A puppy pissing on your bare shins is one thing. I had, after all, been away for an eternity in dog years; she was just expressing her joy upon my return. And tripping over her puppy paws with a hot dish in my hands was my own fault. I should have eaten my dinner before or after dinner-time because it seems that, in dog years, our dinner-time is an Australian Shepherd’s walk me right now or I will topple you into the oven time. I recovered my balance, I took a deep breath. I was compassionate. I was understanding. I sat down to eat.
I was slightly less empathic when I dropped my fork and followed her snuffles into the bathroom to find her tug-o-warring with a feminine hygiene product from the waste paper basket. It wasn’t so much a last-straw moment as an accessible manifestation of Kristeva’s theory of the abject. It took me many years and monies to grasp the complex concept in college; turns out, all I needed was a dog and a Kotex.
As always, I digress.
My point… My point is… My question is: People with pets (and by pets I include children) how the f*ck do you get anything done? More specifically, these same people who love to read and write and be stationary for seconds at a time, how the hell do you do it? I’m on day six of a ten-day puppy-sitting gig and I need insight and reassurance.
I’m jokey about it, of course. It’s scary to seriously admit that I’m not sure I’m equipped or willing for the responsibility of rambunctious, pissy, dependent little things – either the furry or human-pelted variety. It’s not an issue right now. These ten days shall pass and in a matter of weeks I’ll be setting off for India – or the latest installment of my self-centered life. After our travels are over and we come back to Portland I see myself settling down alright, but my idea of settling down involves an easy chair, a pen and some sheets of paper.
I want to write.
I want to see. I want to see if I can be brave enough to do it. I’ve deferred it for so long. Dabbled and paddled in it but never taking myself seriously, never sitting still long enough, always placing something between myself and it. Next year, next year, next year.
I’ve started to feel like I’m running out of time. I have a biological clock but it’s not built for babies. I feel like I might have a book inside me. I feel like I could create a whole family of stories. I don’t know where a ‘real’ family fits into that sort of settling-down. Suddenly, I’m not joking anymore. I feel very serious. How do people do it?
I suppose they do it in moments like I am now. Roo is snoring her adorable snore, her legs are twitching as she runs through dream meadows and chases fantasy frisbees. I wore her out in the park on purpose. I’m worn out too but I did it so I’d have this moment later on. This half an hour. To focus my thoughts and get some words down, maybe read a chapter of my book. Until she wakes up with a jolt when Ian gets home, leaps to greet him, and I call out: “be careful babe, she pees when she’s… excited.” And it starts all over again. She’s lucky she’s so cute.