My neighbour’s son is holding an old and visibly very damaged ring frisbee in his mouth, crawling with it, on all fours, across the huge lawn at the back of their house, the size some people would grow crops on. He is all by himself. He’s eleven, if I’m not mistaken. I have a perfect view of my neighbour’s garden from my rear porch. Once the boy reaches the side of the lawn closest to the house, he drops the disc from his mouth and lies prostrate in the grass for a second or so. Maybe his tongue’s out? That I cannot see clearly. He then stands, grabs the frisbee, with his right hand this time, and performs a perfect backhand throw, sending the disc flying straight and level. It hits the ground at the far end of the lawn and comes to a rest after a few hops. The boy casually walks up to it, gets down on his hands and knees again and the sequence starts all over.
Fetching the frisbee, as a four-legged animal would, to its owner. Time after time. For the seventh day running.
And I would be slightly put off by his behaviour — he’s not a bad kid, far as I know — if I didn’t know that his dog was run over just a week ago, round the corner, and he was the one to find it.
And I wonder how long before he realises the dog’s dead. As in, it is not around any longer. As in, his father dug a hole and buried it this past Tuesday. How long before he’s going to stop playing ‘fetch the frisbee’ and either get a new dog or bin that disgusting ring of plastic? I wonder how he feels crawling with that thing in his mouth? Does it bring the dog back? Does he forget for a few minutes? Is it the place, the lawn, the disk — probably smelling of dog saliva — or the warm afternoon that helps the kid carry on? Is he lucid or day-dreaming? Is it because he’s a kid that he doesn’t see how soon he’ll forget?