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Ship's Log: Entry #8 Aug 28-Sept 1


Tuesday, August 28th – September 1st, 2012

These, as with any five days, could easily have been lost in the flow of time, the distractions of routine; through a lack of taking note or really paying attention. As it is, this post only really accounts for a fraction of what happened between August 28th and September 1st.

Time is such a wicked child of Mercury, that is, it is mercurial. For me, time rarely repeats itself — rhythmically — and when it does, it produces an intolerable sensation of boredom. No, while common wisdom portrays time as inexorably regular, marked off in precise increments of hours, minutes, seconds — I find time expresses itself with an infinite variety of intervals. It is elastic, it is subjective, it is relative. There’s no truth to Time.

This ship’s log will summarize the some of the events of these particular 5 days because these particular 5 days happened a while ago now, and my notes are slim to paper thin. There’s not enough to go on to make a daily report.

It started with Day 2 of Mariposa in heat. We missed our window of opportunity to spay her before her first period, so now, suddenly, we are changing it all up big time. Old routines are out the window. New, really restrictive ones are ON. And when I say we, imagine it’s really me doing it, while Harry periodically answers “no” to the question “can’t we let her out yet?” creating the incentive I need to stay the course.

Now and for all these 5 days, I’m getting up before dawn, to try and get her outside before she needs to do her business. It means I have to do a crash course on house training, and it takes until about the last of these 5 days before we’re all good on that score. Until then, it’s waking up to business on the floor.

For these 5 days (and beyond, well beyond) we’re keeping an outdoor dog inside. This little dog was the captain of this farm. She ruled the big dog, made him do her bidding, she was alpha. She’s a hunter and a killer who liked her food to fight back a dog who reveled in the chase; a runner and a jumper; she’s a ball of unbridled thoroughbred racehorse energy.

For these 5 days I have to restrain myself from breaking down and letting her out because she really really really wants to be outside.

I’m walking her on a leash now — on a property that she “owned” yo (until the start of these 5 days) — while she pulls and rebels in a pitch perfect imitation of a mule then tries to go all over god’s half acre like usual. “Darling, we’re not going there. I’m not going there. And we’re attached to one another by this leash, so we’re not going there.”

Of course she wants to go to the bottom of the property, where the gate is, leading to the road, going to town. Harry accuses her of wanting to go table dancing at the bar with a bottle of tequila and seven perros watching.

But will she come back up the hill when it’s time? Na-uh. She seriously stands her ground, with her little tiny dog harness that’s been repaired with masking tape in all the places she managed to chew through. When it’s time to go back to the house, she leaves me two choices, every time I only have two choices. Use the leash to drag her on her ass up the road, or carry her.

Twice in these 5 days I get stung in the back while carrying her back up the hill past one particular tree that has a wasp nest full of busy, building, angry wasps. I’m sure I’ve ever been stung by a wasp until now. The first time I kind of think I’m going to faint. Lightheaded, soooooo painful, and I’ve got a damn dog in my arms. God damned dog. Harry helps get me into the house and under some cool water (which we heard is the cure for wasp sting allergies should I have one).

During these 5 days our other dog, Willie, experiences serious hormones of his own. He can’t get enough of her. He paws the new screen doors raw, leaving them in tatters. He makes these wrenching sounds of frustration that would make you laugh if you didn’t just totally feel for the guy. Of course he tries to mount her. Repeatedly. And to his credit, somewhat gently. But after several days of not being allowed to, he starts to try mounting me. Poor sweet puppy. Seriously, this dog is wearing his heart on his sleeve.

And, of course, for these 5 days, there’s another dog hanging around, hoping. We see him in the distance, waiting. We see him kinda close up, waiting. We see his eyes reflecting at night in the gleam of the flashlight. Waiting.

And all the while Mariposa follows me like a shadow, all through the house. It’s totally spooky. No matter where I go, when I turn around, she’s right there, looking up at me with this expression that says, and I’m serious, “What’s happening to me?” and “Help me please.” I later read this is totally what happens.

In other news I’m having some success with the growing part of the operation. Our tabacones are doing really well. Some of the seeds I planted are coming up too, like the watermelon, tomatoes, and red peppers. Sunflowers and zinnias too. So that’s pretty cool.

I got invited to a few homes, and it was awesome to hang out.

Plus, the road is still unfixed and getting steadily worse whenever there’s a heavy rain (which is regularly, it’s rainy season). The water is still coming into the back room, the washing machine is still un-repaired, the car is still not registered and becoming more and more ridiculous with things that no longer work on it. We’re reaching hillbilly status and, let’s see, what else?

Oh, yeah, I’ve become a nagging bitch. That’s the other thing. I’m turning into Mrs. Vinegar. Happy Labour Day everyone.


Originally published October 1, 2012

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