It’s 8 am on Sunday morning and I’ve just spent the last fifteen minutes of my life listening to your screeching voice yet again. Neighbor, listen to me be unequivocally harsh. I’m writing to you asking, pleading, that this madness stops.
It’s become obvious that your dog “Dewey” is somewhat of a trouble maker, dear neighbor. I wish I knew your name but I do not. Not because I don’t care. But, because every time I see you in the neighborhood your three Westie dogs try to attack me so I run in the opposite direction. In fact, last summer one of them did. When they were loose in the neighborhood I coerced them into your gate to which one of them thanked me by biting my leg. When I told you what had happened, you said, “Oh well.” So sweet. But, I’m not upset about that. I’m not holding onto your inability to be gracious. I just don’t have the time for that.
Back to Dewey. In the early mornings you let Dewey out into the yard where I’m guessing by your tone of voice he causes chaos. You screech and yell and berate little Dewey every morning. And, I’m sure it’s hard. I understand that maybe Dewey is a lot to handle. You see, I know Dewey. I’ve met many Dewey’s in my lifetime. Mischievous, sneaky, unable to listen. Babe, I’ve dated a few Dewey’s. It’s rough. You feel as though you have no control. But, you love him. So your way of coping in this relationship is to instill fear in him. Fear. When I hear you scream Dewey’s name over and over again every morning I can only assume Dewey is afraid of you. I would be. It’s scary.
Here’s the thing. I don’t like to wake up like this. I don’t like it at all. I’m a pretty pleasant person most of the time. I think of myself as a good and kind neighbor. I’m not loud. I don’t have parties. Our yard is clean. I don’t steal your magazines even though I could. I’m great. But, I’m not getting the same from you. It’s painfully clear to me and I’m sure our other neighbors that you and Dewey have a few issues you need to work out. Might I suggest dog training? Is that terribly offensive to say? I don’t know. I’m not sure if I’m crossing a line. But, then I remember how, day after day, I’m awoken by your voice. Your angry voice. And, babe, I don’t deserve this. Not after a twelve hour work day. No ma’am.
I bet Dewey has some great potential. He’s pretty cute. He’s a little monster, but adorable. I can see he wants to be good. Let him know what it’s like to be good. Show him the opportunities that await him if he changes his behavior. He could even meet a girl. His whole life’s in front of him, you know?
So I ask of you one thing: Help Dewey. Stop yelling. Stop screaming. Stop scaring him (and us). Just love him.
I thank you for taking the time to read this. My intentions were not to offend or upset you by any means. I just want you to have what I’m so fortunate to have with my own dog. I look at her while you’re screaming at Dewey and I could never in a million years speak to her in that way.
Your hopeful neighbor.
(printed and delivered to recipient)
After a twelve hour work day I came home to throw myself into the hottest shower I could tolerate. I sat in the shower and literally just let the water hit my face for twelve minutes. Twelve minutes. No shampoo. No shaving. Just water and my face. I basically had to crawl out of the shower after using up most/all of the hot water. Dripping on the white rug in front of my sink I wiped the mirror and evaluated the red blotches covering my face from the hot water, smudging around the black residue from my mascara without actually removing any of it. I was content.
There are days when I’m angry with myself. There are days when I’m disappointed in myself. There are times when I’m too exhausted to figure out just exactly how I feel about myself. But today, after slinging plates and putting on my bravest face, today I didn’t feel bad. It was a relief. I can be so unbearably hard on myself. I can blame everyone else for my mood swings. I can hide from almost anything with the right amount of sarcasm. And, more often than not, I’m maneuvering in and out of conversations with laughter in an effort to remind people that I’m “fun.” I mean, I am fun. But I’m pretty much always making sure you don’t forget how fucking fun I am. Today I could’ve been hard on myself. I could’ve beaten myself up about my friendships or my attitude towards people I love. Are you okay? No? How can I help? What should I do to make the situation better? I didn’t do any of it. I let the negativity go and I can breath again.
Today I was more myself than I have been in months. In front of that mirror I realized I’m fine. I’m going to be fine. I’m ready to be fine. I’m fine.
I would like to have accomplished the following:
- Buy an e-cig/ stop smoking-ish
- Dry clean my winter coats
- Cut down on the coffee and the sarcasm
I could go on but I’m not big on putting pressure on myself.
I ran into John Goodman in the neighborhood today and called his dogs obnoxious to his face while he was wearing pajamas and standing barefoot in front of his house. He had no choice but to laugh which made me laugh because, let’s be honest, what’s better than a John Goodman laugh?