Several years ago I ghostwrote a novel … strange combination, I’ll explain if you’re curious … about a dogwalker to the rich and famous. We had a chapter in which a dog visits a psychiatrist … yes, there are dog psychiatrists. Today I came fairly close to replicating that.
Dog has been biting me lately. Not in a cute, teething puppy way, in an angry STOP IT AT ONCE! way. In his defense it only happens when I’m doing something unusual, like petting him. He has arthritis and takes painkillers and fish oils and gets acupuncture. A friend said that perhaps he’s angry that I’m treating him like a 40-year-old woman. So today we went to the vet to find out if there’s anything serious going on.
The vet, whom I trust implicitly, gave him a very thorough examination and decided that it’s additional pain in his left shoulder/armpit. He prescribed him a short-term stronger painkiller, which is an opiate.
Dog and I have had a delightful afternoon. We’ve run, I’ve pet him, he’s let me work. He’s high as a kite and probably thinks that he’s many bunny rabbits hopping through a poppy field right now, but the upshot is, I currently have a dog I can treat like a dog without fear of being bitten.
The irony of the fact that I, who wants little more than to be loving and affectionate and nurturing, has had, for thirteen+ years, a dog who decides when it’s time for affection, is lost on few.
Maybe this is a long, elaborate, and sometimes painful game of hard-to-get.
One of my favorite people, who is probably my most loyal reader, has been encouraging me to go deeper in this blog. To stop making it a laundry list of things I like and things that make me happy, to treat it as ART.
I’ve thought about this a lot since he said it. Thought about it, on and off, through all three+ hours of Tarantino, during my meditations, and when I’ve tried in vain to fall asleep.
Here’s what I’ve come up with. He’s absolutely right.
Good art requires some sort of chaos and conflict, be it among characters, colors, discordant notes. And I shy away from chaos and conflict because I’ve created and co-created so much of it in my life that I’ve left myself yearning for a happy ending.
That’s not the way it works. This is a vanity project—of course it is. But it needn’t be a saccharine one that sacrifices art for artifice. So I’m going to try as best I can to dig deeper and to be more raw and to acknowledge chaos and conflict more explicitly than I have. Anyone can write about the value of gratitude and the fact that everybody has something to offer and can look on the bright side and paint the rainbows and faeries and unicorns of future, better days and can count their blessings and acknowledge their missteps. Not anyone can write about the things that are inherently my own, and no one can speak in my voice except for me. This will be a process, and I hope y’all will bear with me as I embark upon it.
I wish you wonderful, sugary dreams and marshmallow realities and non-bitey puppies and cozy magic and–blech … of course I do, but this is not a Hallmark card. Or an American Greetings card. My dog is not a Boynton cat, or a Kliban one. ‘cept for this one.
Fasten your (lovely, made of fruit rollup) seatbelts. I might write about things that irk me soon.
Or I might continue to write about my love of love and my love for you all. Either way, I’m trying.
There is no try. Only Lou.