Jun 2019 05


“You’re a beagle.”

“No, you are.”

“No, you.”

She’s about 4 years old and involved in some verbal sparring with her mom in the only way she knows how at this point – calling her a name. In this case, ‘a beagle’. Over and over.

It’s this morning. I’m on the subway on the way to my freelance gig. I’m pretending to read a book but now I’m really observing the two of them as they sit there, giggling, and exchanging barbs.

I stopped biking to work for now. I like the solitude of being in a crowd, funnily enough. Although biking to work made me arrive feeling alive – literally, it’s such a rush dodging traffic and trying to not get killed on the streets at 9am – I’m enjoying the zen energy of disappearing into the herd everyday and getting to work feeling strangely, um focused, and from not focusing on anything for 30 minutes.

And sometimes I get to witness things like this…

“You’re a beagle.”

“You are.”

“No, you.”

“You know what that word means, right?” asks her mom.

The little girl looks perplexed. “Beagle?”



“Well, you know that dog that lives at the end of our hall?”


“That’s a beagle. It’s a type of dog.”



The little girl is quiet for a moment. I am literally seeing the moment where new information is uploaded into her young brain and her world is forever changed by the new knowledge.

“Beagle. Beagle. Beagle. Beagle.”

She says it over and over, as if she’s trying on her new world for fit. A test drive.

It’s hard-coded now. Overwriting old programming.

She just shed her skin and I watched it happen.

Kid, I get it.