Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rose Thorns

 ______My dog was halfway toward the center of the lake, swimming eagerly toward something dark in the water: a massive black duck with one feather that stuck up like a cowlick does on a small child with unruly hair. The duck had a brass beak, beady eyes, and was as still as a decoy near the lake's edge up until the moment my dog darted after him. With a great leap and splash into the water, Gunner was off like an Olympic swimmer, his orange hunting collar catching the sun like a traffic cone in hot sunlight. He was determined to catch this duck even though it swam incrementally farther away from him.

 ______With each stroke of Gunner's paws against the water, the duck quacked. Quack, swim forward, quack, swim forward, quack, duck-paddle forward a little faster, quack, I'm scared this hairy beast is gonna get me now, quack. It was almost as if the duck was saying, "Stop. Please. Stop. Go away. Stop. Omuhguuhuhguhuhhhhhhh. BRUH."

 ______I think he was.

 ______I followed Gunner around one edge of the lake, only to watch him swim after the duck in the complete opposite direction. Now, the edges of the lake aren't friendly mowed lawns from backyards that were smooth and easy to glide around; rather, they are infested with tall grasses, brambles, and thick ferns that gathered dragonflies, wasps, and other insects gifted with flight. My legs were scraped from hobbling over uneven ground and brushing past spindly weeds.

 ______I reached the shore of the lake where Gunner was closest, huffing and puffing and not ready to blow any houses down, and also sweaty as a gym sock that had been used for not one cardio workout, but three. There was a long scrape on my lower leg and another on my ankle. I poured over the events of my dog and his duck-wrangling adventure, helpless to do anything, praying he would not drown of exhaustion from chasing ducks. If I had to, I would jump into the lake and rescue him. But that time had not yet come. I still had hope, though it was very little.

 ______And eventually, and thankfully, and perhaps with enough thinking that I somehow rooted the duck on to speed up just enough, the duck with the skewed feather had gained enough distance from my dog that Gunner stopped swimming and merely paddled in place. Gunner recognized that he would fail to catch up with the duck. He was lost now. He looked around; to the left, to the right, to the left again. He was directly in the middle of the lake.

 ______And there it was.

 ______The neighborhood swan.

 ______Now, the neighborhood swan is no kind feathered friend; rather, dear Charles--oh yes, he has a name, a rather polite name for a rather impolite creature--dear Charles is quite the nasty little scumbag. Born to kill and burning the fires of hell within his soul, Charles did whatever he could to wreck havoc among the lake and any humans who neared him. He possessed a mighty, shriek-like hiss and a threatening wingspan that a small jet would cower in fear at.

 ______Gunner knew that this swan was no equal adversary. Charles would often paddle to where the lake met our grassy backyard, waddle up to the shore, and hiss at Gunner just for giggles and shits. Occasionally the two would have an amicable meeting where Charles may fluff his feathers and Gunner may simply cock his head at the swan, but mostly the two were sworn enemies with their teeth gritted.

 ______Thankfully after some flustered paddling from point A to point B, to point B to point A, and even sometimes from point A to point C and back to B, Gunner returned to my calls and swam up shore, avoiding Charles the swan. He crawled up the sandy shoreline, placing a paw on a dead crawfish as he did so, and shook the muddy water from his back (and on to me, naturally). I yanked him by the collar all the way home, fringing the overgrown edges of the lake, relieved that my sweet little puppers didn't drown doing what he loves most: hunting ducks and responding to the nature's wild call.


Sheer rose bodysuit: Urban Outfitters (similar)
Skirt: Urban Outfitters (similar) (similar)
Heels: Stein Mart (similar)
Necklace: Nasty Gal
Rose earrings:  similar

Monday, May 15, 2017

Finish Line

______The end of the semester is always predictable but something you never quite get used to, like a wave of salty water toward your eyes; you know it'll hit before you can shut your eyes, you brace yourself for it, but it always stings a little, regardless of how many times you've experienced it. It is a mad, heated rush toward the finish line, where days crash into one another the same way the Kool-Aid man recklessly smashes his way through brick wall after brick wall. He is a lawless Kool-Aid man. I'm sure he's got half the police force after him for all the property he's damaged.

______Within an instant, that papery red finish line snaps like an uncooked spaghetti noodle and boom, you're done. And then you're stopped like a pendulum in time, poised in a starry-eyed daze of not being entirely sure what to do with all this free time you've suddenly acquired. The sands of time have stopped falling. They're piled around you in soft lumps and you can breathe again. In, out. Inhale, exhale. It seems all the time in the world has cascaded down like a sweet rain on you, and you can spend it however you want: performing kitschy hobbies that serve no purpose other than to create something for yourself, baking new recipes that have been digitally amalgamating in the bookmarks section of your browser, or reading books you've been purchasing over the course of the year that have been jammed in your bookshelves like an abundance of cheese in stuffed-crust pizza.

______You can never have too much cheese in your stuffed-crust pizza, just as you can never have too many books in your bookshelf. Anyone who says otherwise cannot be trusted. There is nothing more attractive than a bookshelf that is so chaotic and disorderly but full of things that somehow are tied to one another based on the personality of the person reading them. There is also nothing more attractive than a pizza with a fat, chewy crust. There is a relationship between pizza and books, I am sure, I am positive, there must be, somehow.

______May your bookshelves be filled and your pizzas ever oozing with copious amounts of cheese. Amen.

Dress: Lulus
Heels: similar
Necklace: Nasty Gal
Gold bangle bracelet: Lulus
Rose earrings: similar
Rings: vintage