Dog Park



Chris leans forward hands rubbing each other nervously

“So my first marriage started ok, then she had four miscarriages and a still born daughter. It was tolerable until the little girl was born dead. Tanked the marriage. I never really understood why but it was just done. I traveled all the time working in those early days. Just buried myself in my work. After she left I stayed single for about 15 years.

Boy this is harder to talk about then I thought. You look so pretty and I don’t think I’m doing such a good job here.

I moved to Florida. Didn’t know a soul. Still don’t really. Find it hard to find people I feel are real or that I could be good friends with. At least not like I had up in New Jersey.

I bought two farms. One in Virginia, one in Pennsylvania. Started raising horses. And went to work for a great company out of Tampa selling restaurant and bar equipment to large chains. Did really really well. Moved to Osprey because of the weather.

Waiter materializes

You want a drink? Just water? This is so awkward I am sorry if I am just prattling on but you make me nervous for some reason. It’s not like we’re at the dog park. You look so different.

Anyways then I married an interior designer from here in town. She always had a lot of fancy parties we had to go to with her clients. I finally told her we had to get divorced or she wouldn’t have any clients left.

(laughs) because I was just gonna punch somebody. We tried her going alone but eventually she just left me and boomer. I was so relieved when she left.

Waiter comes they order

Please get anything you like I’m having the scallops. You look so pretty. I already said that didn’t I? I’m sorry i never date. Just have no idea what to do here. The lady wants the snapper, cauliflower puree and green beans.

Waiter takes order

All along, I’d been raising thorough breds and racing them for quite a while. I had some good luck. Won the Preakness things like that. My trainer who just passed and I became really close. She was a good partner. we were best friends and she was like my daughter. We had these investors that would buy the horses. then when we knew they were gonna win we’d have them come down and bet huge amounts of money. Not all the time, mind you, that would have been too obvious. Just once in a while. It was enough. Then we’d split the winnings, the investors, my trainer and me. Boomer always came along. It was good. I love the horses. And I loved my trainer. I loved boomer. It was a great life. I never loved her in a sexual way but like a daughter. but you understand that don’t you? she was 30 years younger than me just great with the horses. called me dad. Her husband was always so resentful, which made it hard. I don’t know why either. she was so loyal to him, he had no reason to be jealous.

Starts to cry

I don’t have anybody I can talk to about this, You are the only woman I have been interested in, even looked at in 6 maybe 7 years. She isn’t even dead a month and I don’t know what to do. I thought maybe you might want to go out in my boat, or go up to the farms, see the horses just hang out so I don’t lose my mind.

Cries harder

I don’t know, I’m doing this so badly, any ways My trainer got breast cancer. She had never been sick. We would talk on the phone every day, I’d come up with boomer, see the horses. She was so much like my real daughter would have been. born on the same day, same year. I never would believe in that parallel lives particle separator bull shit but after this happened I’m convinced she was my real daughter re configured through a different life somehow falling through one of those time space layers into my life. I feel crazy even saying it but it makes me crazier not to say it to you. I don’t mean to make you sad being our first date in all but I have been seeing you at the dog park for a year, feel like you are the only person in the world I can tell. It’s like I lost her twice. Once as a baby and again now. Not fair. Why couldn’t I die instead? I have lived my life, used it up. She never did.

Wipes his eyes, stabs his food, tries to eat.

Boomer really likes you, you know. He is a great judge of people doesn’t like many folks. I think I want to come back as your dogs, so you can cook for me, kiss me on the head. I think boomer figures if he plays his cards right eventually you’ll end up cooking for him too…


Any way she gets sick, starts treatment. Says she’s gonna come down, stay at my house, go to Moffit. Beat this thing. Never gave up, she was so strong such a fighter. Something went wrong. She never came down, the treatment never took.

The odd thing was she died so quickly within months. When she died her husband never called never let me know didn’t invite me to the funeral. I know I was her best friend, like the dad she never had.

I talked to her everyday. Then she didn’t call I just figured she was in bed fighting the thing.

Didn’t realize she had died. When I finally tried to get a hold of her, he didn’t have the damned courtesy to call me back, had one of my old partners call. I went up to see the fresh grave. Her husband wouldn’t come to the door when I stopped even though he was in the house when we stopped, would return our calls, nothin.

She left me all her horses. Now I have 25 head of thoroughbreds, no trainer and not a friend in the world that I care about but you.

I feel so lonely so sad and I am doing such a bad job on this first date oh christ


And worse yet I think I’m in love with you…

Waiter returns he orders coffee for them both




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