World, if you own a dog, there will come a day when you want to punch your dog in the face. You will have to accept that, in that moment, all that separates you from the scum who punch dogs in the face is a lack of ambition. When you first get a dog and you are faced with a moment where you want to punch your dog in the face, it can be very distressing. You cry, you wonder what kind of sicko you are secretly, you wonder if you should immediately turn your dog over to kind people who never once ever consider punching their dogs in the face.
By the time you’re staring back on almost a decade with the dog, you accept that there are going to be moments when you want to punch your dog in the face and moments when your dog wants to punch you in the face and you accept the small consolation that, while it would be nice if neither of you thought about punching the other, at least you never act on it.
Last night I was sleeping, soundly, in my bed when all of a sudden the dog went nuts barking like we had ninjas on the roof and only three seconds before they came through the window and kidnapped the Butcher. And I’m like “Shut up” only I have my mask on so it sounds more like “sh gueogubhtp top” and she’s all like “bark bark bark bark bark” and I’m again with the “sh gueogubhtp top” and she’s still barking.
I try to ignore her.
I fantasize about punching her in the face.
I fantasize about whatever’s making that weird noise coming over and running her over.
And then, I’m wide awake. What is that weird noise?
And Mrs. Wigglebottom is all like “See? See, motherfucker. I told you there was something freaky ass freaky going on. But you wouldn’t listen. No, you’re all convinced that I’m going to save you from shit while you sleep. You want me to protect you? Get me a gun. Otherwise, when I bark, you get up and see what I’m barking about. I swear to Dog, I about was going to punch you in the face. Now, go check that out so I can get back to sleep.”
So, I get up. I try to put my glasses on. I realize that you can’t put your glasses on over the CPAP mask. So, I have to disengage from all that stuff. I put my glasses on. I marvel, just for a second, at how awesome it is to have glasses in my prescription, which I have not had in years.
I look out the bedroom door. The Butcher is still asleep. The noise gets softer. I go to the window. The noise is now very loud. I look down. No one is repossessing any cars out front. Of course not. It’s not like the dog is going to bother to bark when that happens, so that we at least have a second to go out and retrieve important things like, say, the Butcher’s cell phone. No, no, why bother barking the one time it would have actually been useful to be woken up in the middle of the night? It’s not like you’re a dog or anything, who barks at the slightest provocation. No.
(And yes, it’s been almost exactly three years and I’m still bitter about that, dog.)
I look around.
And then I see it. Just over the big brown junker, past the orange couch, beyond the fence that’s supposed to keep us away from the retaining wall that keeps the noise of the interstate from being overwhelming, and a little to the left, up in the brush, is a small front end loader (similar to this) or maybe a forklift, but I’m pretty sure a front end loader, struggling back and forth, up near the scrub trees, like it’s stuck in mud and is rocking to try to get some traction in order to get loose.
At first, I’m worried that there’s been some kind of accident, that some trucker has finally come over the retaining wall, and fucked up trying to get into the middle lane of 440, over-corrected, and come careening down our side of the wall. But I don’t see anything up there. Just the little cab light of the front end loader, wiggling back and forth.
Where did it come from?
There’s a plant that does galvanizing back behind us. And it’s true that they might have something like that, but we are separated from them by the train tracks, which are deep enough in a gully behind us that we are about at eye level with the engineers. Unless this frontend loader possessed powers of levitation, I don’t see how it could have gotten from there to here. There’s no gradual slope down to the train tracks. It’s pretty straight down. And even then, how’s it getting behind the fence? And who was driving? Joy-riding hobos?
The dog and I went out to investigate this morning and while there is clearly a spot up in the brush that appears to be flattened out, like someone had recently driven a piece of small equipment around up there, I couldn’t discern the path it took either in or out.