I came around the corner and heard barking. It was 5:00am and Pittsburgh was just waking up. To my right was the Allegheny river and the city sky line, on on the little side street charging towards me were two dogs with no collars and they were not happy. Instantly I stopped. I had been running admiring the night, anticipating the sun rise and now I was imaging myself gored by the little vicious beasts. I was on their territory. This was an ancient conflict. I know about dogs, I love dogs. Some times I feel like I am a dog: the whole world whizzing by, beyond my simple comprehensions: my lust for sex, for food, for sleep.

I stood my ground met eyes with the dogs and barked back as low as I could “Bad Dog, You Go Back.” This seemed to work. I didn’t dare retreat. I had to pass them on the road, so I walked forward as heavily as I could. I tried not to think about my bare legs or how easy sharp teeth could draw blood from them. I was bigger than the dogs. Not, much bigger, but I was stronger, I puffed myself up and advanced. “Bad Dogs. Bad Dogs.” I said. The smaller one seemed to know the song I was singing and he put his tail between his legs and went back into the trees, but the big dog stayed, not barking, just watching. I passed him, maybe ten feet away, always holding the eye contact. Trying to stay steady.

Now came the hard part: turning my back on him. I looked over my shoulder now and then and I was always watched.

Poor dirty bastards, I wonder what they thought I wanted with their little scrap of dirt?