Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time to Pretend

I'd like to tell you a little story now, and I apologize beforehand for its melancholy notes.

Let's say you're a man, new to a city, starting a new life with your partner. You both spent most of your money to move out here, find a home, and start fresh.
Now let's say it's a national holiday, and you don't have to go into work today.  A day of respite after a few hard weeks. Your partner wakes up early and volunteers to take the dogs for a walk, allowing you to stay in bed and catch up on some much needed sleep.
Less than an hour later, a phone call wakes you up. We're at the Starbucks on King Street. Get here now.

Now let's say you're a different man. You've taken a brisk walk around your new city, with your two dogs by your side, Nina and Nani. They're a couple of mutts, not like the purse dogs you've seen so much of lately. You catch Nina, mid-stride, looking up at you, one ear cocked back, like she's asking if she's doing it right. You're ok, N, good girl.
It's nearing the end of your walk, and you decide to surprise your partner, still asleep back home, with a big cup of coffee. You tie Nina and Nani to the base of a table and head into Starbucks.
And then a commotion.
A dog is barking across the street and Nani perks up, ready to play. Nina looks at the door, looking for you, ready to check in. Just then, Nani bolts, no longer able to resist the call to frolic, and Nina follows, dragging the table behind them.
A screech.
2 thuds.
A lump of dread in your throat as you call your partner. We're at Starbucks on King Street. Get here now.

You're a young dog and you were on a walk, and now you're in this strange place. There's blood running into your eye. Most of your scalp has been ripped off, exposing the entire top of your skull, and your ribs are broken. You'll go into surgery soon and the people in blue will fix you. You're nervous, though, looking around for Nina.

You're a good dog, and you meant to ask for permission. You're having a hard time breathing because something has caused your intestines to be pushed forward into your chest. Maybe you could be fixed, but your people just moved to this city, and they can't afford it. Then again, maybe you couldn't be fixed anyways.
You're on a blanket and your favorite people are petting you and calling you Good Dog.
There's a needle.
2 kisses on your head.
Then nothing.

Let's pretend now that you were driving too fast on your commute. Out of nowhere, 2 dogs ran into the street. You couldn't avoid them. Who could really blame you? Horrible things happen every day.
But then you sped away.
And that's what makes you a terrible person.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Which I Recount a Lame Conversation

Someone ran by singing a terrible song (Waterfalls, by TLC), and like all terrible songs, it wriggled its way into my grey matter.
I knew the one thing that would unseat it.  Yum Yum Bumblebee, bumble bee tuna....and so on.
I told Sam, The only way to make this better is to make it much much worse.
"You're funny. Are you a comedian? 'Cause you're, like, really funny."
That's stupid. Don't be stupid, Sam, just 'cause the man expects it.
"What man?"
That one, over there.