Monday, October 18, 2010
The Dog Stays
And so, the dreaded move from my beloved Milwaukee Street Cave has begun. (Anyone need a feather boa?) Moving is one of those modern necessary tasks that nobody loves. I was speaking to my mother about it the other day and she moaned, "Oh, I HATE moving!" Mind you, the woman has not moved since the early 1960s. After all these decades, the memory is still fresh in her mind.
Sifting through life's so-called treasures, one item at a time, presents the black and white question: Keep or throw? Donate or pack? Some good comes of this skin shedding, of course. When I moved from San Francisco to Colorado, I loaded up the guitar my father had bought me at Costco, asking myself, "Why do I have this? I can't play it. Why keep it?" Driving the instrument across the country actually guilted me into taking lessons and for that, I'm grateful.
When I lived in San Francisco, I used to find random cool stuff near the trash can. (A very common scenario in the transient Bay Area, actually.) One day, I came down and saw this delicate glass dog sitting next to the bin. What to do? I can't walk away from an adorable animal, even a fake one, so I picked him up. I meant to donate him to Pets Unlimited before I left but he ended up getting mistakenly packed away by one of my friends.
When I arrived in Colorado and found myself quite suddenly alone (not the original plan at all), I had the luxury of time to really go through my stuff and donate even more crap to the Salvation Army on Colfax. Every Saturday for several weeks, I'd do a big drop off; the staff even learned my name and would say, "See ya next week!"
One of these days, I loaded up a bunch of clothes, books and whatnot and put the glass dog in the front seat, finally ready to pass him along. When I arrived, I unloaded all the goods, got my receipt and got back in the truck. Suddenly, I was struck by an intense feeling of loneliness and an overwhelming sadness over my situation. I burst into tears, moaning, "What am I doing here? I have no friends! I'm totally alone! WAH!" If you are a human being, than you know the feeling.
I must have sat there for a full 10 minutes with my head in my hands, dripping tears on the steering wheel, when I finally opened my eyes and saw the glass dog, sitting next to me, staring plaintively. I'd forgotten to unload him and sad as it is to admit, that glass dog was my only friend on earth at that moment. I was beyond grateful.
Laughing through red, swollen eyes and a snot-clogged face, I just shook my head and put the truck in drive: "C'mon, buddy. Let's go home."