February 17, 2016
5:45am- I don’t want to get out of bed. It’s been too busy of a week already. I just woke up and I already feel behind. I haven’t done laundry in a long time and I don’t think I have any clean underwear. Today is self-defense training for my job. I’ve been wearing the same socks for a few days now, not sure if this will matter or not. Getting out of bed also means that the dogs will be up and ready to go and I’ll be shuffling around not feeling their enthusiasm. My house feels cold this morning.
6:15am – Why did I agree to raise a litter of puppies for a trainer friend? I don’t feel like I can catch up with them, but maybe that is why I like puppies so much. They are sweet, but so, so, poopy. Always.
7:38am- Getting in car for work and there is a pre-teen boy running down my street, smiling. He’s larger, kind of chunky, but smiling huge. I assumed he was smiling and running to his bus stop, maybe running late. It wasn’t until a block later that I realized that that smile on his face could have been saying that he was running away from his bus stop… where does a boy like that run to? What plans have been made instead of going to school?
– Driving to work. Neighbors loading other neighbors children into warm vans with sticky floors. Everyone is smiling. The next street away the cops have pulled up to someone’s house—lights are bouncing all over, but it’s quiet. Kids are watching from the bus stop across the street. As I drive the opposite way and hit the light to cross out of our neighborhood, I think about how accustomed most of those kids are to the police. I think about a few summers ago when I saw the police drag a father and son out onto the grass in front of their house. The father had been selling cocaine out of the home, the son shouting and fighting the police as they took his dad out of the house. He fought when they drug him out at first and laid him on the grass beside his dad, then he cried. Where were they now? I wonder how the son reflects back on that day? Does he brag to his friends about it? Does the story change with different audiences? The house that they lived in is around the corner from mine. It’s been empty this winter, but there were people there the other night with flashlights going through it. I think the owners live somewhere else in the winter because they can’t afford the leak.
8am- Self-defense class for work. I am paired with a sweaty cherub of a woman, but she is friendly. She continues to try to engage me in small talk with her, but I have no interest. She doesn’t think that I’m a morning person, but in reality I’m just not into talking to her. Or anyone. I realize she knows my name, but I’m not sure how. I’m annoyed, but try to remain cordial. My partner says she has been doing classes such as these for years and years, yet I have to remind her which hand is her right and which is her left. I have to explain how to do fake hair grips on my own head far too many times. This continues for about two hours.
11:30- Back at my office. Returning phonecalls that I’ve missed from the morning. More homeless, almost homeless, or house surfing people. One man slept under a tarp the previous night. Refuses to go to the Mission because they will make him go to church and love to tell men when to piss and shit and when to walk down a hallway. He says he’d rather sleep under a tarp.
Another phone call from a woman who insists that she has left me numerous messages for the last two weeks. I’ve never heard of her. I look her up in the system and see that she is 20yrs old. She tells me that I have a list of landlords for her to call so that she can get cheap housing for her and her two kids. I assure her that I don’t, but she cuts me off and tells me I’m a bitch and lazy and that I don’t give a shit about anyone. I don’t argue, but listen to her list off all of my qualifications. When she’s done, I let her know that I am unable to help her since she is not actually homeless, but can assist her in finding someone that can. I reiterate that I do not know of a special landlord list. She says she’s going to report me and hangs up. When I was 20 I was staying up too late, digging around in trash dumpsters for food, in college with a full time job and more than a bit depressed. I can’t imagine this woman’s 20 years. I can’t imagine her two kids 20 years. What world did I live in when I was 20?
1:30 pm Police show up at work because of a call from a tenant stating that they heard screaming coming from the 3rd floor. More police show up. While I doubt that there is a screaming woman on the 3rd floor, I’m annoyed that the police think my workplace is a joke. Their mannerisms and joking manner bother me. They make jokes that the building is just full of meth and pill heads.
2pm- Lunch. Client in my office. Flippantly states that her recently deceased mother has started to visit her apartment with her nephew that died over a year ago. It seems that her nephew is teaching her mother how to turn on her stove. Client reminds me that I met her mother at her funeral. Client reminds me how her mother wouldn’t open her eyes. I asked the client if she sees her mother or nephew when they visit her apartment, but she says that she can’t see them, but that she knows that they are there flipping her light switches, turning up the volume of her tv and turning on her stove.
I listen to her talk more about her mother and her mothers eyes. I remember how at her mothers funeral she kept wanting to touch her mothers hands, face and trinkets that had been put into the coffin. My initial reaction at the funeral was to persuade her not to touch her mothers face and hands so much, but I caught myself. Who was I to tell her what was acceptable or how to grieve?
4pm Home to grab V. , one of my Weimaraners. She turns 8 today so we’re going out for a short romp. Just her and I. On the way out, I see a small dog almost get hit. I stop my car, open the door, and call to the dog. She launches herself into my car with no hesitation. She sits in my lap. I put my seatbelt back on and start to drive to the nearest driveway. I call the number on her tag and have the strangest conversation with a man who doesn’t know if his dog is missing or not. The man asks his mother if they are missing one of the dogs. No one in the family knows if they are missing any of their dogs. I’m annoyed. How can they not know? This dog seems very well kept and smells like old lady perfume. I hang up from the strange family and look at the address on the dogs tag. It’s pretty far out from where I found the dog. I decided to place her in a dog crate in the back of my car and continue on to V. and my run. I needed to be outside and am so glad I got out. Too many people wanting too many different things this week. I thrive on my down time and I haven’t had enough of it lately. We walked and explored a little area outside of Muncie for a few hours. V. loves to try to catch snowballs and look for mice in the tall tufts of grass. My knees and pantlegs are wet from walking through the grass.
We head out and I decide to look at the stray dogs tag again. It looks like I misdialed the phone number the first time around so I dial it again. I get a call back from a man and he says that yes, that is his and his wifes dog. He gave me the address (which I had read wrong also—makes me wonder what is the matter with me when trying to read these things tonight? and tells me that he can be there in 20 minutes. He hears the hesitation in my voice and asks if I would be ok with putting the dog in the “guest house” beside the main house. I drive there, see the guest house, and follow the instructions on how to get into it. When I step in, I flip the light on and set the perfumed Yorkie on the floor. She sits and looks at me. There is a large cat trying to come in the doorway. I feel strange because I’ve just been directed to place this dog in its owners “guest house”. There is a large, well-made bed near the door. A kitchen. A cart that has what looks like expensive liquor near the living room… I wish the dog luck and step out. The cat is weaving in and out of my legs. I get in my car and drive down the long drive. I realize that I don’t know the family name. I realize that the man never asked mine or thanked me for picking his dog up, yet was perfectly fine telling me how to get into the guesthouse.
7pm Home again. Tired. Friends invited me over for dinner, but I can’t. Too much people time, need downtime. No internet. Take care of dogs, grab a book, fall asleep.