I hadn't seen Dogboy in many months, so when he ran into the bar the other night, my initial response was something along the lines of happy shock. The Dog is always good for a story and a laugh, though not always together.

Then I noticed the troubled look in his face as he ordered a double Jack.

"You OK?" I asked. "You look like you just saw a ghost."

"I did. An old girlfriend."

The details came out in bits and pieces. Dogboy had been in the local supermarket, stocking up on beer and pizza, when he saw his old girlfriend at the other end of the aisle. He was stunned.

"She looked like bag lady who'd been in a train wreck," he told me, pushing his glass back for a refill.

"This is a bad thing?"

"You don't understand. I think about this woman all the time. I always thought she was the one. I always thought . . ."

Neither one of us spoke for a bit. I gathered from what he had been saying that his marriage -- yes, the Dog is married - had been somewhat rocky lately. But that seemed to have changed in a supermarket instant.

Finally, I asked what he'd said to the old girlfriend. He shook his head.

"Never got close to her. I pretty much fled the store," he said. "But on the way out, I bought every rose they had. Tomorrow's Valentine's Day, you know."


"Sometimes you don't know what you've got until you see what you might have had."

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