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“Better real than fake laugh”, I read in the Sunday morning I pass newsletter.

In this article I see heart-shaped red balls - and one yellow one - with smileys. A cheerful picture!

This reminds me of the day before. I associate the color red and the balls with last Saturday.

It's Day 75 AV for me (non-alcoholic) and I'm looking forward to this day. The sun is shining and I feel the spring weather. The dog is also happily frolicking in front of me. Walking towards the dog run, a fenced-in exhaust field, something bright red seems to be winking at me. Or to the dog, of course that is also possible.

I get closer and make out the object: a bottle with a bright red label, standing there unattended. Empty, yes. It's right in front of the dog run entrance. I can't imagine the dogs having a party last night. “My dog does not do such a thing”, no, honestly, he is too lazy for that.

There are also benches (and trash cans) around the dog run and now that the weather is getting milder, this is a nice place to get together. The empty bottle contained 15% redberry liquor.

I pick up the bottle with a dirty face. A passing gentleman looks at me and the dangling bottle in my hand. “So, did you soldier it on early this morning?”

“Yes when brushing my teeth”, I answer quickly. But then I make it clear to the gentleman that I don't drink alcohol at all. He frowns slightly, “yes yes”.

Why would I lie about this? I just have to smile at the truth. Because I think I'm tough and a perseverant. To leave the widely socially accepted alcohol in this society.

Later in the day I'm at the nail salon. While enjoying a cup of coffee, I am asked which color I prefer. “Bright red” and I declare what inspires me.

That afternoon I walk to the dog run again. And again I see something looming in my field of vision.

This time no red color nor a bottle. No, they're balls. Green tennis balls. Thirty or so tennis balls scattered throughout the dog run. Many dogs react immediately to it.

Some balls are broken and the felt is loose, which is not good for the dogs. But it will be well-intentioned, these balls. Presumably collected by children at the nearby tennis club and 'donated' to the dogs. I'm thinking of the smileys now!

Until the next blog!


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