Tuesday, July 9, 2013

it's okay, said a stray.

snickers is tugging at my heartstrings. that's not his real name, nor is it what i'd want to call him if he were mine, but his coloring does the naming for me: chocolate and caramel and dirty-white nougat. his disproportionately large ears hang like flapping flags. i want to run them through my fingers, but he won't let me near. he'll come only close enough to snatch up my son's cheese puffs that i throw from the car window. the neighbor, whose hooded eyelids and trampled-grass-with-a-patch-of-wild-weeds hairdo remind me of 90s health guru susan power or perhaps a less severe version of my 7th grade english teacher, mrs. andrick, has been looking out for snickers. her husband says he can't stay. if neighbor lady is anything like her forceful doppelgangers, her wishes will prevail. i hope so. i'm already invested in snickers' fate.

i posted snickers' whereabouts on a few facebook pages, one devoted mostly to the buying and selling of pets. on that page, i later posted some information about the negative aspects of dog breeding. while writing, i noticed a post from a young guy selling his pair of unaltered bull dogs. i felt, literally, in my gut, an urge to reply. the heavens and my guts must've met in the middle, because this thought nudged its way into my consciousness: here's an opportunity to be more like you want to be. and so i was. i typed as if i were shooting a gun filled with flowers: determined, yet with a spirit of cooperation. my hope was to receive, at the least, an equally diplomatic reply, but my gut told me i'd get nothing of the sort. he replied with scorn and said that fixing "good breeding dogs" is animal cruelty in his eyes. score one for my gut. it's like when i was a waitress at a steakhouse: i knew who wanted pittsburgh rare or well done before they even ordered.

"so, what's your goal for being happy?" asked a girl i barely know. goals. i have them, although that beeline i'm supposed to take to get to them is confining. boring? prescribed. and a misnomer: bees don't fly in straight lines. they hover. they zigzag. i am more bee than beeline.

yesterday i read an article in science daily about a study that revealed depressed people tend to have non-specific goals. it said that people who set specific goals are more likely to be successful. science is apparently on the side of the non-bee-like beeline. i get it. if you know exactly what you want, you can map out a plan to make it happen. what bothers me is that this doesn't take into account experience for the sake of experience. take the bees, for instance. they know better than the beeline. they pollinate all over the place—and sometimes they visit crops whose yields might not be better off for having known them. listen up, science daily. there's more than one way to be. to bee. or not to bee.

by the way, i told the girl i barely know that my goal is to unleash my inner hippie. hippies are happy and peaceful. if you want to believe positive stereotypes are any more applicable than negative ones, that is. i'd dispute the notion that hippies are any happier than anyone else. for me, "hippie" is merely (though not insignificantly) symbolic of freedom. living—not mournful for the past nor anxious for the future—in the moment. shaking off self-oppression.

in the spirit of freedom, i'll freely say that i think the guy with the good breeding dogs is an idiot. i think it's selfish and destructive when single parents don't weigh their dating choices against their children's best interests. i'm annoyed when vegetarians chastise meat-eaters. annoyed when meat-eaters chastise vegetarians. i'm irked when liberals attack conservative beliefs (ahem, lib-er-al. non-bee-like beeline, anyone?). i roll my eyes when conservatives say liberals are ruining america. cat people kinda weird me out. my nostrils flare when people feed their kids junk. racist remarks make me want to scream and tell people they're horrible and ignorant. if you post sacrilegious depictions of jesus, i'll think you're creepy. if you drink tea instead of coffee, i'll wonder about you.

i have to thank snickers for the opportunity to bring out my inner hippie. had it not been for him, i wouldn't have come across the dog-breeding idiot and refrained from calling him an idiot. and then i wouldn't have heard my inner hippie tell me that even hippies feel negative emotions and that i shouldn't be so hard on myself. my inner hippie says i don't have to be perfect but that i should be objective. she says it's great to know when it's productive to speak up and, better still, how. 

next time i see snickers, he's getting more than cheese puffs. he deserves a steak. i bet he's a pittsburgh rare kinda guy.

peace and kibble, y'all.

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