This morning Aki and I stay in the neighborhood, walking the icy streets of Downtown Juneau. The little dog leads the way. She chooses routes with the best smells rather than safe footing. Her toenails give her fine purchase on the ice. Since my boot don’t offer the same, I am constantly rejecting her navigational choices. Soon we are both grumpy. The sunlight doesn’t help.
On this last clear morning before a five-day snowstorm, the sun shines with a harsh intensity on the town. It’s the kind of light that can make beautiful woman look plain. But it sets off the colors of Gastineau Avenue Craftsman homes and gives Aki a monster’s shadow. It also makes the little dog squint, which doesn’t help improve her mood.
Our battle over direction increases when we turn back toward home. I want to walk on the docks from where we can get a better view of the Coast Guard icebreaker Healy. But she wants to glean the vacant lot on which food vendors park their shacks during tourist season. Rather than carry her, I give in and let her chase after the ghost smells of dropped fish tacos, barbeque, and pork adobo.