Lost boys.

A story that never made it into the book.

From the first summer alone:

  Our vacation has been pleasant and relaxing — until the last 24 hours. Last night, while we were in the cinema, Jack’s headache  turned into a full-blown shaking fever. We tottered home on our bicycles through the dark streets and he went straight to bed, his whole body burning up. I slept fitfully too, waking with panicky thoughts that he could be dying a 19th century death from a mysterious fever.  I climbed the stairs with a wet cloth to mop his brow, glasses of juice, Advil, anxiety.

In the morning, he was cooler but still wrung out like that cloth. I headed out to town to buy a thermometer and some chicken soup; our dogs yapping at me as I drove away.   When I got back, the gardeners were mowing the lawn and the gate was wide open. The dogs were gone. The gardener told me he hadn’t known they were our dogs, that a lady had stopped them by busy the road, looked for their owner and driven off with them.

I rushed back and forth through the house, unsure what to do. The dogs have tags on their collars but they are inscribed with Patti’s now-cancelled cel phone number. I ripped out sheets of paper, pieces of cardboard and painted up signs to hang along the road. I kept flashing to images of my boyhood dog, Pogo, who had wandered away from our house when old and doddering and never came back.

Jack still lay twisted in his damp sheets, exhausted and pale. I squawked at him, explaining the situation, and he crawled down to help me put up the signs. Then I started calling anyone I could think off, the police, the shelters, vet after vet, until one said .,”Yes we have them.” I rushed out of the house, and drove off, was instantly lost. Found my way back, begged Jack to come with me as navigator, and we found our way to the vet and returned, all intact, little worse for wear.

I felt a new tic, a flickering twinge under my right lower lip, matching the one in my right upper eye lid. I almost lost what little I have left. My boys. I am responsible for their safety, their well-being.

I have to keep up.

14 thoughts on “Lost boys.

  1. Your book should arrive at my house this week. Although it describes a sad and scary time, I am looking forward to reading how you dealt with it. This entry was mainly text. I was wondering … are there some journal entries that are ALL text? Thank you for sharing your very private moments with us. It is helping a lot of us.

  2. I’m sure that early on every negative thing was magnified a thousand fold…I hope that is no longer the case. Life is so darn difficult at times. And ten times that when having to handle it alone! I’m glad the dogs came home!

  3. I’m so enjoying your postings Danny. I have been following you for so long – you feel like family. Keep on keeping. Rain Johnson

  4. Really, I wish this story had made it into your book. I remember how panicky I used to get just seeing a kitchen sink full of dishes, or a stack of bills on the table after my husband’s death. Stuff I used to deal with easily before. We so forget how balanced we used to be, just having a partner to bounce things off of in a crisis, even if you still handle it alone. Do you think there will be another book, Danny? A sequel?

  5. Your new book arrived in my mailbox last night, and I just finished reading it sitting at my desk at the high school where I teach art. I couldn’t put it down. You are an amazing artist, writer, dad, and man. I wish you only peace in the days that lay ahead. Best, KS P.S. I enjoyed the surprise photos inside the book jacket. What a beautiful life and woman. Thank you so much.

  6. Reading this reminds me of the time my dog ran off one winter evening. It was about five-below-zero outside. I searched all over for her for a very long time before I finally gave up. When I got home half-frozen, I discovered that the dog had wandered over to our neighbor across the street’s house where she passed the time warm and toasty no doubt laughing at me as I floundered about outside looking for her I should have been mad, but I was just relieved that she was ok. As a widower myself, I really enjoy reading your blog. You have such wonderful things to say.

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