I found a box with a photo of a beautiful nude woman on the lid while I was looking through my neighbor’s trashcan for a plastic bag to pick up a dog turd. I had one of those slow realizations that come over you like an ocean wave: oh.. pretty girl? …huge titties?…wait.. “soft plastic texture?”…what? “Lollipop Lolita??”...blow-up doll! Ohhhhh. Now every time I pass my neighbor, I can’t think of anything else.
Joe lives with his 5 chihuahuas down the street next to Carlos and his family. His name is not really Joe but I call him that because he looks like a Mexican Joe Paterno with his belted khaki shorts and his baseball cap, and his windbreaker. He stands outside watering the lawn (not a euphemism) while his pack of tiny dogs runs back and forth from one side to the other like some sort of rolling, barking chihuahua-tumbleweed.
I used to talk to the dogs when I jogged by: Hi Honey! Hi Lil Vicious! Hi Pretty! They'd run to the fence and jump up and down, yipping and yapping and twirling and knocking into each other. And Joe would laugh and wave. How ya doing? But now I’m too distracted. I can’t even say Hello without having an image of him and Lolita in the bed, his face pressed into her shoulder, her eyes staring vacantly at the ceiling. Oh Mami, I love you…love you…love you.
He cups his hands around his mouth and yells to me: You better tie your shoe, you’re going to trip!
I know I'll get over it. Or I'll get comfortable with the images that flash in my head. But now I just cross to the other side of the street. Or do a big U-ey. And the little dogs line up in front of the fence and watch me run away.