Sitar Man

I promised A's sitar teacher that I'd take the dog out when he arrived to teach A's lesson today. Instead, I was an hour late. I was an hour late because my check for my copyediting work was not available in midtown Manhattan, but was waiting for me on Wall Street. And the office monkeys did not know where my check was until I showed up at the midtown office.

Anyway, Sitar Man was due to arrive to teach A around the time I arrived on Wall Street. Sitar Man was bitten on his leg by a German Shepherd named Rita one day while he sat in a dental office.

He has been trying to get used to Napoleon, but his fear has been hard to ignore. But sometimes, things like today happen for a reason.

When I arrived home from Wall Street, Sitar Man and A were seated on the rug in the customary fashion playing their instruments, and Napoleon was chomping on his bone right beside them.

Sitar Man smiled at me. After my many apologies for the delay, Sitar Man said, "He and I are getting along." I'm glad, I said.

It's a huge deal. Sitar Man, like many musicians from India (think: tabla impresario Zakir Hussain, who is related to our Sitar Man), is not Hindu but Muslim, and a dog is not the sort of family member you find in a traditional Muslim home. And, of course, there's the whole issue about Rita biting him on the leg.

But here everybody was, on the floor, entranced by the sounds coming from the strings.

On leaving, Napoleon desperately wanted to play tug-of-war, and waved a toy provocatively at Sitar Man as he left. "Bye Napoleon!"

Smile. Smile. Smile.

Relief. Relief. Relief.

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