I’m afraid of dogs

I’m afraid of dogs

I just got chased by a dog.

A small, aggressive fiend who was hungry for my flesh. It’s true. What started as a familiar walk to the mailbox, ended in the most terrifying 30 seconds of my life.

I’ll admit, it was a small dog. But it still ran after me: barking like a maniac and nipping at my ankles and everything. I kept walking and tried not to look back. I figured running was probably the worst thing I could do. So I just walked at a normal pace, resisting the urge to run. It had to go away right? It had to know I was not a threat.

But it didn’t leave. And I felt like an idiot for keeping this leisurely pace when every bone in my body was telling me to run.I cringed inside and started to panic. I stood up on my tippy toes and screamed — a nervous yelp. What was I doing wrong? I turned back to face the little devil in the eye. If fear was my perfume, I was drowning in it.

So yeah, if you’re animal lover, this is about the time when you conclude that I am a horrible person. But let me try to explain. I never really had pets growing up so I’ve been known to get a little tense when a dog is in the room. I don’t hate dogs. I just don’t get them. And that makes me anxious. So please take this post as a the questionings of a animal-ignorant, slightly overdramatic human, curious for some answers.

For most of my life, I’ve denied that I truly have a fear of dogs. But dog-owners can smell fear just as quickly as their furry friends can. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard the following well-intentioned suggestions:

“Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.”

“She’s a friendly dog.”

“You know they can smell fear right?”

“Just push him away and he won’t bother you.”

I have never found comfort in any of these words. The main reason being that I have little to no understanding of the relationship between a dog and its owner. I mean, obviously your dog loves you, but why would he trust me? Isn’t he supposed to protect you? If I pet him the wrong way, could he go into attack mode? What if he jumps on me? What do I do?!

All of this sounds like nonsense to an animal-lover. I find pets, and the relationships they have with their owners so fascinating. How can you trust each other so easily? Part of me wishes I could understand or experience it on my own. But I’m stuck with a black blot on my heart, in the shape of what I assume is a puppy.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about dogs a lot. I would like to have one some day. I’ve been making some good progress. But today, I feel like all of it has gone down the drain.

Oh, and about that dog that chased me? An older European lady came to my rescue. “He no bite,” she assured me, shaking her head. I did as I usually do in awkward situations, smile — and laugh. And I turned right around, my heart pounding in my chest and skipped up the steps to my house.

The first thing I did was google what to do when a dog chases after you.

Texting on the run

Texting on the run

“Check texts on the run.” —said a Samsung smart watch ad.

“Wait — what?” I did a double take. The young, fit jogger on the poster smiled at me. I realized that this was more than just a clever pun. Samsung was actually trying to sell me a smart watch by telling me it would make it easier for me to check my texts while running. Pfft, as if I even exercise on a regular basis. And when I do choose to exercise, running is definitely not in my routine.

But to all the spirited runners out there, do you really wish you could check your texts during your morning jog? Is this actually a desire that’s been burning inside of you?

I’m going to take a guess here and say no.

“So Samsung, why do you think this would work?” The woman on the poster keeps smiling. I’m not sure what she would say to me if she could talk.

“It’s convenient.”

“Now, you can be connected even when it’s incredibly inconvenient.”

“Haven’t you always wanted something to stare at while waiting for the light to change?”

I laugh. Nice one, Samsung. Technology is supposed to make things easier right? Even when it doesn’t always make sense.

 

Attached to the Screen

Attached to the Screen

It is ironic that the first thing I do when I get home after staring at a screen all day is:

1) Turn on the computer

2) Check my phone (which I’ve already been doing on the commute)

3) Check my email and Facebook

By the end of my work day, my head is literally pounding from the screen glare. My eyes can barely stay open. But by some freak of nature, the second I walk out of there, I crave technology.

I don’t know if that means I’m sick or enslaved.

I’d like to think that technology at work and technology at home are two totally different things. At least, psychologically. I feel better sitting on my couch, typing away on my laptop. But then again, I guess you wouldn’t feel that great after gawking at a screen for five hours straight no matter where you are.

At home, I get to do what I want online, with no pressure. At work, well, besides trying to absorb every tweet and post in every feed and, hatching new creative ideas, my brain is overloaded. It’s a wonder it hasn’t crashed sooner.

Still, could I re-wire it to last longer? Or is this more destructive than restorative?

What’s the first thing you do when you get home?

The Injustice of Waiting

The Injustice of Waiting

20 minutes.

I’ve run out of things to look at on my phone. I’ve exhausted every feed of every social media I am a part of. Even the ones I never look at. My phone battery is at 10 per cent.

25 minutes.

