verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Art of Driveway

 Henry of the West End

To think I almost missed him.  I just happened to look to my right while desperately trying to keep up with the Maeve Contingent (that's a whole other blog), and there he was.  I had to stop.  Just had to.  Is he not perfect?

At first glance, I thought he was growing right up out of the driveway.  I approached him.  He didn't move. I took a step closer.  He didn't move again.  I decided to introduce myself and see if he'd be up for an interview or a little chat.  He blinked when I spoke.  But he didn't move.  He indicated that he had nothing in particular to say to me and that he had zero plans to step towards me at all.  This was clearly his driveway.  And while we're at it, it's also his boat, his tarp, his truck, his oil funnel, his gas can, and his harbor.  Those boats moored in the harbor?  His.

Known to the West End of Provincetown as Henry (not Hank), he makes his way each day to this particular spot in the driveway and does what you see him doing.  He sits.  Apparently he's guarding it.  That's pretty clear. He's been doing this just about most of his life--at least 48 years.  He prides himself on not taking bribes from strangers who wish to access his harbor.  Not once in all those years has he accepted a kick-back.  And he's never called in sick or taken time off. He's a guard dog with a strong work ethic.  He won't bite, but sorry,  you're not gettin' out to that harbor, no way, no how.

They say that couples who have been together forever begin to look and act like each other.  They say that weeds will begin to take on similar characteristics of the plants they surround.  They say water seeks its own level.  They say that birds change their colors to match their landscape. They say that sympathetic resonance is when a passive cello string will spontaneously vibrate in the presence of an equally-pitched string that is already humming.  They say Emerson wrote about the "transcendental eye" in which the human "I" is absorbed by the greater Universe.

I say that Henry is The Art of Driveway.

In fact, he's more than that. I say

Henry Is.

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