My husband and I walk our neighbor's dog every Sunday. Maude is a 9-year-old bloodhound who enjoys conversation. "Are you enjoying the walk?" I ask her. As she continues walking with a slightly faster pace, my husband responds, "Yes, I am."

My husband is jealous of Maude. On Saturday mornings, I drag him out of bed to play tennis. Running errands in the afternoon, he trails reluctantly behind me on detours into shoe stores and boutique shops.

I realize I seldom stop and ask if he is enjoying himself, too.

Helen Ip

Washington

Idebate which path I'll take to the Metro. I can go straight and pass the man waving his paper cup, calling out "nickels or quarters." Or I can go through the park where the men eat food from the white, beaten-up van. The eating men remind me of babies drinking their mothers' milk. I want to go through the park. I want to feel their humanness and witness their existence. I want to acknowledge they were born and will die. I want to love them. But I go straight. The nickel-and-quarter man is much easier to ignore.

Michelle Shortencarrier

Alexandria

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