dog track

glasgow dog track. barely still functioning, it attracts people entirely nonchalant or entirely desperate. they intermingle here, these two groups. somehow content in each others company.  often there is a mist in the air. the type that gathers around fields at night. after a while it reacts with your own warmer breath and causes a gossamer film of wet on the face and hair.  the floodlighting at night always gives an ethereal quality. and if everyone wore white it would remind you of heaven.  or a type of heaven i suppose.  the multiple lights destroy solid shadows leaving only penumbra. nowhere to hide in that slightly blue light, everything becomes visible.  the grass in the centre, protected by the encircling track becomes a sacred place. a false focal point where nothing actually happens.  this is the best time of year, when it is cold and dark but with more chance of rain than snow.  nothing beats the smell of earth after rain.

the dogs race in batches of five. the excited yelp of dogs before they go in the trap. most people would find it unappealing. but it is the peak and marks the turning point in the chiaroscuro. on look so many poor lost souls. waiting for something that isnt goin to happen. pinning their hopes on an escaping dog. the high is evanescent. and this is the darker half of the two equal parts. but somehow that redolent earth keeps them coming back round to destroy themselves again.  there are no epiphanies here. 

 once the dogs finish and the electric rabbit is stopped the lead dog will catch it and the others gambol around each other. pepped up on adrenalin. sometimes they fight. most punters leave in some small way victorious, despite heavy losses. the only lagniappe being that they can come back next week and try again. 

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9 Responses to dog track

  1. Jando says:

    My friend is homesick for Glasgow – I'll show this to her, if I may?
    I must confess I had to look up "lagniappe", so I have learned something new – a lagniappe to reading this post.

  2. sure,
    well i didnt know what it meant either jando!. i found a list of the 100 most beautiful words in the english language and thought id try and stuff as many into this as i could to try and be a smarty pants!
    in fact there are 4 above i didnt know. lagniappe,redolent,chiaroscuro + penumbra.
    heres the list:
    1 adroit Dexterous, agile.2 adumbrate To very gently suggest.3 aestivate To summer, to spend the summer.4 ailurophile A cat-lover.5 beatific Befitting an angel or saint.6 beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.7 blandiloquent Beautiful and flattering.8 caliginous Dark and misty.9 champagne An effervescent wine.10 chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.11 chiaroscuro The arrangement of dark and light elements in a picture.12 cockle A heart-shaped bivalve or a garden flower.13 colporteur A book peddlar.14 conflate To blend together, to combine different things.15 cynosure A focal point of admiration.16 desuetude Disuse.17 diaphanous Filmy.18 diffuse Spread out, not focused or concentrated.19 dulcet Sweet, sugary.20 ebullient Bubbling with enthusiasm.21 effervescent Bubbly.22 efflorescence Flowering, the opening of buds or a bloom.23 elixir A good potion.24 emollient A softener.25 encomium A spoken or written work in praise of someone.26 ephemeral Short-lived.27 epicure A person who enjoys fine living, especially food and drink.28 epiphany A sudden revelation.29 erstwhile At one time, for a time.30 eschew To reject or avoid.31 esculent Edible.32 esoteric Understood only by a small group of specialists.33 ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.34 etiolate White from no contact with light.35 evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.36 exuberant Enthusiastic, excited.37 felicitous Pleasing.38 fescue A variety of grass favored for pastures.39 foudroyant Dazzling.40 fragile Very, very delicate.41 fugacioius Running, escaping.42 gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.43 glamour Beauty.44 gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.45 halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.46 hymeneal Having to do with a wedding.47 imbricate To overlap to form a regular pattern.48 imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.49 imbue To infuse, instill.50 incipient Beginning, in an early stage.51 ingenue A naïve young woman.52 inglenook The place beside the fireplace.53 inspissate To thicken.54 inure To jade.55 jejune Dull; childish.56 lagniappe A gift given to a customer for their patronage.57 lagoon A small gulf or inlet in the sea.58 languor Listlessness, inactivity.59 lassitude Weariness, listlessness.60 laughter The response to something funny.61 lilt To move musically or lively, to have a lively sound.62 lithe Slender and flexible.63 loquacious Talkative.64 luxuriant Thick, lavish.65 mellifluous Sweet-sounding.66 missive A message or letter.67 moiety One of two equal parts, a half.68 mondegreen A misanalyzed phrase.69 nebulous Foggy.70 niveous Snowy, snow-like.71 obsequious Fawning, subservience.72 odalisque A concubine in a harem.73 oeuvre A work.74 offing That part of the sea between the horizon and the offshore.75 onomatopoeia The creation of words by imitating sound.76 paean A formal expression of praise.77 palimpsest A manuscript written over one or more earlier ones.78 panacea A complete solution for all problems.79 panoply A complete set.80 pastiche A mixture of art work (art or music) from various sources.81 peccadillo A peculiarity.82 pelagic Related to the sea or ocean.83 penumbra A half-shadow, the edge of a shadow.84 peregrination Wandering, travels.85 petrichor The smell of earth after a rain.86 plethora A great excess, overabundance.87 porcelain A fine white clay pottery.88 potamophilous Loving rivers.89 propinquity An inclination or preference.90 Pyrrhic Victorious despite heavy losses.91 quintessential The ultimate, the essence of the essence.92 redolent Sweet-smelling.93 rhapsody A beautiful musical piece.94 riparian Having to do with the bank of a river or other body of water.95 ripple A small, circular wave emanating from a central point.96 scintillate To sparkle with brilliant light.97 sempiternal Forever and ever.98 seraglio Housing for a harem.99 serendipity Finding something while looking for something else.100 surreptitious Sneaky.

  3. Jando says:

    That's an amazing list and will be upfront an confess to only knowing what 57 of them meant. I did know what a penumbra was because I did physics at school – I could probably even draw you a diagram.
    I'm slightly disappointed that 'elbow' didn't make the list – it's one of my favourite words.

  4. mmm. i only knew 48 so you beat me.
    elbow. yeh that should have made it. actually the list comes across as a bit elitist rereading it. theres not many normal nice sounding words. Frasier Crane probably uses all these regularly but not the average joe.

  5. Aubrey says:

    'champagne' – as a color, or as refreshment, it is quite indespensable.

  6. well said.
    i wouldnt mind some champagne right now aubrey. that would just set the weekend up perfect.

  7. Wow! I just noticed the comments– which are a whole other amazing thing. I did pretty good on the list I guess. A 3/4 ratio. But then I constantly play free rice and I subscribe to 3 different word of the day lists. I should probably get out more…

  8. get out more??? are you crazy? its cold out there!
    i had to ggogle free rice , i didnt know what that was. very good. i just donated 140 grains. enuf to make a very tiny risotto.
    and so you're in the lead on the word knowledge thing:
    im 48. jando 57. sixbucks 75.
    but you dont win anything, the prize is your better vocabulary and knowing your better than us. i need a real dumbass to come in and get less than 48 so i can know how that feels.

  9. Cromulent!(Mmmmm… risotto.)

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