I saw a dog with handles. It was a big old, shaggy grey dog and it was smiling. It had two handles on its back, one lateral in front, one transverse in back, so it could be picked up, like a suitcase. I saw a miniature birch tree, still with its seeds from the fall, pruned into a mass of circular curlicues. And I saw a cardinal. I saw them all on Bigelow Street in Cambridge, on my way to see S. We got to talking about soulmates and finding people who are imaginatively compatible and I told him, "I want to start a society for people who have seen a dog with handles".
What would that be like? When you see a dog with handles, it changes you. For some, the change can be very dramatic, but for others, perhaps not so. Nevertheless, you can never be the same again. You'll always be a person who's seen a dog with handles from then on. Maybe it will make you mad. Maybe it will make you cry. Maybe you'll laugh, but inescapably you will have been destroyed, your old self who was not a member of the society and you'll be a member whether you wanted to or not. That's the way life is. You really have no choice about these things and it's not clear that you would ever want not to be transformed. It's wonderful. Now I know, dogs can have handles. You can carry them like suitcases. A dog with handles can smile and can be shaggy and grey. People can put handles on dogs and people can choose not to put handles on dogs. But aside from that, people can't choose not to be a member of the society for people who have seen a dog with handles. Once they have seen a dog with handles, they are a member whether they like it or not. And there are the related societies to which you, the reader now belong, perhaps the society for people who have read about dogs with handles or if you are blind or dyslexic or listen to books on tape, the society for people who have heard about dogs with handles, or if you take this in in some other way, a member of the society for people who have thought about dogs with handles.
I wonder who will be members of the society of people who have seen a dog with handles? I trust my instinct and it tells me that the people who are most transformed are most likely to be my friends, to understand me as well as to deeply connect with the reasons why dogs might have handles. If you like reading this, will you be my friend? If you want to have more friends like me, you can show this to someone else that you know or tell then yourself about dogs with handles.