Monday, November 14, 2005
A Day For Freaking Out

I'm never going to get this damn paper done with all these weird, freaky, synchronous distractions.

Okay... my day so far:

I got up this morning to the wailing of Jessica Simpson -- nothing unusual there. I did my routine waking-up email check and blog scan, ate some cold leftover pizza (breakfast of college champions), looked over my notes again, and mentally reviewed my incredibly dull plans for the day. Ho-hum, nothing interesting going on, but hopefully a good day to get some work done. My paper's coming together in my head; the words to explain this big thought hanging in my mind are slowly formulating. So I pull up my word processor, check my email one last time before closing the program (I hate to be distracted by incoming emails while I'm trying to write)...

... and there in my inbox, without getting too specific about it (because it's just not time for that yet) is a very, very disconcerting semi-offer of work. It's disconcerting not because of the work itself (although the job itself is a bit scary, a bit intimidating), but because of where it is. Again, I don't want to say very much, because explaining in depth would be hugely premature. But it's a very demanding job, a very impressive-sounding job, and a job that fits in so smoothly with the work I'm currently doing that I could've sworn I heard a satisfyingly-decisive "click" as it fell into place. It also happens to be in a town where I spent some of the most traumatic years of my life, awkwardly far-removed from everything I've been intending to do after I get out of here. Not so far-removed that I couldn't keep a foot in the Memphis scene, just far-removed enough that it would be a hassle to do so.

I can't explain it any better than that right now -- the point is, it sent my head swimming; it's the kind of offer that, if it came to fruition, would make me think that something beyond my range of perception had been leading me down a path for the last few years without my knowledge. And I'm profoundly reluctant to go -- but it's exactly the offer I may not be able to refuse. I'm half-hoping that it's a bullshit offer -- it was a casual suggestion, an off-hand question, not a firm offer of a job (although if the position is seriously open, I could probably nail it pretty easily if I wanted it), and it could easily turn out that they can't sweeten the deal sufficiently to get me over my intense reservations. But then again... maybe they could.

Anyway, more will be coming if/when things develop; I can't even think about that right now, as I have other things to do. But that was not the only strange thing to happen today, oh no -- in fact, the resonance of the day's two strange happenings taken together is frankly freaking me the fuck out.

Having had this disturbing new possibility dropped in my lap, and having some errands to do anyway, I went out for a while -- I think best in the car, and since I had to go into town anyway it gave me an excuse to drive a little and try to sort things out in my head. I eschewed the main road into town for a dirt back road down the mountain -- it was a gorgeous day, maybe one of the last really beautiful days of the season, and I had a good CD on and the window open, and I was feeling a little unsettled, but glad to be out.

Before I continue, you might want to quickly review this recent post.

So I'm driving along this lovely country dirt road through an area that's mostly dairy farms -- it's one of my favorite routes into town -- and I see a furry thing lying on the side of the road. Ugh -- dead animal. But as I drive by, it lifts its head...

Oh shit.

It was a dog. A live dog. Lying on the side of the road. Just... lying there. Fuck, what to do, what to do... normally I don't stop for strays. Too many times people stop to try to pick up a stray dog, and things go wrong -- the dog's vicious, or it gets scared and runs into traffic. I haven't yet had a dog run from me into the street and get hit by a car, but I've seen it happen too often. Usually, I find, it's better to leave things alone unless it's clearly safe for both you and the dog. But this dog just lay there, and as I drove by it looked at me like it had given up all hope. Shit, fuck. It looked hurt, definitely -- I couldn't see any injury, but why else would a dog just lay there like that? What would I do if it was hurt? Usually I carry the card of a vet around with me, but I don't have one up here, and my phone wouldn't work on the mountain anyway. But I couldn't just ignore it, I'd feel terrible all day (and I was already feeling pretty unsettled.) So I stopped, backed up the twenty feet or so back to the dog, stuck my head out the window and asked it if it was okay. It gave me a submissive look, but didn't move. Shit, fuck.

So I got out and slowly walked over to it. It didn't growl, it didn't put its ears back, it didn't wag its tail, it just watched me. I gave it my hand to sniff and tried to talk to it in a reassuring tone of voice. I looked for obvious injuries -- it was still just laying there -- but didn't see anything. I pat its head and scratched under its chin, feeling for a collar; the collar was there, but there wasn't a tag. The dog was filthy, stinky, but completely docile. I reached down to scratch its chest -- and it stood up.

No obvious injury at all, she seemed to be fine. The uncanny thing, the thing that made it all so bizarre, was that she was middle-sized, black with white on her muzzle and chest, shaggier than the dog in my dream but otherwise very similar. The setting wasn't exactly the same, but it was pretty damn close -- dirt road, wooded area (I didn't mention it in the last post, but that's where I found the dog in my dream.) I talked to her and pet her for a couple of minutes, trying to figure out what to do -- she reeked and while she was obviously somebody's dog, she'd been out for a while. I couldn't take her home (no dogs allowed in the dorms), and I still wasn't sure that she wasn't hurt, but what was I supposed to do with her? Then I remembered -- of course, the humane society.

So I opened the back door of my car and called her over, patted the back seat -- she walked over calmly and hopped in.I told her I'd take her somewhere to get fed and cleaned up, somewhere safe, and shut the door behind her. She sat very quietly as I pulled away, watching the scenery and looking at me slightly anxiously, but she behaved herself perfectly. I drove her to the humane society and went inside, explained the situation to the ladies behind the desk. One of them came out with me to look her over; she gave her a dog biscuit and attached a leash to her collar. The lady said she was a border collie, said she didn't seem hurt; she wasn't limping or guarding any part of her body. She picked a huge, fat tick off her neck, and we gradually convinced the dog to go inside. I gave them my information (which included by birthday --"oh, another Sagittarius," they said) and asked if I could call in a week or so to check and see if she was okay. They were going to look for her owners first, and if they couldn't find them, she'd go into the adoption queue. I washed my hands (which stank of dog) and then went on about my errands.

It was just weird is all. First one thing, then the other -- the only connection between them, obviously, is in my mind, and it's only associative at that. It all probably means nothing, really -- but it feels meaningful.

And as if that wasn't enough, it turns out (my mother informs me) that all of this is happening on the anniversary of my first step-father's death -- which, curiously enough, was a big part of the traumatic period that makes me reluctant to take this job, which is in the same town where it happened.

Circles within circles. What's going to happen next?
4:19 PM ::
Amy :: permalink
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