December 9, 2014

Jingle Poop

I fell into an exhausted sleep.  Rest was a commodity in short supply lately, so I prayed I'd be able to get a few good hours.  I was awakened sometime later from slumber by a rather violent rustling noise.  Shit. There's someone in my house.  Where is my weapon? Can I get to it before the rustling gets to me?

The rustling is more violent and seems closer.  Wait a minute, I think.  Who is that?  A bear?  For gosh sakes, I'm thinking, you're not exactly QUIET!  I can HEAR you!  As I lay there, I forget that there is an intruder and what complications this might bring to me, and instead think "this person is a dumbass". 

The rustling is now at the door of my bedroom.  I can lie still attempting to focus no longer.  I jump up out of bed and immediately fall over.   Way to go, Ace.  The bad guy must be getting a kick out of the goober who can't stand up.  I bound back up, hands in fighting stance, ready to go - ready to defend myself no matter what.  It takes me a split second to focus, but focus I do.  And there is no bad guy in front of me. 

But there is Squirrel.  My 21-pound Maine Coon cat.

And he's there with his newest toy - a piece of his own poop that he has wrestled out of his litter box, and which he has now been skidding around all over my entire place, on the hardwood floors.

Squirrel is looking at me with that look that cats get; dog people, you will know what I am talking about. It is that look that tells you, without doubt, that cats ABSOLUTELY know what a total loser you are, that they are indeed better than you, that they KNOW this and that in all honesty, it is they who are the victim for having to put up with you at all.  That is the look I am now getting, as I stand there in my pajamas, hair wild, mental state still not quite right, as my cat with his Christmas piece of poop toy stares me down.  I try to stare back.  

It is in that moment that I think "and this is your life...."

Good God, how sad.

Squirrel tires of the standoff, and bats his piece of poop under my bed, where he proceeds for the next hour to play with it.  I am too tired to get down on my hands and knees so I get back into bed and proceed to lay there, wide-awake again, for 2 hours.  I lay there listening to skidding Christmas poop and my cat having a marvelous time.  Finally, around 4am, he tires of his game and I drift back off to sleep only to be jolted back to reality two hours later by the dreaded alarm clock.

I amble out into the living room, and find Squirrel sound asleep, next to his poop.  I hate to admit it, but he looked a little bit like a fat, furry angel.  Needless to say, I did not.

Damn Jingle Poop.

October 21, 2014

The Bunch

Disclaimer: I wish I could tell you I made this up.  I didn't.

So it's Sunday afternoon, and I've arrived in Haymarket to pick up my friend, who is going with me to play a round of golf.  Both of us are decent players, but want to be better.  Both of us are desperate to be outside, and to be away from our chores at home.  I pull into the driveway and see my friend putting her shoes on.  She tells me to follow her to the backyard, she wants to say goodbye to her husband and daughter.

And so it begins.

I have no sooner closed the door than her bulldog rushes me.  I love this dog, but she is a slobbering mess and I literally just had the car detailed.  Too bad, so sad for me.  Within seconds, there are tongue and slobber marks all over the side of my used-to-be-shiny-black car.  Sigh.  I also have apparently made the mistake of wearing a blue shirt, which is now covered in slobber and white dog hair.  Bigger sigh.  I get the dog semi-calm and start to walk around the house, when my friend stops and says out of the corner of her mouth "act cool Phee, turn and wave to my neighbors."  I turn and see two women walking two dogs.  I wave. My friend waves.  The women do not wave back.  Friendly neighborhood.  My friend mutters under her breath and we continue on.

We're almost around the corner when she says " oh - there are some people here. Try to stay calm."  Stay calm? What the hell does that mean?  I start to ask but it's already too late.  I round the corner.  Suddenly there is SO MUCH NOISE! Holy crap, but there is screaming and laughing and crying and music and the sound of an axe against a tree, and the dog has started barking and my friend is now yelling to be heard above the din.  I see to my left 9 - yes, 9 - children of varying ages, genders and ethnicity eating pizza.  Scratch that.  Eating and throwing pizza at each other.  Two of them are running around the picnic table with the pizza in hand.  One falls and skins her knee and immediately starts crying screaming.  The other kids yell at her to shut up.  I narrowly miss being hit by a flying pepperoni.  I hate pepperoni!  Father down at another table, I see my friend's daughter, pizza in hand, dancing on top of the table and feeding chunks of pizza to the barking dog, who is now running in circles.  That dog is going to barf, I think.  No shit, less than a millisecond later - dog barf.  Everywhere.  Now we have 10 children total screaming "ewwwwwww" at the top of their lungs, and the poor dog has collapsed in the barf.  My friend is racing toward the dog.

But she trips.  Yes, she trips.  On a partial deer stand, which her husband is in the middle of putting up on one of their trees.  It is at this point I see him.  He is in FULL CAMOUFLAGE - I mean, boots, pants, a shirt, and a hat and he has paint on his face.  We are in suburban Haymarket - there's a Starbucks within walking distance.  I mutter a stunned hello as I reach to help my friend up.  He just looks at me.  He's not very talkative anyway, but he's down right scary with the face paint and boots and the bow. Yes, I have now noticed the bow is out.  He is ready to kill.  I am suddenly reminded of a super bizarre TV movie I watched one day when left alone, circa 1976.  All I remember was a lady on a rock, who was struck with an arrow, and she died and slithered off the rock..... all with weird 1976 TV music playing.  Apparently, I have been haunted ever since, because BAMM - I suddenly can see the whole scene in my mind, and I look around for rocks.

