So I went walking this evening. I needed to get some of this frustration out. I needed to get some of this panic and anger and utter disappointment out.
I needed to move, and I needed to move fast. I went to the park; there is something very calming (and relevant) about walking in circles around a track that has honeysuckle and various fragrant flowers along the path.
I got maybe — maybe — 20 minutes in, if I was lucky. I was first stopped by the sight of a man showing his daughter how to drink honeysuckle. She was maybe five. This was a big deal, and he taught her with all the seriousness of an esoteric lesson. I had to walk around bikes strewn along the track. Apparently everyone in the city decided to ride their bikes (or at least throw them down along the walking track) today for some reason.
I was okay then, walking, walking fast, Tool and Amy Winehouse and Live all following each other with fast-paced, moving songs. I was good, and I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t panicked, and for all of about 15 minutes, I didn’t feel foolish.
And then came the dog. A little dog, a yipping dog. A dog that ran right out in front of me and flopped, belly up right in front of my feet. A dog named Nike, after the shoe, not the goddess.
What the hell kind of dog does that? Didn’t sniff me. Didn’t get close to me. Just ran and flopped. A Boston Terrier, a couple of months old, a puppy that flopped over, belly up, without even sniffing me.
I met the kids who belonged to her; met their dad. Met them again and again as I made the loop. Stopped again and again as the dog continued to flop and the kids continued to talk to me and tell me how cool their dog was and follow me around the track and ask me to stop and put on their shoes because they couldn’t figure out how to do it themselves.
Met their dad as he asked me if I lived around here, and I started to lie, then corrected myself. “Yep, on the other side of town.” I didn’t offer anything more, but I didn’t lie. That’s something.
It was nice, I thought at the time. The kids and the dad and the dog. Just nice. Thought I needed that more than I needed to exercise.
I was wrong. Now, I’d run if I could. I’d fly if I could. I’d swim past the islands if I could.
But I can’t. And I can’t scream either.
And I really resent that dog.