Comings and Goings

My favorite spot to write is my living room. I belly up to a beautiful, homemade farm table on loan from a good friend. This spot is especially wonderful now since I’ve finally scored a proper chair from a neighbor’s junk pile, allowing me to break apart my trusty, yet wobbly piano bench and add it to my pile of firewood.

From where I sit at this wonderful table, I have two easy views through large pane windows. One looks next door at the side of a neighbor’s house, the other affords a grand vista of my wooded front yard, including countless passing cars and cyclists, deer, pedestrians, and many animal companions. A UNC bus stop is a stone’s throw away so I also see many students rushing to catch their free ride to campus. From this, my favorite place to sit and write, I simply can’t help but notice the literal comings and goings of everything near my house.

Today something happened that made me angry. Like, angrier than I’ve been in a while. But rather than rant about it, I’m going to type out the conversation between me, boxer-clad as I stood half-in my front door, and her, a college-aged (?) woman who was walking her adorable white labrador retriever.

I’m approaching it this way because I’m confused. After all was said and done, I felt like a “get off my lawn” sort of crusty old man. I’m terrified that I just witnessed the future me — a nit-picking busy-body who spends his borning days staring at neighbors out the window. But maybe my beef was a legitimate one? Maybe my frustration with the behavior I witnessed doesn’t actually make me a complete asshole? Comments are appreciated, as always.

From my front yard on Westview Drive in Carrboro, NC:

Excuse me, I say.
Um, yes? she says back.
Can I get you a plastic bag to pick up after your dog?
Oh. No thanks, I’ve got one right here. (she holds it up to show me)
You do? Then how about picking up the pile in my yard I just watched you just cover up with pine needles?
I can’t.
What do you mean?
It’s too wet.
Too wet?
Yeah, it’s too wet. Come see.
No, I’d rather not. Still, please pick it up.
I’m telling you, it’s too wet to pick up. Come look at it. What, do you expect me to use a shovel or something?
Sure, use whatever. Just please pick it up. You can’t leave it there.
I can’t pick it up. I’m telling you, it’s too wet!
It’s your responsibility. It’s lame to leave it there.
On top of it all, just yesterday I saw you cover up a pile of crap and cover it up with pine needles. That’s flat out rude. Please pick up after your dog.

And then she walked away. Empty plastic bag in her hand.

3 thoughts on “Comings and Goings

  1. El Guapo’s take:

    If the dog has a one-off runny poop, you make your best effort to scrape it up with the bag you’ve got in hand.. If your dog has “diarrhea all the time,” you know there’s a good chance that he/she will have the shits whenever he/she goes out and you plan accordingly, anticipating that the poop will be runny..

    El Guapo assigns a demerit to said dog-owner for trying to hide the evidence, and another demerit for knowing her dog would have the runs and allowing that to be an excuse to not have to pick anything up. Two final demerits are assigned for her previous violation the day before.

    Final score:
    Tom: even
    Stupid dog owner: -4


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