The Box

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Rufus is coming home in a flowery box.

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I got the phone call yesterday that Rufus was ready to come home. I went and got him and he came in this flowery box. Which is still sitting in my car, along with his leash, because I both can’t bear to not have him near and can’t bear the thought of bringing him in the house.

I don’t really see how I can bury him in a box that pretty. But, at least, I don’t have to make that decision yet. There’s no timetable.

Sig Vat

I’m making a sig vat in my garage, which, basically, amounts to filling a bucket with pee and hoping it ferments. It smells remarkably bad, which is saying something, since it’s fermenting pee. I expected it to smell bad.

This is worse.

My dad sent me a dollar for my birthday. In a card. He asked me to open it on FaceTime so he could see my face. He was disappointed that I wasn’t more disappointed.

I don’t even know what to say about it, really. Like, apparently they’re also going to pay for me to get a new kitchen floor, though I’m going to ask them to help me pay for this air conditioner repair that I have to get done instead.

So, they’re not being dicks? They’re just pretending real hard to be dicks in a way that lets them enjoy hurting me, but they get to feel cool about it because they know they’re also doing this other thing?

Yesterday they called to say that they would be in town at the end of the week. I was worried about what folks would think of a vat of fermenting piss in my garage, but now?

Now I don’t really give a shit. I hope they think I have lost my mind.

Keeping On Keeping On

I feel okay. Sad but okay. I’ve been working on a new afghan. I’ve been busy at work.

Friday’s my birthday. It’s become a source of annoyance. My parents asked me what I wanted and I told them I thought they weren’t doing birthdays anymore, since they didn’t get me anything last year.

Which, I mean, they didn’t. And I don’t mind. Well, that’s not quite right. I don’t need anything, but it did and does hurt my feelings when they call to tell me all the ways they’re helping my brothers and yet I don’t even get a birthday present.

But also, whatever. I’ve accepted that as long as they think I’m fine, they don’t think much about me.

But now it’s turned into this whole big to-do where they insist they did too get me a birthday present last year. And finally, I was like, folks, check your bank records.

So, last night they called to say that they had, indeed, apparently forgotten my birthday last year, but it’s because they were so busy with the Butcher and helping him get out to Arizona.

And, honestly, the conversations about this have been much more painful than them just forgetting.

Because, of course, I was wrong, then when I wasn’t wrong, well, it was understandable, because some other person needed their attention more.

And no apology.

Though, clearly, from all the phone calls, they do feel bad. But instead of just saying they’re sorry, their coping mechanism appears to be to try to make me feel bad instead.

But whatever. I don’t have the bandwidth to feel bad. I just worked on my granny squares and “uh-huh”ed them until the conversation was over.

One Week

I think Saturday was the hardest. Usually, we did something just for fun on Saturdays. Went for a long walk or a drive or to the park or something.

And this Saturday, I finished an afghan and was sad all day.

Yesterday I went for a walk and now my house and walking pants are full of ticks. Serves me right, I guess, for going outside.

I have been hatewatching abstract artists on YouTube. I was hoping they could help me with color theory, but really, just getting into Adobe Color has helped with that.

There are two things I dislike about these artists–the reason I hatewatch. One is that I want them to explain how and why they decide to keep going. Because I have watched a lot of videos where the artist had a really nice painting and decided it needed more layers. And then had an ugly painting.

And, like, sure, maybe we’re having an aesthetic disagreement on what is lovely or when something is finished, but since they don’t (or can’t) articulate why they’re keeping on keeping on, it’s hard to say.

Yesterday, I saw a woman painting on these two olive green abstract pieces. They were ugly. Like so ugly you couldn’t look away. But she was talking through her process of deciding when and how to add more green (no!!!!!) and as much as I didn’t like the paintings, I think I got what she liked about them, what was pleasing her. And at that point, I wasn’t hatewatching anymore. I was just watching the interesting process of a person making some painting I didn’t like. I still don’t get why she liked them, but I trusted that she did and that they were doing for her exactly what she wanted them to do.

So, that was nice.

But the other thing I dislike about these abstract paintings is that a lot of these artists seem to think that “abstract” and “unintentional” mean the same thing. Like, if your painting starts to mean anything, then you’ve failed.

And I think you should have reasons for what you do. And with something like abstract painting, I don’t need for you to be trying to capture, say, the essence of a soul in distress. But “I’m doing this because it’s fun.” or “because I like it.” is good enough for me.

But, like, you must have some reason for doing the thing. And it irritates me to watch so many videos where art seems to happen solely by accident, without any reason from the artist.


I just feel adrift without the dog. It’s so quiet in the house. Walking without a dog sucks and is stupid.

I don’t know. I feel like I should have more to say, but I just don’t. It’s ludicrous that he’s dead. It’s just an affront to me.

The King is Gone

Right up until the end, he was happy, leaning his head out the car window on the way up to the vet. Barking at the baby goats in the parking lot. He even jumped when he heard we were going for a car ride.

At the vet, he managed to snag himself some cat treats and then they fed him a chocolate cupcake. It was as wonderful as he had suspected.

And then we killed him. He went very peacefully.

I went and sat on a friend’s couch and got drunk and cried and then he brought me home because he was afraid if he went to bed, I would get up in the middle of the night and try to drive home. Sounds like something dumb I would do.

The house is so empty it’s hard to bear.

He was a wonderful dog.

I Guess We’re Going to See How Much a Heart Can Take

The dog is dying. I want to say more than that, but I also don’t have it in me.

The vet cried when she told me. I have all this medicine he’s supposed to take, but he doesn’t want to eat. I’m getting as much down him as I can and hoping the steroids will increase his appetite.

They think it’s lymphoma. We’ll know when we get the tests back.

I guess they think he has at least a month, because they gave me a month’s worth of pills.

But it’s been so sudden and so devastating. The difference between him this Friday and last Friday is… it’s just so much. All of a sudden, like overnight, he’s frail and old.

Scattered Thoughts About Things

My Looby talk went great. Even over Zoom. I felt super interesting and like I had things people wanted to hear to say. It’s really gratifying and I’m maybe feeling a little hope that the book might make a difference.

Ha ha ha. We’ll see how long my optimism can be sustained.

I’m reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo for work. It’s not great. I was telling the Professor that 75% of it is fine, if sometimes a little too simple, 20% of it reads as if the author didn’t read the book–like claiming that white people don’t think about whiteness and then saying that she knew from the time she was very little that it was better to be white.

The last 5% is just wrong. Like, deeply, wrong. Even in the wake of us electing a white supremacist to the Presidency, she still downplays the importance of white nationalism in understanding white people’s racism.

It’s really something to be reading a book about how the biggest racial problem we face is white people’s inability to acknowledge their whiteness when white people are showing up with guns at statehouses. Like, maybe rethink your thesis?

But also, it super annoys me how many of her anecdotes are about her shitty friends and their racist ways or her shitty colleagues and their racist ways and yet, unless it’s in some part of the book I haven’t gotten to yet, there’s nothing about how she confronts her asshole colleagues or how she drops her shitty racist friends.

She’s a diversity trainer–that’s her job–and an anti-racist activist and she wrote this book that’s being used by workplaces around the nation to foster discussions of racism–including mine. AND SHE CAN’T DO THE NECESSARY WORK.

And if she can’t do it, and this is her job and passion, isn’t that a problem for the teaching of her book?

Also, she takes white people’s thoughts about racism at face value and I just don’t understand how anyone in this culture who pays attention doesn’t realize white people lie about race all the time–even if only to ourselves.

I’m just irritated. So many people of color have written so many books about whiteness and its problems. We couldn’t throw a little book money their way instead?