Sunday, January 29, 2006


been a weird week, one that's had me alternating between these moments of self-satisfaction and irritability. no real reason behind it. none that i can pinpoint, at least. i had this great day midweek when i got home and engaged in some light housework. then i just stood for a minute and looked around. my dishes were done, floors were clean, trash taken out, healthy dog lounging on her bed while gnawing on a biscuit.

it was a calm, quiet moment in the twilight. and i felt pretty damn happy with myself. i made it, damnit. i was an adult, living on her own, taking care of bidness -- very Mary Tyler Moore. i relished in the thought that i had finally taken ownership of my own life. not that it had belonged to others before. i just don't think i had the wherewithal and maturity to realize that it's always belonged to me. that it was mine for the taking and making. one of my more personal resolutions this year is to speak the fuck up. surely, i'm no wilting violet, but even i act demure at times when i shouldn't. now i see that if i'm unhappy about something, it's my own damn fault.

that was followed by the worst day at work. i felt cranky and irritable and had to resist the urge to tell people exactly what i thought of them. i wanted to trip the office micromanager and reply to the needless "how are you doing?" pleasantry with "shitty. not that you really care." the worst thing about mondays is not only that it signifies the start of a workweek, but that you have to deal with the endless barrage of "how was your weekend?" from scores of coworkers you'd never tell the absolute truth to. it's a wasteful exchange. all small talk is, and i've never been good at faking enthusiasm.

in any case, a bad day followed a good day followed another bad day and good day and onward. i had a great saturday with my mother -- a half-hour massage, then lunch, then mall shopping. then i woke up on sunday with a sore throat and stuffy nose. on one weekday morning, i conducted a little experiment, where i cracked open my front door and trusted juice to walk out and take care of her business unsupervised while i scrambled to get ready for work indoors. she did just that and returned home a few minutes later, just as a cat would. i was proud of her -- and of myself for finding a way to streamline my morning ritual.

the next day i tried it again. but this time, the bitch saw my neighbor's cat and bolted after it like a torpedo. so i bolted after them -- very unlike a torpedo -- and made it to the sidewalk where cat and dog were nowhere to be found. my heart dropped with fear. i didn't know which direction to turn. i knew juice wouldn't run away. she's just not that adventurous. i knew she wouldn't hurt the cat either. she's just not that vicious. she'd only want to sniff its butt. but i did fear the cat would hurt her in a desperate moment and that my dog would return to me with a missing eye.

then, i heard the clang of a collar to my right. a moment later, juice trotted out of a driveway, her eyes intact but wide with apology. the cat must have gotten away. i was livid, but relieved. i dragged her indoors and dropped some mighty discipline. then i felt guilty all day. it was my own damn fault and i knew it. my inclination toward morning laziness was no match for my dog's instincts, nor was it an excuse to jeopardize her safety. so much for having it together and being an adult. i was still a child looking for shortcuts.

and again, i remind myself: this is the year i will turn 30.

No comments: