Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The fine art of dog racing

A long time ago, well, it wasn't that long ago, but in the years, and it seems like another lifetime ago, I went out with a guy who was a drill sergeant in the Navy. I went up to visit him in Kenosha, Wisconsin, or somewhere thereabouts. I hadn't been up there since graduate school in Chicago. Suffice to say, my upbringing in California did not prepare me well for sub-zero temperatures, breath-taking-away wind chill factors, and snow that sent tractor trailers sliding into your rear bumpter at slow rates of speed. The land was as bleak and unforgiving and barren as I had remembered. I got the name Fond du Lac stuck in my head. I wondered what I was doing there, exactly.

At some point, he took me to the dog races. (I am leaving the part out about the strip club by the side of the highway, and for that you can thank me later.) I believe we went to Dairyland Greyhound Park, which has since closed. I don't believe I'd been to the dog races before. It was extraordinarily beautiful, watching the dogs, muzzled, their sleek bodies bucking, flying down the track in hot pursuit of something they could never get. The snow falling.

Sometimes, I miss the dog races, and the shooting ranges, and the whatnot strange experiences. But I guess my mind is like a movie theater, and maybe sometimes it's enough to watch the old movies replay on the screen, even if it is a bit tattered.