story #7: the opera singer and his dog
location: cafe nocturne, 19 prince arthur ouest
You wonder what goes on in his heart. What I know is this:
There is a man who sings.
He lives in our neighbourhood; he is our neighbour.
There is a man who sings while walking his dog.
Cookie has no leash; Cookie runs as far as she wants.
There is a man who sings everyday as he goes for a walk. There has never been a time when he has been seen without hearing him first.
Cookie never has a leash; Cookie always runs as far as she wants, as long as she can hear her person sing.
There is a man who sings the same song no matter the snow, no matter the sun. There is never a time he is heard singing anything else but the name "Cookie!" if she's caught running too far ahead.
Cookie sometimes forgets how far she gets when she crosses, without looking right or left, to the other dog on the other side of the street.
There is a man who then goes quiet, shuffles faster forward, calling "Cookie! Cookie! Arrête, Cookie!" Cookie ne s'arrête jamais.
Cookie seems to think her name is a melody sung in the wandering pace of the neighbourhood's walkers. At least, I think, it's the reason why she never seems to hear his warnings.
There is a man, who when not calling for his dog, sings the same song no matter the snow, no matter the sun. There is never a time he is heard singing anything else but "La Bohème" by Charles Aznavour.
Cookie knows the walk well: she knows it by sight, smell, and sound. She knows she'll be walking down the same road, smelling the same regulars on their own walks as well, hearing the same melody of her name following the pace of her neighbourhood's walkers.
There is a man who we wonder, at his regular sight across the cafe we are regulars at, how he maintains his pace while singing his heart. I believe he's seen us enough times to recognize our immediately closed conversations being a result of his entrance of a performance.
Cookie does not see us; she only recognizes the other regulars at this cafe who are kept waiting outside, their paws getting colder by the minute.
There is a man who sings as he waves his hand over his head, a motion not audible to his dog who knows it is no signal to her, and nods at our direction. We send our greeting back with a wave of our own, timed perfectly to the stanzas of his song that march his pace forward and past.
Cookie does not see us wave, for she does not even see her person wave. She only hears him, and he is singing "La Bohème" by Charles Aznavour. In her heart, she is free to walk.
There is a man who sings no matter the snow, the matter the sun, as he walks his dog who thinks her name is the melody sung in the wandering pace of the neighbourhood's walkers.
Cookie has no leash; Cookie runs as far as she wants. She is our neighbour, after all, and walks the streets as much as we do, after all.
And here, the man still sings, and you wonder what goes on in his heart.
What I don't know is just his name.