Ten o'clock on a Saturday morning — I usually don't see this...at least not voluntarily and I often wonder if anybody is as anti-morning as I am.
I crankily shield the bucking bronco-ing Jack Russell from jabbing my eyes out with his stick legs of death with my left elbow as I slide wearily out of bed and begin my shuffle into the world. Not unlike a newly potty trained toddler doing the pee pee dance, my murderously excited terrier is repeatedly flinging himself four feet vertically into the air, knocking into my right hip at every step and sometimes, when that particular step is lucky, my right foot also gets to be included in the abuse as 23 pounds of insanity slams down upon it in perfectly timed intervals.
The soft *thump thump* of dog acrobatics turns into *scratch, thud, clack, clack* when carpet blends into linoleum and finally into a fading and frantic *taptaptaptaptaptap* when I set the beast free into the wilderness of wooden staircases and cookie cutter shuttered living units.
In a squinty eyed and crackhead haired state, I take one step outside the door and stand, monitoring the now three legged dog below me, my arms wrapped around my shivering and all things disheveled frame. The sneaky terrier takes advantage of my drowsiness and slinks off out of sight behind the neighbor's fence. I call softly at first, then louder and finally unleash my best gravely, deep, serious voice. I'm no soprano anyway, but my serious voice is solely intimidating to a psychotic terrier — and that's only about 80 percent of the time. I feared this was one of those 20 percent times.
In summer months, I could easily bound down the stairs and stomp authoritatively down the sidewalk in my current state —barefoot, braless and generally resembling a homeless person — while yelling "Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnn-dddddddddyyyy! An-DAY!" Because I'm high class like that. Eventually I would give up and resort to the car to look for my escapee.
With frigid temps and snow on the ground, I decided to forgo the bag lady parade and head straight for my keys this time. I pulled some boots on over my jammy pants to make a fashion statement and began my hunt via vehicle. My gas light was already glaring at me from the dash as I completed my first lap around the complex.
I stopped briefly to strategize and glanced at myself in the rearview mirror. Why is it that in the morning, I always look as though somebody tried to kill me the night before regardless of my beverage choices the evening prior? Do I lay on my face weird? Do I thrash around violently in my sleep? At this point I'm just lucky I don't still have traces of white, Plaster of Paris-like zit cream dotting my mug since I've suddenly morphed back into the 13-year-old, bee stung version of myself, only worse. The unbearable stress of perpetual joblessness and the domino effect is has on every other aspect of your life causes some people to become fat. It causes me to be zitty...HATE. (Stop while all the men reading this clutch their chest and fall backwards out of their chairs in a fit of swoony bliss...You know you want me.)
One lap turns into four, a spin around the block and a peek at both sides of the nearby park. No little white flashes between apartment buildings. No phone calls. No Andy. After 20 minutes, morbid thoughts inevitably creep in. What if this is the time I never find him? Or, what if I turn the corner and he's all twitchy and bloody in the middle of the street run over by some cowboy in a diesel dually? I begin to imagine a morning wake up call that doesn't involve a Jack Russell Terrier pouncing on my head and panic sets in.
I can't handle this. Where is that little shit? My little buddy. Oh god, what if I can't find him and he freezes to death? That sweet boy keeps me sane. I seriously can't deal with anything else — I bust out of a hideous relationship, then lose my job only to find out that I'm in another crappy relationship and bust out of that one, then I can't find a job and I'm teetering on the edge of straightjacketville and dating is absolutely deplorable and I STILL can't find a job and I'm all zitty and people are douchey for no reason, then my uncle, one of the best guys in the world, just freaking dies all of a sudden and now my dog runs away for the bijillionth time and he's probably dying and rotting in a ditch somewhere and I'm NEVER GOING TO FIND HIM.
I'm so tired of this! FML. No...no...shortening the phrase to letters only deflates the passion and conviction behind it's meaning. Spell it out. Say it loud and proud:
FUCK MY LIFE!
The sound of a happy melody and a vibration against my leg breaks my panicked state.
"Hi, I think I have your dog." A lady's voice says.
"OK (lets out deep sigh, pulse rate drops down from nearly 200 to 88) I've been driving around looking for him. Where are you?"
"I'm at the CVS Pharmacy. He just jumped right into my car. He's VERY friendly."
"OK, thank you, I'll be there soon."
I change course and drive the half block to the pharmacy since Andy apparently desperately needed a pack of gum and some Advil. Perfect solution for being a dumbass and running away from your nice, warm apartment when it's 30 degrees outside — just jump in some stranger's car. Any stranger will do. Great.
He flees around his rescuer's car and flies gleefully into my open door and safely into the backseat. The usual "thank you so much-s" are expressed and the "hahas" of Jack Russell Terrier jokes are exchanged before we head back to the apparent doggie prison we call home. A disheveled, feisty, slightly insane 26-year-old woman and her Jack Russell Terror — the embodiment of a love/hate relationship.
Sorry I was such a douche, Mom:
It's cool Boo Boo, Mama loves you...you little asswipe.