Interlude: Please Curb Your Dog
Growing up, in the earliest part of my life I lived in a bungalow colony that was notorious for housing all sorts unsavory characters and was a haven for awful behavior. I’ve alluded to it in past posts like Tales of a Second Grade Nothing and When I Was Queen of My Own Cardboard Kingdom. This little interlude is from that time and space.
The handle of the big blue plastic sand shovel bowed under the weight of the enormous pile of Princess’ dog shit. I’d scooped it up from the dirt patch of a front yard, where its brethren seemingly sprung forth from the ground in endless supply.
Gripping the strained beach shovel with both hands I’d deftly navigated around the white aluminum swing set and the Tonka dump truck with 3 remaining wheels. I moved with ninja-like precision so much so that you’d have thought that I was carrying an atomic weapon and was charged with saving the world. Weaving through the field of landmines, I came to a halt and stood face to face with the chainlink fence. It was the only thing that stood between us and them. It’s hard to say whether the fence was there to keep them out, or us in.
Mustering all of my spaghetti-armed eight year old strength I catapulted the stinking mass over the fence, onto the side of the white bungalow house next door which sat mere feet away. The heavy brown pile plastered the side of the bungalow with a wet sounding thud. It’s dimensions spread exponentially wider and flatter, and it hung there momentarily before falling to the ground. In it’s wake – a pancake-shaped shadow, an odorous stain the size of a dinner plate.
When you look across the breadth of my life, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that I am hardwired to believe that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing to excess. Moderation may be key, but, I don’t have that lock. Instead my keys ignite something fire breathing and turbo charged and my foot has the GO! pedal mashed to the floor. When left unchecked, my nature is either all in or all out.
After my first success with firing a shovel-load of crap onto the neighbors house there was only one thing to do; do it again. And again. And again. Though I was fully equipped to know better, there was nothing inside of me that signaled that I should stop what I was doing. Not even as the shitbombs sailed through the open unscreened window into the house. I instead operated with wanton giddiness because what I was doing was the funniest thing in the world.
Recently someone described me as willing to suspend my better judgement and cross lines I typically wouldn’t when I am thinking with my rational mind. Sometimes it is as if there is a governor inside of me that gets switched off. In adulthood, this type of behavior appears to be largely triggered by anxiety. Act first, regret later.
There were zero consequences to my degenerate activity. An important thing to note here is that this didn’t take place at my house. No, it all went down at the home of my childhood best friend. It was her yard, her neighbor, her dog’s business. At the end of my spiral of depraved behavior, I got to go home. At no time was I required to consider the consequences of my actions until long into adulthood. On the other side of my shit-tossing spree, someone was victimized by my actions and was literally left to clean up my mess.