wherein I derive meaning from random events

January 24, 2009 at 12:01 am (Dan) (, , , , )

So yesterday at the bus stop, waiting to go to work, this lady comes up to me and she’s all like can you hold my dog for a second mister, just for like thirty seconds.
And I’m like, ok, I guess, but if a bus comes I’m gonna yell out for you, ok?
And she’s like, ok, that’s fine, and then she hands me the leash and I take it, and then I have this dog, and I’m concerned, because if I hold the leash too tight in my hands, my hands will be tired when the dog decides to run intro traffic, and it will escape, and the honda civic will hit it, and it will be my fault, and suddenly I am responsible for the death of a friend that this lady clearly values – and which is clearly a gud dog, too, a nice dog, not stupid, not smelly, smart and bright and loyal and interested, the kind of dog I would have if I had a dog, but I can’t have a dog because they make my hands feel dirty and I’d wash them so much that I bleed, again, and I’d still have to feed it, and even dogs which are not smelly actually smell, and then you smell of a dog and no-one will sit near you and on the bus you’ll be that guy, that guy with the dog, only you can’t see the dog, you can just smell it, and feel it, and you feel dirty just being near him because now there is dog on you, somehow, through the air.

Have you ever thought of that? If you can smell something, then it is on your skin. Life gets a lot more complicated when you realise that smells are particulate solids, and when you smell it, it is in you, and you can’t wash your lungs, can you? And now you’re dirty because there’s dog on your lungs, or vomit, or other people’s bad Breath.

But I am concerned because if I hold it too tight then it will escape, because my hands will be tired, but if I am not holding it tightly enough when it tries to run onto the road to, I don’t know why, maybe it is to chase that very short man who does not appear to have a neck, maybe he is the reason for why the dog runs on to the street and the, now it’s a taurus, I hate tauruses, they look like cockroaches, only they are always the colour of the hawkesbury river, that time when the algae was blooming and you couldn’t swim anymore because the algae would get inside you and make you sick. Or sometimes they are silver and that is sometimes worse because things which are silver should be clean you know, but then they look like cockroaches and cockroaches are the opposite of clean, they are the worst most dirty things, and they sneak and creep and walk on you in the dark if you lie really still so they don’t hear you breathing but if you smack them then they leave their filthy guts on you like some kind of revenge like the suicide bombers of the filth agenda.

I don’t know if there is a filth agenda though most days it feels like everything is a conspiracy to dirty things, to make you hold the poles on the buses so the grease of a thousand people is on your hands and then you have to shake hands with your boss and then your boss is dirty because you don’t see him wash his hands and then later when he is telling you you did a good job, jimmy, jimmy that’s a good job and that layout is a good layout and the Client will be happy to see that, jimmy, and he lays his hand on your shoulder he is laying the hands of a thousand strangers on your shoulder and you have to be quiet and careful because if you explain to the boss about the thousand stranger’s hands on your shoulders then you will not have a job or a boss or a Client and then the only things you can lay out will be the posters you are working on, only you can’t finish them because you are not sure if the filth agenda is a real thing that you need to tell people about, or if mostly people should just wash their damn hands, damnit.

I am concerned about the dog, which will run onto the street and die and it will be my fault, so my hand is white and shaking and sweating, which means that when the dog tries to die on the street that my hand will be slippery and I will not hold it and the dog will die on the street and the bus, oh, the bus is here, oh, no, that is the 445 which is not my bus but sometimes I catch it if I am going to the shops which are not the shops on the other side of the park, the bus will hit it and it will die and it will be my fault because I am dirty and scared and my hand was slippery.

The dog is a good dog but it looks at me and it breathes on my hand and now my hand is dirty even more. But the breathing does not smell like the breath of a dog so actually it is not that bad, which I do not understand because even when a person breathes on me and the person is the pretty lady at work who does the colours and her breath smells like honey and another thing that I don’t know what it is, but it is not Breath like most people have, which is a smell like yesterday’s food if you found it still on your plate at breakfast, and then you found that you were eating it for some reason and you couldn’t stop, that is what the Breath of most people is like, but hers is not, but hers still makes me dirty, but the dog, which is a good dog, does not have a Breath and my hand is not that dirty. I can’t eat with my hand, obviously, because I am holding the leash and the leash was on a dog and in the hand of a lady who I don’t know and so it is dirty and so my hand is dirty but the dog did not Breathe on my hand like a person Breathes on my hand so it is not more dirty.

