I go out in the yard to pick up Milo's shits with a plastic grocery bag for a glove. Eighteen, nineteen. A lot. They are scattered petrified grenades atop dried cherry blossoms; poor burnt miners in red velvet caskets. Violet watches me closely from her car seat on the bricks. Every third or fourth turd I stop and look over at her and toss a madman grin her way. It takes a second to lob but then it smacks into her and her baby stare erupts in smile.
"Beep-Boop!", I say to her.
Her eyes leave mine shyly. Its her little flirty look away. She holds her happy smile but tucks her sparkling eyeballs into a bush or one of the dogs and she knows I'm still looking and loves that she knows that I know what she's up to. Goddamn they start that shit young, boys.
I pick up a few more gold nuggets while watching my daughter watch a fly. For all I can tell: its the first fly she has ever really noticed. This hits me with 300 volt Jesus powered electricity. How exhilarating. What a tiny magnificence to watch your own baby watch her very first housefly in this life. I get moved hard. There is something sublime in it somehow. Something spiritual. It's not all that easy to put to words.
A gazillion flies from now, when Violet has lived so very much; when she has long since tasted the lips of various lovers/held big-bill money in her hands if only for a fleeting moment, the socket holes of my skull will lay within the Earth somewhere still seeing her that afternoon long ago when she first saw that buzzing bug inches from her teensy nose. It's a thing.
Max and Milo laze in the hunks of grass that manage to grow in our sunless yard. They're on either side of Violet's seat like a couple national bank gargoyles. Milo seems embarrassed at all his dumps. He won't look at me. I talk to him a little to let him know I'm cool with it. I don't know that it helps him. Max just looks bored; he refuses to shit in the yard where Milo shits. Some sort of genetic clean wolf thing, I guess. Still, I've seen him eat other dog's craps off a Brooklyn basketball court so I don't really see where he gets his airs to be honest.
Before long, I'm done. The yard is safe to walk through. I ease over to Violet as she's staring up at disappointed birds flitting around the empty bird feeder on a branch. One of the birds is a red-winged blackbird.
Another first for her eyes, I say to myself. Man-o-man.
How can so much awesomeness simply up and happen to one man in like twenty-six minutes? And on a hot and silent Wednesday afternoon in the most unwatched twenty feet of the world when all I was trying to do was collect a bag of dog dirt.