Dog Days

Many dogs in my life today. On my way to the train, I ran into my favorite dog; this German Shepherd mix who is sometimes tied up outside of his house in the morning. He's sort of spastic and whines, but he lets me pet him and pull tufts of his fur off to release into the breeze. Then met Carrie at Chapterhouse after work to hear about her trip to Paris and there were two more dogs inside; one is a spotted friendly mutt named Jessica who lives there. I surreptitiously fed her bits of my raisin scone while the owner wasn't looking. Then to the bike shop next door to pick up Carrie's ten-speed which needed a new tire and tape for the handlebars. Another dog hangs out there, Fido, the saddest dog in the world, skinny, old, never wags his tail no matter how much you pet him. The bike shop boys are gangly 25 year olds with dark hair hanging in their eyes, blue tattoos up and down their legs and arms; guys with big hands long fingers adept at adjusting things. Back to Carrie's to see the kittens we rescued, Piper and Paul Skoles. Both are growing at an alarming rate and do nothing much all day except knock over plants.

Was thinking today about romantic comedies and how, like in the chick lit (I first typed "chick lick") book I mentioned before, you have these particular moments of reversal. Maybe it's a throw-back to Shakespeare or someone--didn't most of his comedies have an ending where everyone comes together at the last second after all these missed connections and misunderstandings? In ro-co movies, it has to happen where the couple fight their mutual attraction because of some impediment (excessive coolness, another partner, living on different continents), until finally, one night, they sleep together, and the next morning, things are weird and one sprints off into the opposite direction. Think Reality Bites or When Harry Met Sally (I always thought there has to be something wrong with me because I wanted Winona Ryder to end up with Ben Stiller, who was supposed to be this uptight, boring dude and not the uber hip and sardonic and damaged Ethan Hawke with his perpetually greasy hair). Anyway, it has to happen that one of them has lost his/her senses and runs away so that they can have this sudden epiphany, realizing that s/he's made a terrible mistake that must immediately be remedied. In WHMS, there's the extended end scene where he finally makes a literal run to go find the woman he realizes he cannot live without. At the last second, he makes it to the NY's Eve party, just in time to stop Sally from leaving and professes his love, how he cannot go another minute without her. In RB, Ethan shows up at the penultimate moment too, just as Winona is about to dash into a cab to find him. But then I wonder what would happen if we flashed forward to a year down the road, where this pattern of leaving and showing up have happened like fifteen times since then and they are hating each other to death.

Dave used to do that to me too, except he didn't leave, he sort of dwindled. I remember one time in State College, we had what yet another conversation the day after he spent the night where he spoke in stops and starts. " I just...I...You...I feel like...We shouldn't...I never meant...If I were a rich man... " I said, "Okay, goodbye, then. Bye-bye." I walked him to the door. He sort of floated out, still not clear on how to express his intense admiration and equally intense inability to make out if any strings were attached. I watched out my apartment window as he slowly drove away. I mean, really slowly. Like, still riding his brake lights. I knew he was looking out the windshield, still trying to figure out what he wanted to say to me and I thought, You dumb ass. (Well, and also, he had a vanity license plate I hated that read "SKYCRZR"). I couldn't understand how he could be both so into me and so not into me at the same time. Much easier to contemplate that problem then to ask the more intimate question, Why would I be into someone who felt wishy-washy about me? Well, he was a good kisser. But still. And a poet. Though inarticulate in real life.

In any case, those movie realization moments almost never happen in real life. You don't find someone sitting on your doorstep when you drag home, or run into him at the airport just as he's about to charter a jet to visit you in your hometown where you've been for the last two weeks to nurse your dying brother, or pop out from behind your shower curtain while you're brushing your teeth (unless you've been dating a psychopath). I'm trying to think if I've had a moment like that or if I've ever done the showing up. Nope. I do remember one time in high when I was at a hospital waiting room after one of my friends had overdosed on her mother's sleeping pills on the night we were supposed to go see a movie. I was all by myself for some reason and feeling really fucked up and scared. I heard the whoosh of the entrance doors and looked up to see my boyfriend, Mike, the drummer in a Christian rock band, who had just walked in. He hadn't seen me yet, so I got this perfect moment where I got to see him as he was searching for me and I felt it in my stomach, this sudden rush of complete relief and affection for him, thinking, Oh, thank God, he made it. It'll be okay now.

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