Listen to this piece read by the author

Eventually the mother died. My wife, was, in spite of everything, very fond of her mother, and had saved a dog abandoned at Vaughn’s – because, she said, the dog reminded her of her mother.

      Then why be so careless? Because Molly went up a walkway of stairs with the dog who wasn’t on a leash, and using by-paths – she went far into a part of the park where there were high thickets and the dog disappeared.

      So after we had given up looking for the dog and had called the ASPCA – we headed off to get a few things, like some milk and a cucumber.

      Vaughn at the Palm Superette told us Tiger had just been there and had eaten a meal of sausage slices, and as it turns out, the dog was on his way home.

      He is a smart dog.

      He’s a cross between a terrier and a whatnot, hardly a hair toward the rear end, a shivering mess and he is constantly peeing on the bedspread and on the table leg.

      Oh, it’s easy to clean up, Molly says, and it’s nothing.

      One evening Molly was on her knees by the bed alongside Tiger and I observed her enthusiasm and the refined groping Molly was engaged in with Tiger and she said something jumbly to him.

      I found that suddenly I wanted to accuse Molly of anything or maybe I wanted to appeal to her for kindness.

      But I took no time at all to choose between these and this is a consequence of the deep wellsprings of spontaneity that I count on to feel alive.

      There were people just like me, I am sure, among the first humans – who rallied themselves to the cause of vibrance and penance.

      Tiger stood and moved backward barking while I said aloud quite loudly what amounted to bad luck for all of us. It brought a blight, a disaster.

      And confronted by this and other injuries I’ve caused – Molly has never left me, nor have I wandered away. I am not ready to bow out. I have no idea yet how this matrimonial entanglement ends. Tiger died. He was such an eager dog.

# # #

This morning we were getting ready to travel – I was going through my things to find my wallet and my passport and we were very late – and I found that I had this fantastic feeling!

      I am looking for something – my hand is on it – the thing I’m looking for! But my hand knew it – this was not what I was looking for. And sure enough, it was an old passport.

      Then there was an issue with an old greasy toolbox with spare parts, too near the clothing. The toolbox has some importance.

      The spare parts that peeked out of the toolbox looked like intestines. I want no part of them, yet I knew we had to keep these.

      Besides, I knew we couldn’t get going until I found the passport – and the money.

      But no matter what, I might have already spent the money rashly, although also probably with a great deal of care.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences