“Who will you be tonight in your dreamfall into the dark, on the other side of the wall?” ~ Jorge Luis Borges, from Dream, trans. Alastair Reid
Monday, early evening. Intermittent thunderstorms, high humidity, high 70’s.
It was nice to sleep later today after having Olivia for two days, but it was nice to have her on Saturday and Sunday as I had really missed spending time with her. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the best circumstances in which to introduce a baby . . . Awoke last night several times with a headache, a different headache each time. It was very strange, but all included extreme light sensitivity and nausea. Not sure if it’s the barometric pressure or the powder keg pressure that is the current state in our house.
Even Corey, even-keeled as he is, admits that the stress is really getting to him, and he wants nothing more than to be left alone.
It’s an amalgation of many things: Tillie’s heightened stress over the battle with Jake; the whole idea of taking Jake back to the shelter from which we adopted him; the futile attempts at training the puppy (whose name is still not quite fixed because no one (myself included) seems to find Kopi fitting); Corey’s upcoming trip to Ohio, which, coming at a really bad time, means that we need to resolve so much before he goes; the broken air conditioner in the living room, which is making the front part of the house unbearably hot and uncomfortable . . . and on and on and on.
It’s no surprise that we are all feeling the pressure, and less of a surprise that the dogs are reading it and reacting to it.
“There are a thousand things I want.
Each begins with going back in time.” ~ Jill Alexander Essbaum, from The Devastation
I suppose much of it goes back to bringing home two dogs at once. If we had just brought home the puppy, she and Tillie might be bonding by now, and the puppy might have been able to pick up on Tillie’s demeanor. Instead, the puppy and Jake seem to bring out the worst in one another, and Tillie spends most of her time hiding and trying to get away from both of them.
When we brought Tillie home, we had both Jack Russell boys, but everything integrated so smoothly that I suppose we have been thrown off-kilter by how very different this experience has been so far. Tillie seemed to house train herself. She never chewed on furniture or shoes. She was an amazing puppy, and she has grown into an amazing adult dog.
The recent additions? Not so much.
I have taken to spritzing hairspray on the bottoms of some pieces of furniture to try to curb the chewing. Water mixed with hot sauce only seemed to make the furniture more tempting somehow. If the hairspray doesn’t work, I’ll buy some bitters. Granted, our furniture is far from top of the line, but we do have a few pieces that I really cherish, like my Bentwood rocker, which seems to having glowing lights around it serving to lure in the two miscreants. That rocker is over 30 years old, and I love it.
“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways . . . Without it, no species would survive.”~ Yann Martel, from Life of Pi
That paralyzing lethargy that I spoke of in the last post? Well it’s traveled to Corey, and now he feels completely unmotivated to do any of his projects, including installing the new air conditioner. I can hardly say anything to him as my own desire to accomplish anything is fueled only by the compulsive desire for the house not to be in a constant state of disarray, and a keen need for the living room not to smell like a kennel.
I keep washing throw rugs and pillows, and am doing a lot of moving things out of reach, but the puppy grows more each day, which means that things which were inaccessible three days ago are now within reach.
We had moved the dry dog food into the dining room this past winter to keep the raccoons from getting into it. Unfortunately, the puppy has realized that if she hurls herself at the bag, she has a good chance of knocking it over, which means FOOD NOW! Yeah, I know.
This morning we woke up to find that the whole house had been t-p’d—inside. One or both of them had unrolled a full roll of toilet paper from the bathroom to the dining room.
To say that I’m hating life right now is a massive understatement.
“What remains of its beauty yesterday?
I have kept all its feathers.” ~ André Gide, from Prometheus Illbound
I suppose I should be happy at the good news, which is that I seem to have lost a few pounds since Alfie died, but I’m too stressed to be looking at the glass half-full thing. I mean, I spent an hour sweeping the floors and wiping things down once I was able to get out of bed this morning.
The guilt-infusing reality is that we have made arrangements to surrender Jake to the shelter on Wednesday. The woman with whom I spoke yesterday was able to reassure me a bit by telling me that all of Jake’s brothers have already been adopted, so chances are good that he’ll be able to find a new home, but I’m so worried that he’s going to end up back in that cage just wondering why? I’d be wondering why, and yes, I’m human, but dogs are sentient beings. Never doubt that.
Every time that I think about it I can see him sitting there with his beautiful dark eyes filled with sadness. Coward that I am, I don’t think that I can go with Corey when he takes Jake back. I mean, I actually started to tear up on the phone when I was explaining the situation to the woman on the phone. I have never in my life given up a dog, taken a dog to a shelter, albeit a no-kill, extremely clean and well-maintained shelter with lots of volunteers.
It’s all too much, and the thought of Corey going off and leaving me in a few days, even though it’s for a good reason, just makes me sad and more stressed.
Stressed. Stressed. Stressed.
“I’ve always been dark with light somewhere in the distance.” ~ Dallas Green
So let’s recap shall we?
- I made the mistake of adopting two dogs at once too soon after the loss of Alfie
- The dog who has been queen of her doman is now living in constant fear
- The dogs we adopted are feeding off each other’s energy, resulting in massive entropy
- The little decent furniture we have has become chew toys
- The barometric pressure is wreaking havoc on my sinuses
- The humidity is thick enough to bottle
- Everyone in the house is overwrought
- The house that I have been OCD’ing over cleaning seems to be falling to pieces before my eyes
- The puppy still needs a name.
Yep. That’s about right.
More later. Peace.
All images by Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert (I was able to find the associated medium for only one image).
Music by Lucie Silvas, “Place to Hide”
At Half Past Three in the Afternoon
On one side of the world
I was watching the waterfall
shake itself out, a scroll unfurled
against a grey sky slate wall,
when on the other side—
it would be half past nine, and you
in bed—when on the other side
the night was falling further than I knew.
And watching the water
fall from that hole in the sky
to be combed into foam, I caught
a glimpse in the pool’s dark eye
of us, eating our bread
and cheese, watching the fallen light
crash into darkness. “Look” you said,
“a rainbow like a dragonfly in flight.”
On one side of the world
at half past five in the afternoon
a telephone rang, and darkness welled
from a hole in the sky,
darkness and silence. Soon,
in search of a voice—how to recall
“a rainbow like a dragonfly
in flight”—I walked back to the waterfall.
The trees had lost their tongues—
as I did, coming face to face
with the glacial skeleton hung
behind our picnic place.
The spine was broken, cracked
the rib-cage of the waterfall.
The pond under its cataract
knew nothing of us, knew nothing at all.
And what did I know, except
that you, the better part of me,
did not exist? But I have kept
today—or there, tonight—
returning to the creek, and trying
to understand. I saw the light
falling, falling, and the rainbow flying.
~ Jon Stallworthy