this is Peppy (or more likely, Pepi). Peppy weighs just at 3 pounds. I met Peppy and his owner today when I was at the park, sitting on my blanket in the shade, reading some Russian Formalist criticism. I rode my bike to the park in our old neighborhood. The grass was a lot more brown and crispy than the last time we were there. But the temperatures have finally begun to subside and it was the most pleasant ride.
I walked over to shoot some photos in the tennis courts and this little dog and his owner were out and about. I tried to get Peppy to come over and was taking a while for him to warm up to me, so I just went back over to sit on my blanket. As I was sitting there, I could tell he really wanted to come over and sniff me. I switched to the 300mm macro and just started shooting as he inched his way closer. Talked to the man for quite a while; turned out he lived in the area and one of his three grown children was studying photography at the local private college, TCU. This is one of the rare beauties about Texas (not that there aren't countless other things, I just choose not to see them or note them), and something I have spoke of before, the incredibly nice and warm folks that live here. Just looking at this gentleman's expensive clothes and accesories, I began to (wrongly) judge him in my head. We started talking and it was like I was talking to my own father in many ways (actually quite a lot of similarities in demeanor). We discussed places we'd lived, colleges, dogs, and so on. As he was leaving (his wife had called him wondering if he got lost--when he answered the phone the first thing he said, somewhat sarcastically was "we're lost"), he scooped up Peppy and curled him in close. I started to lift my camera to shoot a portrait of the two but then decided against it. Not sure why, actually. I wasn't nervous or scared to ask him, having already talked to him for so long, given him one of my cards, introduced ourselves, shook hands, etc. I just knew that I wanted to Blip Peppy and Peppy alone, so there wasn't really a need for any more photos.
As I rode home, I took some backstreets through a totally different, much, much lower class neighborhood--one of the final holdouts in the gentrification going on around here. There were two hard looking gentleman, drinking tallboys in paper sacks, leaning against a ravaged pick-up--my judgements forming again, albeit for different reasons and in a different manner. They seemed to be scowling as I approached. But as I got closer, they both raised their hands and waved and greeted me very kindly. I waved back and we exchanged more verbal pleasantries and I slowed to make my way by them.
Today's positive experiences with my fellow man, in many ways, really reignited my hope (especially after reading this morning's characteristically dismal headlines). Being in classes and teaching classes is a emotionally heavy burden, being around so many people all the time is hard for me, it bogs me down, it makes me anxious and unsettled. Fridays are my only day off and it was so nice to roll around on the bike, sit in the park reading with little dogs, and have nothing but pleasant experiences with other people from both ends of the social ladder as I explored my immediate little realm.
End social commentary. Sorry for the rambling and poor writing. Just didn't want to lose these most basic, but grandly important, thoughts. Cheers.