Dog in a Backpack
Today I saw a very happy dog in a backpack. The backpack was on a man. The man was on a motorcycle. All along the mutt rode in his tiny chariot, panting through a smile. They were a blur that buzzed by me on the road, but I caught up with them at a red light where we waited together for the change. The motorcyclist reached behind to muzzle his pup with a warm hand. Grateful, the dog licked the palm and settled his frizzy chin in its hollow.
Here, at last, was whole and perfect satisfaction.
It was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time, but it made me wonder. Why don’t I see more people like this guy? Why is it the exception, rather than the rule, to see someone thoroughly enjoying life while doing something foolish and beautiful?
This may not be true for you, but what usually keeps me from living that way is fear of becoming someone’s joke. Most people look at that dude on the motorcycle and think he’s a certifiable goon: exposing his dog to danger, wearing that ridiculous getup (did I mention his red-and-blue-striped pants?). What he was doing isn’t done, and people know it without saying.
But maybe we should stop taking “people” so seriously. I don’t think they’re much of an authority on truth, loveliness, or living well.
Just ask that dog in a backpack.