No one is texting me back. My boyfriend should be home from work by now, but he’s not texting me. Is everybody really just that busy? Apparently, I am the only loser sitting in a parking lot waiting for my mom.

30 minutes.

My eyes have officially glazed over. My body is entering a nap-like state. The theta waves are in full gear. I recline the car seat and give in.

33 minutes.

I wake up to the first ping. Finally, someone to keep me company. The more I text about my situation, the more it bothers me. There were so many things I was planning on doing tonight. Why did I agree to drive my parents here? I should’ve just stayed home.

45 minutes.

I can’t believe this. I’ve wasted 45 minutes here in the parking lot, just sitting in the car. This is disgusting. I had so many plans for tonight. I wanted to write. I wanted to read. I wanted to play my ukulele. I shouldn’t have to sit here after a long day at work. I deserved to stay in and do what I wanted. When she gets back in the car, I’m going to give her a piece of my mind.

55 minutes.

Still waiting. I’m just so tired of waiting. I don’t even care anymore.

59 minutes.

She raps on the window. I unlock the door and start the car. She starts to tell me all about the clinic. About the rooms and patients and all the wires. I can barely take in the words. She’s not even sorry for making me wait. As if she had any control over the situation in the first place.

In my lethargy, I doubt if I have a right to be upset. As much as I want to punish someone, there’s no one to blame.

What does it matter that I had to wait? I had no control. I had no choice. There are greater tragedies out there than waiting in a parking lot for an hour.

But it stills feels unjust.

 

The Ring that Left Me

The Ring that Left Me

The ring
The ring

You never know what you have until you’ve lost it. Or so the saying goes.

Today I lost the jewel of my ring. It sounds petty I know but, I was left with just the shell. A thin band with an empty heart where a muddy white stone used to sit.

I’ve worn this ring every day of the last four years of my life. It wasn’t worth much. But it had so become a part of me, that I considered it an extension of my ring finger. Without it, I feel naked.

Replacing it would be betrayal. Fixing it would be an insult. The ring was one of kind.

The girl who first chose to wear it was so different than the girl who lost it.

She wore it out of humility. She thought it would help her to remember. Whenever anyone asked her about it, she was forced to tell them the story. And she liked that. Sometimes.

I wore it because it was familiar. I would turn it around so the heart-shaped stone would face my palm. I liked the feel of my thumb against it. A nervous tick, maybe. No one had asked me about it for months. But I remembered the story, even though it felt so faraway.

Today I ran my thumb against it and the ring scratched me. The difference in texture shocked me. Where there had once been a smooth stone, there were three prongs grasping at nothing. Instantly, I knew there was nothing I could do. The stone had left me.

All day, I’ve been filling my head with memories of my ring. I remembered waking up once, in the middle of the night, thinking I had lost it. It was just a dream. But I felt so low.

Now that it’s gone, I think the ring meant more to me then I intended it to.

Have you ever lost something that became a part of you?

 

In the face

In the face

I’m faced with an avalanche. Not the real, massive snow slide of destruction. But as is typical in situations like this, running won’t do me any good. All I can do is stand strong and prepare to be overwhelmed. The breath flows in and out of my nose. I can feel the fear creeping under my skin. Maybe I should’ve said no. Maybe I really am in over my head. My lungs fill. My chest rises. I have to do this. I would never go back on my word. Even if I have to fake it, I will do this. My lungs empty. My chest falls. Maybe I can’t do this. Maybe I can. Either way its coming. Every muscle in my body tenses. They all know what to do. My instincts never fail me. And as the white comes caving in, I wonder why I can’t just trust more. Not myself. Not the circumstances. But trust something.  I reach out into the void to grab hold of nothing. Something. But it brings me peace when there’s nothing else.

The World Before Cell phones

The World Before Cell phones

I’m lucky enough to work at a job where I have the liberty of checking my cell phone every now and then. When it’s really quiet and there’s nothing to do, I’ll text someone I haven’t talked to in a while. 

This is a very strange way to go about my day. Technology has given us the ability to be in more than one place at once. This is not a new idea. But it led me to think about what I would be doing with in those moments that I was texting someone if I didn’t have a phone. Would I make more of an effort to talk to my co-worker? Would I clean up around the store more? 

And what would happen to those relationships that have largely been supported through text? I guess those relationships would disappear once we stopped sharing a common time and space. 

The scariest thing about that thought is that I struggle to think back to time when I didn’t have a phone. What did I do? I can only picture myself in silence, not really doing anything different at all. If that’s true, I guess technology has only added to my life. But part of me is haunted by what I could have missed in those moments of silence. 

Do you remember what it was like?