Mayor of Washington D.C. whose nocturnal peregrinations were not unlike those of this small black dog who enjoyed visiting the group house behind us in search of smoke. Some might take offense at the name, but with this dog in this city at that time, the name was perfect.
Today is Marion Barry’s last day with us. He is in most everybody’s estimation too sick to keep going. He is approximately 17 years old, damned ancient for a dog, and he’s arthritic and blind and his liver doesn’t work. It is, sadly, time to put him down.
Marion has spent his last years rather happily on a large farm estate in Rochester, N.Y. Though he bore the rather obvious signs of a dog going unhealthy with age, the cloudy eyes, the greasy coat, the little mole growing on his snout. As I recall, however, he never lost his personality and always seemed to refute his advanced age. I will genuinely miss seeing the old boy when I go up to Gonfalon Farm.