So I blogged about a chicken – and a dead one at that – and tried to pass it off as being about supporting characters by bookending it with some weak-ass scriptwriting observations. It’s just that, in the aftermath of Wallace’s sudden departure, The Goddess said, If we’re like this over a chicken we’ve only known six months, we’re gonna be a mess when The Dog karks it.
Four years on, we can leave the house in her paws, safe in the knowledge that if she doesn’t leave teeth-marks in uninvited visitors, the neighbours will investigate any ruckus she makes. The honeymoon period of family outings for/with the dog are long over – come to think of it, it lasted as long as she looked and gambolled like a puppy.
Which leaves my motivation. I need to run regularly. The Dog needs to be exercised regularly. Hey hey: a running buddy.
The thing is, I hate running. Always have. Always will. But there’s no other form of exercise where a good pair of running shoes is all you need. Biking means bike maintenance. Walking’s too slow. Swimming means a half-hour drive (and costs). One could say it’s a low-maintenance high-intensity kind of exercise. I still say the hell with that – I hate it.
It has some pluses though. It’s supposed to be good for me. It clears my head, though this shouldn’t be surprising considering the din of my desperate wheezing, a drumrolling heartbeat, and a thought-process as primal as just to the next corner… okay, just a little bit more to the next telephone pole… ihatethisshit… now just to that red car…. On occasion, it feels good when I’m huffing about out there and I think, I’m-a goin’ places, yessirree… oh yeah, feel the flow, baby… but these are rare moments, fleeting enough that I seek them like some narcotic high.
Writing’s like that sometimes. I’d be sprawled across some project and, despite the writing pains, a liitle voice whispers how about… just one more set-piece/subplot/pay-off, hm? like, how hard could it be? Rare flashes of creative joy as words are thrown up on-screen in search of a story.
By the end of it all, whether I’m running or writing, I’m glad to (still) be alive, there’s the satisfaction of having done it and, if I’m not careful, thinking that wasn’t so bad – let’s go again.
Visitors to our abode have to be vetted by The Dog, a mongrel big of heart, if not stature. (There’s The Cat somewhere on the property as well, whom, should The Dog fail, be our insurgency force.)
Summer – summer-proper, rather than the summer-in-name-only we had earlier – has arrived. As I hunch over the keyboard in the study, The Dog roams the house and surrounds, cycling through: the kids’ rooms where she moults furiously; the lounge where various breezes meet and cool her down; and the deck where she slow-bakes herself.
Sometimes I look up from the inevitably blank screen and envy her simple Dog Life. Of course, it’s not that simple, really – she has her responsibilities: she protects both home and family from visitors, strangers and hedgehogs; she’s a great receptacle for dinner scraps; and she gets us out of the house for exercise or play.
Sure, The Dog needs regular exercise (or she’ll be overzealous in her protection of home and hearth [which is not good in Auckland]) and is a social animal through and through (it’s us owners who suffer separation anxiety when we leave her alone for more than a few hours). But when the children are at school and The Goddess is out doing Godly Work, it’s nice to have her around – panting in the heat, spread out on the floor for heat dissipation, or sitting and hoping that I’ve forgotten that I’ve already fed her.