Today I met the fickleness of life.
It watched my reaction to the scene before me and through it
I saw the empty hollows of tragedy.
Today I witnessed a dog die.
There is something to be said about how everything played out in the day. I had a chorus of customers who came through my till with odd ball jobs. It was not a busy day per say but a day of oddities. Something that needed to be shrunk but wanted it enlarged at the same time, Something that needed 15 discs of photos transferred onto a USB even though most discs did not contain photos, Something that required a far more delicate hand than I to be sure, but these are all just Somethings. Somethings that left and dried up to become mortar for the remainder of the day.
I clocked out early.
Ten minutes early, though more like 6 according to the new time clock system which everyone absolutely hates.
I proceeded to talk to coworkers in the store for the next ten minutes.
So ideally maybe I should have stayed clocked in since, to be honest, I could care less about a chunk of the people I work with. They all live in their own worlds and though they should, they do it a little too much.
I left for the doctors.
Which of course is now on the opposite side of town from the new house because our old landlord decided he wanted a family.
Of course not having a family while I was underage was a bad thing....
Going to school was a bad thing
Graduating with two degrees was a bad thing...
Now we live across town with two lovely roommates.
I enter the doctors about ten minutes after six.
Should be noted that they close at seven.
There is a note on the counter than reads that the wait time is one hour.
Though this note looks hastily written.
Probably due to the fact that they don't want anymore clients.
The receptionist ignores me.
Someone lines up behind me.
The receptionist ignores me.
Someone else walks out of a client room and lines up.
The receptionist ignores me.
You see where this is going.
After answering a phone call and tenderly telling her husband that she needs to pick up milk she tells us that someone will be with us in a moment.
She is the only receptionist.
Receptionist two walks up.
The receptionist who happened to prep me for my toe surgery in May.
The receptionist who ignored me the last time I rushed into the office with my massive nose bleed which wouldn't quit.
The receptionist that clearly did not want to talk to the hard of hearing patient but chose to semifocus on her while simultaneously ignoring us both so that she wouldn't have to deal with me.
AND the receptionist who at this moment acted like she had no idea who I was.
Yes I have been here before.
Yes I have seen this particular doctor.
No I do not mind waiting.
Yes I think you are a waste of time.
I sit down.
Learn on the news that a man has woken from a coma speaking only swedish.
Learn on the news that 22 school children have died from a free lunch in India.
Learn that Maine, of all places, has provided funding to the small Quebec town which had a tragedy last weekend before our own government.
Should be briefly noted here that I actually like our current government, but please do not get political on me - I am not a doorknocker and I will not try to sell you my preferences.
Cell phone user.
The receptionist walks me in.
The receptionist asks what my problem is.
The receptionist states "you poor girl" for the fact that I am here to refill my birth control prescription.
I am in this room.
I hate doctors rooms.
They are small.
They are built with a purpose.
That purpose is to shelter you from the horrible looks people make while they hear you talk about your problems and, quite often, scream in pain from needles.
Those cheery posters on the ceiling don't help.
The doctor comes in.
The doctor makes a somewhat humorous comment about my refill.
Asks me about my last Pap where I tell him that my doctor doesn't really exist anymore and she therefore hasn't called me fore one in two or so years.
He says I need to get one or else I am limited to 3 months.
Pain in my arse.
In and Out.
People stare at my messenger bag.
Everyone always judges.
I am not a thief.
I just like Superman bags.
Not that pink Superman crap - Supergirl doesn't even wear pink so whoever came up with that is just nonsense.
I call Alex.
Tell him I am on my way.
Now it gets sad.
Three streets down from my new house.
Few blocks up.
I see an oddly dressed man and a dog on the side of the road.
I remember thinking that he looked semi homeless but he just appeared to be hipster.
I remember thinking that I shouldn't judge.
I remember the dog darting across the road.
I slammed on my brakes.
Hard on my brakes.
