One side benefit of my new gypsy lifestyle — in which the dog and I have given up our housing to spend some time exploring America — is that I am now a bronzed God.
Not all of me, mind you, just my left arm, which has been resting out the open car window as we make our way west.
I like driving with the window down. Ace, being wiser, prefers the air conditioning. So we compromise: window down, AC on, and the vents aimed in his direction — until, at least, it gets so hot that I come around to his point of view.
As a result of all that arm resting out the window, though, my left arm has a tan to die for — not a farmer tan, more of a truck driver tan.
With my pasty stay at home days behind me, the open road ahead, I’m digging my left arm, which may be making the rest of my body jealous. I think my left arm is almost ready to go out in public, perhaps check out the dating scene, maybe start hitting the gym, so it can be as toned as it is tanned.
The rest of me will probably stay home — oh yeah, we don’t have one, make that inside — but my left arm, I think, wants to go out and hoist a few.
Of course, all this leaves me uneven, a split personality, dermatologically speaking — and it will continue to get more pronounced unless I spend some time on the passenger side, which, as I’m traveling only with my dog, is probably not advisable.
I’ll just have to cope with being a two-toned human being, and let the two sides fight it out.
John’s left arm: Dude, c’mon, let’s go out.
Pasty John: No, I want to watch this Law & Order I’ve previously viewed five times.
John’s left arm: C’mon, let’s go climb a mountain or do some river rafting. How about we at least check out the motel pool?
Pasty John: No! Might I remind you that, despite your extremely awesome tan, you are the weaker of the two arms. You’re not in charge here. Now quit flexing.
John’s left arm: Can I at least work the remote?
Pasty John: No, I don’t trust you.
The contrast between my arms is only likely to get worse in the days ahead. We still have to cross the rest of New Mexico and half of Arizona, where I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if my left arm is required to show proof of citizenship.
“Are you two together?” the Border Patrol agent will ask.
“Never seen him before in my life,” my pasty side will answer.
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)