And the dog smiles, he is a happy dog and he will probably not run on to the road to kill himself under this taxi because he is a good dog and not that dirty, for a dog, and probably he doesn’t want to make me, and the lady, and the taxi guy, and the guy in the taxi who is not the taxi guy, probably the dog does not want to make all of us sad and besides then there would be a dead dog on the road and that is not a good thing because dead things are dirty and I didn’t touch the dog, who is dead, but not dead yet obviously this is a thing which is going to happen not a thing which has already happened, but when he is dead, the dog, and I have touched the leash which has touched the dog who is dead, then I will be more dirty and I will be too dirty to go to work but probably the boss will not be mad at me and call me crazy jimmy because I will tell him how the dog I was looking after ran onto the street underneath this I don’t even know what kind of car is that, oh it’s a miata of course, that was what the dog I was looking after ran under and the boss will understand that it is a sad thing when a dog you are looking after runs onto the road. And he won’t know that it’s because now I’m dirty because I touched a thing which then was touching, later, on the street, a thing which was dead.

But he is a good dog and so he is not running on to the street even though there is another lady on the seat now, who is not a nice lady and who has a Smell, which I cannot even talk about because Smells are the worst thing, worse even than being smelly is to have a Smell, and she has one and it is making me dirty by coming off her skin and getting onto my skin through the air. She is the kind of lady that when she walks through a place you can’t walk there for a while because behind her she leaves a path which is her path through space but also because it is a wall of the things which make a Smell which come from her skin and stay in the air behind her and then when you walk through it it gets on you and if you breathe it gets in you and then there is the Smell on you and in you.

But the dog is brave and does not run, and even though I do not know how to hold the leash, which is dirty, so I do not want to touch it, but I have to hold it so that the dog, who is a good dog, does not run away and die, even though I cannot make up my mind and even though I am holding the leash as tightly as I can but also not touching it as much as I can and even though he breathed on me and smiled, he does not run and then the lady comes out of the shops, and she has some cigarettes and she wants her dog back, who is a good dog, and I nearly don’t give her back her dog because she is going to smoke near him and smoking is the worst kind of dirty because it is in the air and it gets on things and it sticks to things and it makes you have a Smell and it makes your Breath like a thing that hurts as well as makes you dirty, because she shouldn’t smoke around her dog who is a good dog.

And she says thanks for holding my dog.

And I say that is no problem, ma’am, anytime.
He is a good dog and friendly.

And she smiles and takes her leash and she goes away to Breathe smoke on things and people, and the bus comes, and it is dirty like always but I have to go to work so I get on and I give the man my money and I go to work.



  1. andrewcrisp said,

    I love it. I really love your ‘descent into madness’ storytelling, I find it very compelling.

  2. juliadactyl said,

    I know what you mean about breathing in smells, but I have to keep my mouth closed when there’s a bad smell because having the particles in my nose and lungs is still not nearly as bad as having them in my mouth and stomach, the logic being that the Bad Smells are often the ones that we associate with giving you gut bacteria, not lung bacteria.

    This post is excellent, and makes me want to score some speed and then spend 24 hours cleaning my house.

  3. danoot said,

    Thanks, Percito!

    Julia: yeah totally. Noses are filters, do not be bypassing the filters when you need them the most! that way lies madness. Also thanks!

  4. naboolio said,

    Awesome post Dan. That sounds like a pretty distressing experience though!

  5. danoot said,

    Also, well, everything in the post apart from yesterday a lady asked me to hold her dog for a bit is not true, and happened to some guy called Jimmy (though I just realised that my middle name is James, heh), so it wasn’t so bad for me!

  6. naboolio said,

    Whoops! Now I feel dumb… Anyhow, I did love the way you wrote it.

  7. Danoot said,

    oh no! Please do not feel dumb, it is: the best thing ever, basically, when some thing you wrote rings true, especially if people believe it.
    I mean, also, I cheated a bit, because I used to be crazy and these sorts of things were a problem for me, but now I am not and they’re not, but I’m still peripherally aware that it could be a problem if I stopped being not crazy. Sort of thing.
    anyway! Thanks, I appreciate it.

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