It is then that I see the three OTHER women, also standing in the backyard, under a different set of trees.  They are arguing.  Hotly.  My friend is now up and moving again and she moves to introduce me - to everyone, all at the same time.  She yells "hey! This is Phee. Phee - this is the bunch."  The children start running toward me, again with the pepperoni.  The husband mutters again and asks if I hunt.  Sorry, no.  Then the middle of the three ladies introduces herself as a pastor, and the two other women are getting married.  Here, in this backyard, under the trees that currently carry a clothesline with washed patio furniture pads hanging on them, and next to the three with a deer stand in it.  It is at this point that they start to introduce themselves to me when one of the children races up and says "MOMMY!  OTHER MOMMY IS COMING AROUND THE BACK OF THE HOUSE!"  Wait, what?

Other mommy comes around the house. It is one of the two women who didn't wave.  She starts yelling at first mommy, who is standing next to me under the tree.  Her finance starts yelling back.  Then the second woman comes around the house.  There are now 4 screaming lesbians in the backyard.  The pastor is trying to calm them down.  I am trapped like a rat. I look to my friend for help - she is now yelling too. I look to the husband.  He is IN the deer stand, staring at all of us.  Three of the children race up - two are crying. Mommies, mommies, stop fighting. What the hell? Who is which kids mommy? Who is together, who isn't? I am so confused.  I just wanted to play golf. What is happening?? Someone make it stop.

The dog is still lying in her vomit.  I gingerly make my way over to her and coax her OUT of the vomit and over to a small wading pool.  She climbs in and lays down.  Suddenly my friends daughter is in the pool too. The pool with washed off dog vomit.  Then two more kids are in the vomit pool, screaming "dog barf, dog barf, we love dog barf!"  I can feel a migraine coming on.  My friend races over - Phee! Why are you letting the dog in the wading pool?  The dog is covered in barf!  Really? This is my fault? I stare at her.  It dawns on her that I am perhaps a bit overwhelmed.  She sighs, and says she's sorry.  It is at that moment - that exact moment - that a flying piece of pepperoni finally smacks me on the side of my head.  Everything is surreal. I have pizza in my hair, there are screaming lesbians currently ranting about who cheated on whom and why the first two cannot get married under these particular trees, because the other two had sex under those trees first.  The husband now looks like the deer - trapped in headlights, terrified to move or speak. And there are children and a dog covered in barf swimming in a wading pool at my feet.

My friend grabs my arm and yanks me up.  We go inside.  Follow me, she says.  We go upstairs, she opens the fridge, she grabs two cider ales, she walks out the front door and to my car.  In total silence we load in her clubs, she grabs her shoes, and climb into my slobbered upon car.  For a moment it is quiet.  I start to take a breath and then we see them - the dog, the lesbians and the kids, rounding the back of the house, coming straight at us.  GO GO GO!!!! She's screaming! Phee, start the car and GO! For the love of God, get us out of here!!!  Now she's crying.  Please Phee, please go!!!

We make it out of the driveway and speed away. I can see the women still fighting in the rear view mirror.  We drive in stunned silence for 15 minutes all the way to the course.  We get out, we go in, neither of us speaking, and proceed straight to the bar where we polish off an entire Bloody Mary in about 2 minutes flat.  I finally look at her and say "What.The.Fuck.Was.That?????"  She smiles and says "oh them?  That's just the neighborhood bunch".

Thank you powers that be, for letting me live in a condo. Alone.

October 10, 2014

The Deer


It wasn't pretty. It was heartwrenching.  Didn't matter that it wasn't a person but rather a deer, that had been hit head on at 45mph, tossed into the air to land with a heartbreaking thud in the grass on the side of the exit.  Broken. Bleeding. In so much pain.

I checked on the driver first, of course.  He was fine.  Car was badly damaged, but he was fine.  Until he cursed at the animal and moved to kick it.

It's funny. I have trained in martial arts for 22 years now. I'm used to throwing my body around, to hitting things, to blocking things.  It's so very different when it is REAL LIFE.  He pushed me out of the way and continued to move to hurt the already dying animal.  Shock, revulsion, grief, anger. You name it, I felt it.  I lunged back at him and work instincts kicked in.  Time to calm down.  Time to take a breath.  Know that if you don't, I'm a second away from subduing you - and I will.  Your choice. What will it be?

I will never forget that animal's flight through the air.  The sounds it was making.  The struggle of it dying, as another woman who had stopped actually petted it's head as she spoke to it and to animal control.  I will also never forget that man's face as it dawned on him that this woman in front of him, whom he didn't know was quite possibly going to crush him if he made one more move toward a deer in the grass.

He got in his car and drove away, still cussing at me.  Other people continued to drive by without looking, much less stopping.  I bent down in the grass next to the woman whose name I didn't and would never know, and watched helplessly as the deer died.  Blessedly, it did.   No more pain.  No more suffering.  No more lying there with legs that would never work again, bleeding and bleeping and gagging.

We will all experience death in our lives.  Maybe not like this, but we all see it eventually in one form or another.   I won't lie - I question a God that would allow such pain and suffering.  Of humans, or animals, of any living thing really.  But I also must hope that in experiencing something so sudden and violent and gutwrenching, that there is something better on the other side.  That there IS another side.  That if this pain and suffering must exist, that there is some sort of reason for it.

Go to that place, little one, and rest easy now.....