Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Non-Painting Chronicles

What a day. I’m exhausted. It started badly when I was woken up at 5am by my neighbour taking her dog for a walk and then again when she came back at 6am. Early riser I am not. Its been a week of fitful sleep, there are roofers that begin at 7am with no regard for anyone. They have no inside voice probably due to all the hammering they do. To be woken up by “Hey John, do you want a bagel?” is not a good way to start the day, but that was last week...So I decided to make the most of my interrupted sleep and went to work early which was largely uneventful and drama free. I cycled home, the dogs were fine, the sun was shining. I decided to let my neighbour’s dog out for a pee as I knew the dog hadn’t been out all day. (My neighbor has only had the dog since Saturday) I put the leash on and led her downstairs. You know what’s coming next, my worst fear is what. No she didn’t poo on my shoe if that’s what you’re thinking which given what did happen I would have happily taken the poo. My dogs were strolling about leash free, so pee time over I led them all upstairs closing the gate behind me. All three dogs seemed happy enough going between the two apartments and then my neighbour’s dog took herself home.

So I’m about to close the door and the dog decides its not going inside after all and stands by the gate at the top of the stairs. She looks at me and in a split second she jumps over the gate and down the stairs and starts RUNNING. I’m wearing trousers, a top and flip flops. It’s still about 90 degrees or so it feels and I start running after her. I try to stay calm. No, this can’t be happening. I run faster but this old gal who has previously never given any inclination that she liked to run becomes a greyhound. I call her name in as non-threatening way as you can when you’re out of breath running in flip flops. Things are not going well, I pass a man jogging with a stroller. “Does she bite ?” “No, I reply.” S***, s****,s****. The dog reaches an intersection and is now in full flight. Adrenaline is pumping through my veins. She has no road sense and runs across the road. Huge expletive at this point. A car hits the breaks. This is followed closely by me running into the intersection, yelling “Stop her, at the top of my lungs.” My plea for help is heard and a girl who was in the car that hit the brakes gets out and starts running with me. This is America after all a nation of dog lovers praise be. Her boyfriend is in the car breaking traffic laws in hot pursuit, closely followed by a police car that is also trying to apprehend the dog followed by a man on a bicycle who is also giving chase. Bike man reaches out to grab her and she evades him. The police car stops and tells me to get in. The scene before me is a 6 lane busy intersection, how am I going to tell my neighbor I killed her dog ? How do you even begin that conversation ?

We almost have her but she slips away, back in the car again we manage to get her off the main road and into a parking structure. We have her pinned behind a parked car. The police are on one side, me on the other and the couple and bicycle boy cover the other outlets. By this point I have run a mile and a half in flip flops and I am so relieved that the dog is OK I want to burst into tears. I don’t have a leash so improvise with a lanyard and the lovely couple in the car that almost hit the dog, offer to give us a ride home. I am a wreck. I thank everybody profusely, the nice policeman and the bicycle man. I think they are glad it was a happy ending but there is no way I would have been able to do it by myself. I am so relieved that the dog is OK. Is the dog relieved ? I can't tell, she's not all that enthusiastic about going home but I'm firm this time, there will be no second bid for freedom on my watch, ever.

So I pet my dogs who thankfully are blissfully unaware of the last half hour. It felt like so much longer, maybe it was. I set about making some dinner, I can’t find the tray I need for the chicken (husband) so I substitute with an inferior tray. An hour later I turn the chicken over, bad, bad, bad error some of the fat comes off the tray, next thing I know the oven is spewing clouds of black smoke. I open the oven and it’s on FIRE, there are flames! I panic. I swear and finally come to my senses and switch it off, I take the chicken out and the flames die down. It’s all too much.

What on earth has this got to do with painting ? Zero ,but I had no energy to paint after that, and yes I might have watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta to take my my mind off the traumatic events.

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