June 13, 2007
The Curious Incident of the Dog at the American Hotel
When the Hamptons hit their full stride in the season anything can happen.
Crazy people do crazy things. Something must have been in the air or perhaps it was the full moon because the animals were in on the act as well. As I walked down Main Street in Sag Harbor I ran into the photographer who did the fabulous photos for my website, Lisa-Marie Mazzucco, and knew it must be summer because she'd ventured away from Montauk. We were in the midst of a great catch-up when we were distracted by a girl and a man yelling at each other over some traffic altercation. Apparently it was serious enough that they even went over the Brownie's head and called in the police. Yep, it's summer all right.
I proceeded down to the American Hotel to meet my famous friend Janet O'Brien on the porch for a glass of prosecco, a lovely hour tradition we hold near and dear at any time of year. In the midst of a toast however she screamed and pointed. The man sitting at the next table had his dog tied to his chair, and when he stood up the dog took off like a bat out of hell careening down the middle of Main Street with the American Hotel wicker chair flying through the air like a kite.
Cars screeched and people screamed, fearing for sure the dog was going to get hit or worse yet damage their Porsches. Once again the police lights flashed and the aforementioned cop stopped the traffic as the dog ran on. We then saw one of the waiters from the hotel return with the beat up chair with the collar and leash attached, but no dog. Luckily after a few minutes we heard that someone had found the stray at the high school and he was OK. (Notice how I assume this was a male dog.)
After I returned home and sat down to make notes on this curious incident I heard a pecking at the window. A beautiful black and red bird was throwing itself at the window and pecking away. When I left the room I would still hear him hitting the glass. I thought maybe I'd put something up in the window to show him it wasn't a clear space. I picked the handiest thing which was Hamptons Magazine. Well, there was a beautiful model on the cover and the bird now pecked at her face even more arduously. Even if his coloring hadn't given him away I knew for sure this was a male bird.
So as an experiment, I took one of my pictures that Lisa-Marie had taken and put it up in the window. Silence. I didn't know whether to be happy or insulted. But sure enough the next morning he was back, trying to force his way in.
I wondered at this sort of animal ardor – whatever the dog saw down the road or the bird believed to be inside my room that inspired such dangerous behavior. Each one of them seemed intent on an invisible target. Were these animals just deranged or having moments of temporary passionate insanity? Would a man run down Main Street with an American Hotel chair tied to his suit collar to try to reach me or would he fly into glass in an effort to peck his way past the barrier that kept us apart?
Well, I suppose in the midst of a Hamptons summer, battling hung-over hedge fund managers and pre-caffeinated Porsche drivers with strange dents on their hoods on a Sunday morning to fetch me a New York Times is enough of an act of love and valor.
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