Tonight is the first in what will probably be a very long series of Nights By Myself.
Kate, the female housemate, is in some town doing some thing with her dad, and Charlie and Cavan are both at work at the bar until about 4am.
Kate will be gone until Sunday or Monday, then has a flight to Seattle Tuesday. She'll be gone until next Sunday.
A few weeks from now we'll be moving again. If Cavan comes along I'd be alone on the nights Charlie works anyway since they both work at the same place.
It's not that I'm scared or incredibly lonely. I've been by myself many a Friday and Saturday night in my lifetime. It's not that I don't enjoy being by myself and having the freedom to crank up the CD player or throw in the movie I want to watch. It's just this 1.) feeling of some obligation to be home with the dogs and 2.) a little bit of nobody-loves-me.
I did go out with Liz last night but it was the same-old/same-old. We had some good chat-time, but I sometimes feel really boring. I don't particularly want to do something “new and different” (which totally sucks about me), but I don't want to do the same shit all the time. I feel like – and I take full responsibility for having created this rut – my life consists of school, studying, work, trips to Target, and the occasional dinner out or night at the same one or two bars.
I guess it could be worse. I could be homeless, unemployed, incredibly stupid, criminally insane, horribly diseased, blind, missing an arm or leg.
I have, however, begun to take measures in case the latter happens. I've already taught myself to write with my left hand in the off-chance that I lost my right arm. But I have also been working on doing things with my feet in case both arms are missing. Unfortunately, I've mainly worked on the right one, so if I was disfigured and had only my left leg . . . well, I guess that gives me a goal to work on over the summer.
Last night as I was finishing up primping to go out with Liz two young dogs came up to our back fence. I heard Trinity and Alvy begin to howl madly as they do when they see a strange person or dog, so I ran out to find two approximately-six-month-old pit bull and bloodhound mix puppies. I shoved my dogs in the house then let the pups in the backyard so I get a good look at their collars.
It turns out they're registered through some service called 24 Pet Watch.
Only one of the dogs, Ann, the bloodhound, had a tag with this Web site on it and a 10 or 12-digit ID number. I found the 800-number and called, gave the lady the ID number.
From then on it was a wild goose chase. First I got a number for a girl named Meghan who didn't answer her phone; then I got an emergency number for a girl named Kelly who gave me another phone number. She sounded slightly panicked because, as it turns out, the dogs live somewhere very far north and east of us. We don't even have the same phone number prefix.
I called the third number and got some guy who sounded suspicious when I asked for Meghan. I explained that I had her dogs in my yard and he freaked out. I heard him drop the phone and yell at her, “The dogs got out! Someone has the dogs!”
The way he phrased and said it sounded really weird. I wanted to tell him I wasn't asking for a ransom, I didn't “have” their dogs, I was just keeping them safe off the street until I could locate the owners.
It turns out the guy was pretty drunk; holding an understandable conversation with him was difficult. This was proven by the fact that, through the course of our five-or-so minutes on the phone, we were standing about 70 yards from one another.
He asked where I'd found the dogs, I said I lived in Broad Ripple and that they'd come up to my fence but that I lived near a really busy street and had let them in the gate. He yelled at Meghan “The dogs are in Broad Ripple!” I was imaging them rushing around their house or apartment, completely freaked out, 20 miles from here.
Then the guy told me he was in Broad Ripple.
Finally, we determined that he was across the street from my house, visiting some friends of his, standing outside, and we were facing one another while talking on the phone. Rather than hang up the phone, he kept talking as he ran towards me, which, for whatever reason, I found really odd.
I don't know if you've ever been in any kind of “pet emergency” situation, but I tend to get panicked and my heart races when something bad happens to an animal. I had all sorts of racing thoughts: what if these people can't get out to get their dogs; will Liz leave me here alone to wait for these people; will they actually show up; are these dogs being taken care of well (the pit bull mix was petrified of Charlie, so I imagined a male in her life didn't treat her very well); that sort of stuff.
I flashed back to the time I'd found the puppy trapped in someone's car, half-dead, during the hottest day of the summer, and had stood around waiting for a police officer to come and get the car open so the dog didn't overheat. I remembered the time the woman down the street from me had been beating her dog in front of my house and I called the police on her. She ran over my foot with her van trying to get away from me because I wanted to know where she lived and where to send animal control. I flashed back to the time I'd found two boxers running wild in the street and we hadn't found their family for two days. I remembered the time we took care of kittens for a month that had magically appeared in our yard; or the beaten-up cat who had kittens right under my bed before she died; or the dog I saw get hit by a car – and I couldn't get to him in time to save him . . .
I hate it when animals aren't treated well, but whenever something happens to one I drop everything and do whatever I can to take care of the animal. Sometimes people are thankful, sometimes they're pissed (like the two women I've called animal control on for neglect or abuse), and sometimes people just don't give a shit, like when there's a hurt animal on the side of the road . . . I hate that bystander effect: “Someone else will take care of it – it's not my problem.”
The day we found the dehydrated dog in someone's car at the mall, it was determined later on the woman had left him in her car for three hours. Three hours in August, with one window cracked, a bowl that the puppy had knocked over so he had no water, and he was chained to the steering wheel. Three hours in the car with no water so she could go shopping at the mall. Three hours before we got there, and another hour before she sauntered out of the mall, looking shocked that a police officer and two people were standing by her car, giving her dog water. Absolutely appalled that we had the nerve to try and stop her dog from dying. I was appalled at her nonchalant attitude about the dog, in general, and I offered to give him a home until one more suitable could be found.
Bitch got her ass hauled to court.
But it made me physically ill that so many people walked past and just looked at him, probably thinking he hadn't been there that long. But his cries told otherwise, the same with the sounds the dog made while being beaten outside my house.
Don't get me wrong; I can't stand child- or elder-abuse, or the idea of people with disabilities being hurt in any way. I just haven't come across a situation where I felt I could or should do anything. To most people, a child being spanked is abuse and they feel the need to call the authorities, but a dog . . . well, I don't even want to think of any details related to that. Suffice it to say that I don't think it's “the same” or “worse/better” in one case or another. It's different either way. I just wish none of it ever happened.
And now I'm terribly depressed.