A Made-for-TV Movie

He begins to notice how all his single friends have dogs
And,wear expensive running shoes, how their
   conversations run
To deep metaphysical questions that didn't exist before 1983.
Chance encounters in coffee shops near the university.
Driving home alone in the late afternoon. Solicitous
   phone calls.

As always, it's the transitions he's lost track of. That was then,
This is now. Like a goof, he wonders what will happen next.
But it won't be news. Even the dog owners know this. They,
More than anyone, experience anxiety as a force of nature.
   He's heard
Their loopy descriptions of it, like cosmological treatises on
   string theory.

Inevitably, the dog has been saved from a dark fate at the
   animal shelter,
There have been broadly comical evenings of obedience
At the local park, doggie surgery to correct a hip, cataracts,
   gum disease.
On a whim, he buys a ticket north to catch a genuine
   autumn and,
On a fluke, there's a cabin vacant at creekside. But it rains
   all weekend,

And the promise of color turns dull and soggy, like, he
The whole idea was to begin with. He leaves early to return
   the rental
And decides to stop at a roadhouse with barn-brown siding.
   A shapely
Beer glass on a little round table that wobbles, the sound of
   eight ball,
Country-western music, and highway traffic. He'd vomit,
   but it would seem so

Theatrical, here, in this place, far from any life he ever
   wanted. Who
Would believe such a story? He happens to look down at
   his shoes, which
Seem shyly to comfort one another, his sturdy footwear,
   leather to leather.
Outside the window, the rain has stopped, the eaves keep
The glossy-wet macadam reflects the sad, tawdry lights of
   this little dive.