gall and gumption

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Was I Wrong to Say That?

So a couple days ago I was walking the dogs along the busy street two blocks over from mine. I was also talking on the phone. There is only sidewalk on this side of the street, which is narrow and very busy, and at that time of day has cars parked along it which makes it, of course, even narrower. The dogs stopped to sniff at some low bushes, and I stopped and let them. Suddenly this older woman stepped out from behind a hedge, where, as events suggest, she had apparently been lurking in wait, carrying a pink jacket, and started swinging the jacket furiously at their heads. I snatched the dogs out of reach. Here, edited for repetition, is the dialogue that ensued.

K: What the hell are you doing?

W: They were sniffing!

K: Yes, they were just sniffing!

W: I know what happens next! First they sniff and then they pee!

K: Well, you don't know that! What the--

W: Another dog just came by and did it!

K: And what does that have to do with me? Because of some other dog you're going to just step out and take a swing at my dogs? Who does that?

W: I wasn't going to actually hit them.

K: That is beside the point. You were rude. You saw me here, you could have said something, who the hell just comes out swinging...

W: I'm sick of dogs on my plants.

K: They're not on your plants, they're on the sidewalk!

W: You should walk them further away from my yard, then. I'm sick of dogs peeing on my plants.

K: (glancing around to see where on this street she was supposed to walk the dogs other than on the sidewalk and finding nowhere, has one of those flashes of all-consuming irritability like that one comic book character who was all just made of flames) There's nowhere else to walk, you fucking nutcase!


And then I went on my way, muttering similar strongly-flavored imprecations.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Little Dream

What a time we had! And then, too soon, it was time for you to go. We blew kisses at each other, you in the bus and me on the sidewalk. I watched it pull away and round the corner and I waited until I couldn't hear it, then I waited a little longer after that, the moment, listening as if it was the only bus there ever was.

Then things went back to normal. On my way to catch my train I lost my suitcase and passport; the train had not come or it had already left. This was impossible to determine because the station agent was a vampire and bore an eerie resemblance to George Jetson. I caught the very next train and soon we were speeding through deep forest, though not in the direction in which I wished to go. I arrived in the city (I am not sure which city--it seemed European) in time for the calculus exam on which so much was riding, although I still couldn't find the dog, and was distracted by several loose teeth. It is hard to write a calculus exam in ball point pen on a soggy flour tortilla. And then I had to pee. And do you know that every single restroom in that entire government building was broken or filthy or had the toilet or the door removed? You know how a nightclub toilet gets around 2 in the morning? It was one of the most epic instances of anyone having to pee of all time. I escaped from the flesh-eating zombies. Again. I found the hat of my dreams but it wasn't my size. All the other ones were ugly.

When are you coming to visit again? We could have another picnic.