I've been unpredictable this week. And I don't mean unpredictable in a totally awesome you never know what karaoke song I'm going to choose next way. No, no. I mean a you never know if I'm going to turn the corner and start crying unpredictable. The worst kind of unpredictable. I'd far rather be the never know when I'm gonna snap and stab someone in the jugular with my pen unpredictable. Or even the never know when I'm going to explode into a tourette's-induced storm of naughty words in the middle of the movie theater unpredictable. Any kind but this kind.
Monday night, after dragging myself home from an 11-hour day at the office, and don't even get me STARTED about stress at work right now, I turned on the TV in my apartment when I suddenly heard screaming and barking and yelping outside. Naturally, my first thought is that a dog has been hit by a car. I look out the window and see a man sprinting down the street towards the commotion. I can taste my heart in my throat as throw on shoes, grab my coat and burst out my front door when I see my neighbor Susan clutching her bloodied dog as people pull a crazed pit bull into a car. I'm at her side before I even comprehend what has just happened. Susan is close to hysterical as she calls the police. I wish I didn't know what it feels like to be hysterical as your dog lies at your feet.
I scoop up Finn, a seven-year-old Australian Shepherd, and run down our street to the animal hospital at the corner with him in my arms while Susan talks to the police who have just arrived. My ears are buzzing and my whole body is shaking as I push into the hospital waiting room.
I spent the night with Susan in the waiting room's beige plastic chairs. It is empty except for us and the few technicians who have stayed around to see what happens to one of the nicest dogs in the neighborhood. Rooney is there, serving as comic relief for those who don't own a dickhead with a tail. I grab his snout each time he barks at the technicians. I stay until Finn is brought out, shaved and stitched up, with a few tubes poking from his bruised skin, because I don't want Susan to be alone. I wish I didn't know what it feels like to wait.
As we walk home, Rooney happily bounding towards our house and Finn wobbling unsteadily, and more than anything, I wish I didn't know what it feels like to walk out of the vet alone.
So I haven't been sleeping well this week. I'm distracted. My band aid has been ripped off unexpectedly. I cried at my desk yesterday when Michael told me he had a dream about Hurley on the beach. I cried when I came across pictures of him on my work computer. I cried again when I got home. I even cried when I saw the squirrel who had been hit by the car, his long innards dragged down the street by some other animal.
I'm quite sure this is not normal behavior for an adult. Maybe I do just need to stab someone in the jugular with my pen to feel better. It might solve the work problem. I'm pretty sure when you talk about stabbing people so often, there's probably a reason. And when you start fashioning shanks out of office supplies, you probably need a vacation. And more pens.