I wish I had taken a picture. Yesterday, knowing that the snow was coming, I agreed to bring the pugs and meet my friend, Joan, Waffles’ breeder, at a Rochester café on the other side of the mountain. She had been housebound all weekend after badly burning her leg by spilling a scalding pan of food. We were supposed to meet to visit a friend and go to a movie, but because we couldn’t predict when the snow might fly, we decided a late afternoon dinner would be a safer plan.
When I arrived, Joan was sitting in her Tracker outside the café. The sky was gray, the ground white, and Joan full of color. She spilled out of her car like a bag of rainbow skittles hitting the ground. She wore a salmon pink sweater that lit up the world around her. Almost neon in its radiance it was the color of spring and Easter not your typical fare for the eve of a late winter blizzard. Her eyes sparkled blue and her hair, which had grown substantially since I last saw her, was long and wavy. She had used pin curls to make it so. It flew wild around her face and although she is a senior (a lady never tells her age), she gushed her usual childlike glee when she saw Waffles and Alfie. They were equally enthusiastic to see her – wagging their tightly wound tails and shaking their butts as they jumped all over her and I tried to hold them back from hurting her wounded knee.
It was this scene I wish I had captured. This friend of mine, larger than life as if God had sprinkled that something special upon her that only people like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe receive -- a little bit of magic, so although her hair was untamed and her sweater too bright, she shone.
I had to laugh this morning as I stood in front of the mirror. At first I didn’t think anything of it. I was supposed to go for a long overdo haircut this afternoon, but because of the snow, I cancelled it. Instead, there I was with my own unruly hairstyle, taming it with rollers that once unwound, created as lively a halo as Joan’s hair the day before. My pugs scampered beneath my feet and I realized that as eccentric as my friend -- who lives in a big, sprawling house with 14 to 18 pugs at any one time -- often seems to me, she and I have a lot in common. Maybe I’m turning into a crazy pug lady after all or maybe, I share a wee bit of that in-your-face chutzpah and mirth, I see in my friend everyday and admire so much.