uncertain cities

words and sequences of them by Rhett Davis

Recurring bone

At the end of our street, there is often a bone. It is usually a different bone than the bone that came before, but it is always the same type of bone. It looks to me like the knee joint of a cow, but then, I don’t know much about knee joints or cows. The bone is always in the gutter, on the same side of the street. Something or someone removes it each time, and every week it is replaced by another. There are any number of suspects. On our way to work or unwork we sometimes speculate about who, or what, it might be. My suspicion is the old people with old dogs who roam our neighbourhood in the mornings. I imagine the old person spoiling the dog with cheap knee bones from the butcher a short walk away and then both of them walking home. The dog appreciates it, but it’s old and is worn out by the time the pair reaches our street corner, and drops the bone. Better yet, the dog has a secret friend it communes with by scent, and to which it bequeaths the bone after some quality time with it. Later, the secret dogfriend picks it up on their walk, and their owner doesn’t mind. The dogs never see each other. They only know each other by scent, and this knee bone. 

I’m sure I would be disappointed by the truth of why this knee bone, or knuckle, or shoulder joint, appears and disappears when it does. All I know is that there is a bone, it appears in the same place weekly, and disappears the next day. I prefer to believe in paths that don’t cross, in dogs that don’t meet but share something profound, and in the lines between each of us that we will never see. Sometimes I’d rather not know the truth.