September 15, 2010 at 9:26 am Leave a comment

From our colorful, temporary, garage-top apartment I can see into the yards that flank us. From the kitchen sink, where I spend a great deal of time, my view frames a yellow dog that sleeps in the grass. She is waiting. I know this because I watch her, with every fill of a water glass, while scrubbing the dishes I left until morning, and later as I chop something for dinner. She flops to her side in the bark filled flower beds, she gazes at a huge pine tree, she tilts her nose into the air and breathes invisible scents. But at dusk her position shifts to upright, her eyes fix on the opaque bathroom window, and she freezes. The second the light within clicks on her ears go up, she wiggles, she twists with barely contained excitement.

There are some animal mannerisms that tickle my spirit, soothe it like a gentle massage. A cat walking on a fence, a hamster yawning, a chicken taking a dust bath. At first I was warmed by the yellow girl next door, she was so dog like, rubbing her back in the grass, circling twice before laying down, but as that first novel glimpse has stretched into days I am no longer warmed. Now that I know her routine is the same, day after day, week after week, her image feels more like a pull, more like bruise.

Sometimes the bathroom light doesn’t click on until after nine in the evening, sometimes she waits through the day even on the weekend. Its times like these that I want to throw down my yellow sponge with the scratchy green side and march over to their house. I want to bang on the door and berate her humans with an eloquent yet biting monologue. They see the jumps and twists of a happy dog, I see the moon shape of a waiting dog, forever frozen, in limbo.

I hate waiting.

For Nathan to come home from work, for winter to end, for an email that brings good news, for better finances, its hard. I tell myself to not wait, that that’s no way to live. I force myself to not look out the window, to not perk my ear to the sound of Nathan’s bike. I try not to look at the calendar, to certainly not count the days until equinox. To not check my email for at least a couple hours. To not wait.

But I do anyway.


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A History of Emotional Courage Out of Commission

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