Some debts you can never repay. They linger, etched on the bones of those nearest you. Favors, scratched out in emotional heiroglyphs so extensive that you pray the scales somehow tip in your favor when the time comes to weigh your heart.
It’s Friday. It’s been a long week. And I’ve been thinking about how strange my dog seems to me and thought I’d blog about it. Because why not?
Anyway, my dog is weird. Here’s just a few examples.
When we got Xena last year, one of the things that I was super excited about was having a dog that we could take everywhere with us. Growing up, all my dogs were police dogs, so they didn’t go to parks and things like that. They were working dogs. They worked. But this dog was going to be my dog. And I could take her everywhere with me and it would be great.
As we were driving up to get Xena from her foster home in New Jersey, Frankie was talking to me about all of her previous dogs and how she had never had one that traveled well. I told her not to worry, that my pet karma would override hers and everything would be fine.
I remember driving up to the house where she had been fostered and being so excited I barely waited for the car to be fully parked before jumping out. When we got into the house, the three remaining puppies were downstairs and Xena walked up to us.
It was love at first sight, you guys know the deal. The next thing I knew, Frankie had scooped her up and her foster mom was saying a tearful goodbye.
We got her out in the car and went on our way. I sat in the back seat with her because I was concerned that she would be freaked out with the move and everything.
We stopped in the middle of the two hour drive, not wanting her to be stressed out by all the changes.
After we got back in the car, she was safely snuggled in the back seat with the Darren, the stuffed dragon we had bought her, and me.
I was snuggling and soothing and taking selfies with her and just generally having a grand ol’ time.
Then it happened.
With no warning.
A hurking kind of noise. And then yellow vomit down my leg, onto my shoe, pooling in the crevices between the shoelaces.
I still maintain that Frankie jinxed us. I have never had a carsick dog in my life.
Also, she lives in this box.
In other oddities, we discovered another lovely habit of my beloved fuzz nugget when we brought her home and took her to the dog park for the first time. She was so covered in dust and dirt when we left that we decided to give her a bath.
We got her into the tub without much complaining. Frankie got in the tub with her.
Then we turned the water on.
The sounds that came from my beautiful puppy were unlike any that I had ever heard before. She screamed like we were skinning her alive. I worried that neighbors would think we were torturing puppies in our apartment.
To this day, she screams like a lunatic whenever water touches her skin from a faucet. And before you ask, yes, we do warn the neighbors when bath time rolls around.
Speaking of wetness, let’s talk about the weather.
Rain? She’s not thrilled, but she’ll walk in it, no problem. She won’t walk through puddles, though. She quits when she reaches them and desperately times to run around them.
Snow? She’s obsessed. When she sees snow she wants to run back and forth in it and burrow through it like an eager baby polar bear.
Grass? Again, obsessed. Even more so if it’s grass in a cemetery, because she’s a fuckin creep and obsessed with the smell of dead people, I guess?
Also, she runs away from her poop and won’t step in her pee when she walks past it on her way back from going outside.
Long story short, she’s the best dog in the world, and she loves us more than anything, and I love finding out new bizarre things about her every day.
may came and we
unfolded into sunlight
unburdened, free from the sickly
straining, limbs caught beneath
jackets and scarves that
pulling at skin
red and raw
may came and i
pressed myself against you
eyes wide and windows open
breeze blown buds and promises
spoken into fruited airways
i blew myself
into your arms
blew you over
may has come and you
take smooth arms and wrap them
round me, pull yourself close
and close the door on winter you
push me down, pull me closer
as you whisper
and the winter
© Seraphina Ferraro, 2015
I see you.
I see every day the messages that we receive as a culture to love our mothers unconditionally. To return the gift of life that they gave us with unending affection and unquestioning adoration.
I see how you tried to fit into that mold. How you fought every day to make excuses for her. To yourself. To the people around you. Because she’s your mom. And she’s supposed to love you, right? And take care of you. And she’s really not that bad. Not always. Not all the time.
I see how you spent all that time trying to be the perfect kid. Because being the perfect kid would change her. Because so much of what was going on had to be your fault.
I see you now, cringing whenever someone brings up their plans with their mom. Leaving the room when time comes to talk of Mother’s day.
I see you trying to explain to people why she is no longer in your life. Trying to articulate how hard it was to put up with her for years. To make excuses. To work on yourself and find yourself backsliding because of her constant negative presence.
I see you fielding the protests on your mothers behalf from people who don’t know her. Who don’t even know you that well. Telling you that she can’t be “that bad.” That you owe her your life. That you should give her something in return for this gift she gave you. In return for your life.
I see you thinking about all the things you gave her. All the chances and the benefits of the doubt. Every little chip she took of your sanity. Of your self worth.
I see you. And I want you to know that I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you for making the choice to remove a toxic relationship from your life no matter how hard it was. I’m proud of you for continuing to make the decision to keep her out when she calls you on the phone or sends you emails. When she tries to fight her way back across the bridge that you burned.
I see you. I see how hard this day is for you. And I’m proud of you for standing on your two feet without her. I cannot imagine the strength it took to get you through making that decision.
You are so brave.
I see you.
And you are okay.