There was a hugely fat guy with a hugely fat dog sitting in the corner of the vet’s waiting room; balding, straight-backed, attired in a polo shirt that could have provided the covers for a twin bed, with a small gracefully groomed mustache. He was whistling softly as he waited for his bill.
“Carl Orff,” I said. “Carmina Burana.”
He looked up, a little flustered, realizing that I was speaking to him.
“What you’re whistling,” I clarified.
He didn’t quite smile. “Yes.”
“Chramer, gip de farwe mir, right?” It’s a Spring song, for a warm day when the young people are out in the sunlight, circling each other and flirting. We were not young, and not flirting, but it is Spring.
He nodded. “You don’t usually hear that whistled,” I said. There was no need for further discussion, which was impossible anyway as the waiting room suddenly became the scene of a dramatic bumblebee rescue executed by the front desk staff. This kind of thing goes on there.
Torvald just needed a check-in and a blood draw to see how he’s getting along with his drugs; in quick, out quick, no waiting. The sun is angling up; the brick parquet in front of the clinic door was toasty, the concrete pots full of blooms and erupting buds of sedum. Torvald, who has become used to these outings and seems to downright like them — except for the “stuck with a needle” part — crammed his sniffing nose against the mesh of the carrier. I adopted him from the outdoors, and he remembers it. I’ve always felt a bit sad that I don’t have a magic forcefield that would let him go out on the lawn safe from dogs, foxes, cars, and fights with other cats. Now I don’t even feel able to let him sun himself on the increasingly warm porch past about ten in the morning.
A completely premature, unseasonable yellow swallowtail fluttered up to the plant pots, curvetting and flickering right at knee height. “Look, Torvald, butterfly,” I said. I don’t know, he may recognize it when I say his name.
[Not my video, but pretty much exactly what we saw. For best results hit play on Orff video above and then on this one and let them run at the same time; it gives you the feel]
I stood there for a while, letting him watch it. If he did.