The snow has stopped, and the icicles have stopped dripping. The temperature is well below the freezing point. Clyde is shoveling my drive.
I intercepted him last time, using the words I knew would find perch. "Just shovel the walk, and hand me the mail. " I gave him $5.
He's back, shovelling around my car, clearing a path to the back door, a cigarette drooping from his mouth. I cannot deter him and I don't want to. He's sweet and alone and I have cash in my wallet.
I ask him about his doggie. He tells me she had another seizure this morning and it costs him $35 each time he takes her to the vet.
I ask if it's time to put her down. He says, "I lost my wife."
I thanked him for doing a good job, paid him a $10 and blew him a kiss. He blew one back.