I love that park. Maybe I'll see Harry and Joseph and Marianne. They're there most evenings when I am. Harry is (I presume) the dad, and he is usually walking Joseph, slowly, along the path, and then maybe hanging out on a bench. Joseph (the presumed son) has a condition---perhaps cerebral palsy?---that means he can't walk on his own; Harry holds him in front of him and they trudge-toddle their way. Joseph's maybe 3/4 of Harry's height, and seems like a teenager. I don't think he speaks, or not much, or not quickly/easily.
Marianne (Harry's wife) often goes a different way, sometimes with a wheelchair, I believe, if/when she's there. I think they all meet up later, at least sometimes, maybe, around the loop somewhere.
I feel as if they're my friends, though we haven't spoken a whole lot, except in greeting, and to remind each other of all our names, and to comment on the weather, or how great Gallup is. That's me, waxing on about how, if I ever leave town, it's something I'll miss very much about this place.
It's probably weird and maybe pushing offensive to say it, but seeing the effort they go through regularly for getting out and walking along, I've felt less impatient with Lula on her leash out there, the way her wanting to pull makes our path walks take forever. Plus I just get a good feeling from Harry and Joseph. Not that I don't get a good feeling from Marianne. I haven't gotten much sense of her.
She may be Mary Ann, I guess. Which was my mother's name. Or Mary Anne. I don't think so, though. Doesn't feel like it. So I guess I have *some* sense of her. :)
Unlike with those folks, many of the people I see repeatedly in places I frequent don't prompt me in the least to want to say hello, or at least to do anything beyond that, anything to try to establish even a slightly greater connection. And thinking about that reminds me of the folks I've seen in my neighborhood, while walking Lu, who repond not a peep (nor a nod nor a smile nor nuthin') to a spoken greeting from me. I've taken to waiting a few beats after such a non-response has settled, with its loud silent certainty, and then tagging on a (not particularly softly spoken) "Or not." ("Good evening. [nothing....] Or not." "Hello. [nothing....] Or not.")
It starts to get dark earlier now. That slide's a-comin'. Gonna be weird to go home to the dog with it dark already.