It has been a week of crazy clients, anxiety, and stupid things happening (Toby’s space heater broke, I tried to go to Brewvies Tuesday after work and the film projector broke, etc. etc.), so I had to read some Franny and Zooey last night. Here is a scene of Zooey watching a little girl playing with her dog–and yes, in the book it’s all one paragraph:
A fair-sized maple tree stood in front of the girls’ private school…and at that moment a child of seven or eight, female, was hiding behind it. She was wearing a navy-blue reefer and a tam that was very nearly the same shade of red as the blanket on the bed in van Gogh’s room at Arles. Her tam did, in fact, from Zooey’s vantage point, appear not unlike a daub of paint. Some fifteen feet away from the child, her dog–a young dachshund, wearing a green leather collar and leash–was sniffing to find her, scurrying in frantic circles, his leash dragging behind him. The anguish of separation was scarcely bearable for him, and when at last he picked up his mistress’s scent, it wasn’t a second too soon. The joy of reunion, for both, was immense. The dachshund gave a little yelp, then cringed forward, shimmying with ecstasy, till his mistress, shouting something at him, stepped hurriedly over the wire guard surrounding the tree and picked him up. She said a number of words of praise to him…then put him down and picked up his leash, and the two walked gaily west, toward Fifth Avenue and the Park and out of Zooey’s sight…”God damn it,” he said, “there are nice things in the world–and I mean nice things. We’re all such morons to get so sidetracked.”
Lord Captain Valentine
You’ll have better weeks soon…weeks without anxiety, difficult clients, or Toby complications. Weeks that instead feature the simple magic of that paragraph you’ve quoted.