January 14, 1995

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Before she goes running Teresa holds up her thin arms and clenches her fists and screws up her face.  It’s her stud expression. Then she goes running lightly up the street.

*

 We’ve developed this habit of throwing kisses.  You throw the kiss into the air with a toss of your head and then the other person kisses the air to catch it. Teresa sometimes pretends she’s not playing.  I toss the kiss and she looks at me fondly, but doesn’t seem to have her eye on the kiss, and then at the last possible second, she just barely gets it.

*

 Last night we went to Michele and Croft’s to let the dogs in. They’re a wild pack. Teresa let the small dogs in first to let them calm down, and it seemed like the world was nothing but little dogs, climbing everywhere, flying through the air.  I was on the couch and they were jumping on me, and I was shrinking away and saying things like, “Off!  Off!  Why are you like this?” and then it was very interesting to see Teresa reduce them to abject obedience with this fierce lion tamer air of glares and pointing.

“Down Truman! Down Stella” and they slunk away.  Then they would try to come back, and she would give them The Look and they would shrink back.  It was very impressive.

*

 Every day when we walk home from work, Teresa taps on the windows to signal the cats.  They run to the door, and as she opens it she says, “Pussies!” And then she cooks for them.

Teresa calls all animals Kitty Cats.  As in, “Doris [the dog she wants to get] is going to be a very good Kitty Cat.”  And one day we were walking by the courthouse, and there was a line of prisoners waiting to get on the jail bus.  Teresa shook her head, “Bad Kitty Cats.”

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