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  • This is Sophie, the dog. When I first moved to New York, four years ago, I was in an apartment on 115th Street, at Morningside, Sophie was scared out of her wits by the urban environment. This is an account of the first walk with her on 115th Street, which, as locals will attest to, slopes down quite steeply toward Riverside Drive. The other thing I have to state, almost giving the story away, is that Sophie is on a W/D diet, which means that most of the food she eats is pretend food, and the poop she issues comes out in perfectly round dry balls.

    So here I am with the dog on the leash, the dog too nervous and frightened to do anything, I'm walking up and down on 115th Street without being able to solicit the desired response, when all of a sudden she bends into the characteristic pose and produces five perfect balls, one after the other but in intervals long enough so that each rolls down on the sidewalk toward the river with several yards between them.

    This is a busy sidewalk at that time of the day. I have exactly one plastic bag, have to run with the dog on the leash trying to catch up with the rolling shit, warning people not to step on it, but the effort to do all that at the same time with five pieces to keep track of, seeing the very first one way down, already the size of a period, and realizing that Sophie the dog is getting the wrong message, of New York being an impossible inhuman habitat, is just too much. Some people help me by pointing their fingers into the ever-changing directions, and some people just help me by smiling.

    This all happened very fast, and I didn't even sense I was living an involuntary comedy until later when I recounted it to the first person I knew, Francisco at the front desk.
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