2013-03-10 – It’s a weird thing to walk into a public park and see someone peeing on a tree. Now I’ve peed on trees. But it’s always been in a secluded place—in the woods or an alley—where I wouldn’t be seen . . . and where there were no alternatives nearby. This was a public park. A solitary tree. No thicket. In broad daylight.
I was walking my dog Lefty in the park and ahead of me were three teenage boys in hoodies. One of the boys stopped at the tree in question. The other two kept walking. The lone boy, his back to me, loosened his pants, stood there for a while, then he hitched his pants up again and left to join his friends.
Lefty also lifted his leg.
The weird thing about this is that I had been thinking about the things that Lefty does every day. He eats and sleeps a lot. He sniffs things, sometimes for a long time. He barks at things that move. He pees and poops. And when he’s done, he paws the ground, as if to ceremonially bury the evidence.
The boy who peed on the tree did this very same thing when he was done. Was he reading my mind?
The reason I was thinking about all this was to crystalize an idea for this blog.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how human hopes to transcend their bodies, either by transferring their psyches to computers or by dying and becoming angels.
We are very tied to our bodies. But computers and angels are very different from us. So I was wondering whether humans and dogs could even understand each other.
I didn’t get very far with the thought when I saw this boy behaving like a dog. At least in this one thing. I saw no evidence that he sniffed the tree before he peed on it.
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