I was minding my own business, whistling a tune while heading to the mailbox to send a movie back to Netflix, when I spied two pit bulls in the grassy area in our circle. They were gamboling, after a fashion, and then one noticed me and stopped in its tracks. It did its best to catch my eye, which it did; I kept walking, nonchalantly, as it loped toward me. I was wearing a light sweater but suddenly felt very, very cold. I stopped and let it come up to me, and it sniffed, and then slowly wandered off.
“He just wanted to sniff you,” a young lady called out; I’d never seen her up close but she lives in the house with the owner of the dogs. “Don’t worry.”
And then the other one came toward me. They just do NOT look friendly, those dogs. Their little beady eyes are not like the eyes of dogs I’ve met in my life, dogs that you know you can trust. These dogs have mean eyes. That sounds irrational, I know; I’ve heard plenty of stories about friendly pit bulls, usually in response to articles reporting horrific events involving the dogs. Something in me just does not trust them.
And this second one came closer– determined, and definitely not as “friendly” as the first one. She called him away, not angrily, and I said “thank you.” And she said “you’re welcome” with a nice, big smile.
It was all so civil, though I could clearly see those animals in my mind’s eye, feasting on my marrow. I could easily picture my defining characteristics strewn across the green like cast off detritus… I remember a few years ago when the homeowner’s association polled us on the circle to see how we felt about letting a neighbor raise pit bulls. There must have been a resounding NO, because all we ever see are those two dogs. I haven’t seen them in months, actually, but this morning I was out early to go to Office Depot and the Post Office, and there they were.
I hope this wasn’t a sign regarding my hopes and dreams for 2011. There are old tales that tell of packs of dogs that come out of the forest at night, wreaking havoc on small villages, and I believe every one of them. Many times I’d been accompanied by dog packs when I came home in the dawn hours from a night of disco-ing. I’d have to walk blocks and blocks from the subway to get to my house, and there would be these dogs following me, sometimes surrounding me. Strange: thousands of people in the surrounding apartment houses, and just me on the street with all those dogs. I would stand there in a sweat and wait until they finished growling and sniffing, and then they would go away into the darkness.
But I survived. I’m still here, and I’ll just have to be careful of the devil dogs out there in the grass. After all, I don’t want them to impact my new year.
Happy 2011 everybody !