Quite thankful that I noted him sooner.
Quite thankful that I didn't hit the dog.
Foot on gas again and I hear it.
The sound of a dog hitting a car.
Like too many soda cans squished into a bag and now gasping for their own space. Its hard and metal coming together quickly and then yelping. Labored.
Quick shoulder check,
yank of the wheel,
Now I am the one darting across the street.
Young husky, mostly white is lying on the ground
Facing the direction I was headed,
its back paws up in the air just resting on the curb,
blood trickling from its opened mouth,
and labored breathing.
Its trying to stay alive.
The two cars in the oncoming traffic had also pulled over,
one of them the car who it it.
I had been quick enough,
the car immediately across the line,
a couple with a small child just as quick,
but the one beside us - not so.
A mother with her daughters in the car.
The gentleman who I questioned earlier is also there.
He is swearing but seemingly unfazed,
this isn't his dog he says,
he was just helping a friend trying to find it.
We start watch
I start calling places
Finally get through to Burtch Animal Hospital and the girl puts me on hold
there is a dog dying in the street and you put me on hold
the man who I questioned leaves to find his friend
says the dog's name is "Katanna"
the female from the young couple is on the ground
petting the dog
talking to it
The mother of the two girls is reliving the moment
she didn't see Katanna
not enough time
I know its true
I had been close enough
there was no time
Man runs up,
three - four friends in tow
he throws his head into Katanna's
trying to figure something out
Burtch picks up again and asks to call me back
Meanwhile the male from the young couple has gotten in touch with Fairfield
Trusty Fairfield I do not know why I didn't think of them sooner
They are amazing and say that they are sending an ambulance now
I text Alex
I am going to be late
I saw a dog get hit by a car
He wants to come
I say the ambulance is on its way
Owner calls his mother
they argue about a door
they argue about a gate
they argue in general
"what do you want me to do? just leave her here?!"
who leaves their own dog out in the road
I don't give a damn about how she got out, she is a part of your family and she is dying on the side of the road so have a bit of sensibility, and a bit of grace or kindness or common sense could help too
Things are slowing down,
people are honking at my empty car across the road
its two laned on either side but not much room for parking
people keep asking if we need help
a neighbor comes outside with her kid trying to help
a lady pulls up and we tell her not to worry
she uturns anyways and starts asking us questions from a window
blocks a driveway and comes over anyways
Katanna stops breathing
happens so fast
tried so hard
the owner starts saying her name over and over
the ambulance isn't here yet
nothing we could have done
most of us agree she is gone
the odd breath comes out but
she has already fought so much
my mind goes numb
thinks of things like that girl in hemlock grove always stating how she wants to be a novelist and this is valuable experience
is it valuable experience?
then I go positive
at least she is surrounded by love
lots of humans coming to try to help her
getting her owner so that they could talk
I start to break down
I tell the male from the young couple
this is getting crowded
he doesnt need all these people here
you guys have it under control
my car is causing a mess
so I am going to go
I think about offering the young bodies a ride
to the animal hospital or something when the ambulance comes
but I already know the inevitable at this point
the male seems to agrees with the expression I have and nods
so I leave
come in the door
burst into tears
bury myself in Alex's sweaty shirt
relive the entire thing
practically smother my cat in hugs
drown him in tears
and just lay there, the three of us, our family
"I never want a dog" I say
"Or I want really tall fences and sixty locks on the gate"
I don't ever want to hear that noise again.
I go to Walmart and buy Jones a small treat food can.
Bring it home and he goes crazy for it.
He probably doesn't understand any of it
but he is happy as a fish with a hookless worm
I saw the fickle face of life today but in the end in showed me my humanity
I thought that I may never get over the death of my cousin and friend, but life is too short for that
Animals lives can be even shorter - Love all in the family. Sounds so cheesy but I don't ever think I will feel the same again, and not just being I gained another experience for my novel.