Darlene and our new puppy arrived last night at Logan. We took time out in a hallway for Claire to stretch her legs, drink, and eat a few tiny bits of dried food. She seemed stunned in a calm kind of way, and she slept at Darlene's feet during the two-hour drive to southern Maine. Puppy and parents slept well at the Hooper Cottage. This morning during a brief visit to our bed, Claire peed on my side.
After being apart for a week, I made the mistake of imagining that Darlene and I would have a liesurely seaside morning of getting reconnected. Instead, life as a threesome began with the new player peeing in my bed and launching my partner into turbo-cleaning mode. "I don't want you to feel like you're not Number One," she told me just now on the cell phone, reaching my wi-fi retreat at Starbucks in Saco. Right. Take a look at this photo and then estimate how much this puppy means to Fifi. It pisses me off when my emotions don't match my aspirations to be a realized, loving person free from the bondage of self. It's even worse when I catch myself competing with a foe who weighs 1.7 pounds.
Love does not follow the decimal system. Claire is terminally cute. Without thinking, I found myself sprawled on the floor of Logan International Airport, taking photos of her every move. I plan to fight fire with fire, daring to love a puppy instead of compete with her. After 21 years of marriage, who knows what new sparks may fly?