Monday, July 21, 2008

The Thoughtlessness of Strangers

Throwing a dog through a closed window cannot be a pleasant thing to see, and it's a much less pleasant thing to do.

But as long as I'm reading my Malcolm X correctly, and I believe I am, then we know that sometimes things need to be accomplished by any means necessary. If I had it to do all over again, would I throw my dog crashing through a window a second time? That is a question only God can answer; I don't think I can muster an objective response.

It was a hot day and we have a pool. I got home and I was pouring with sweat the way a basketball player would be if he had played three quarters in a wet suit. As I stumbled up the stairs I noticed to my greatest glee that no one was in the pool. It is true that we have a pool, but my homeowner contract stipulates that I own and have to share it equally with all of other people who live in my condo complex. After today's events that may need to be reevaluated.

I went inside and changed into my swimming attire in what could have been no more than 30 to 45 seconds. Right before I bounded out the door I took a look through my window and there he was. Obnoxious and evident, white and lotioned, the blob of a man dove headlong into the pool, and also simultaneously, unwittingly into my judgment.

The thing is that I like to swim alone. It really is just that. It isn't that I fear I would look gay if he and I were swimming, alone, in the pool, together (though we would, but that's not why). It's not that I worry about him having any waterborne illnesses or infections that I might catch were I to be in the pool with him, mostly naked (though it's possible). I suppose I just enjoy the peace and tranquility that exists when I'm in a pool by myself.

And he ruined it.

He was floating on his back when Gretel came hurtling towards him. She landed a few feet away from him, and he looked up to see what had happened. I stood just beyond the mutilated window, cape flapping in the sudden breeze now in my home (I had slipped it on for effect and he seemed to recoil as his eyes fell upon it). I held out a closed fist, let it hover for a pregnant moment, then thrust my thumb down. I wasn't sure what I meant by that, but I was hoping it was ominous enough to scare him. Not quite. He just kind of stared me down; I stood there feeling chumpish and turned a slight red. He began to breaststroke and I retrieved a few cans of corn from the pantry. I fired them with laser precision a few feet to his right and left. He got the message. As he pulled his ample frame from the pool I saluted him, but it was just sarcastic enough that I think he got the irony of it.

Though I had achieved what I wanted I was too flustered to take a dip. Insolence sometimes has that effect on me. Gretel wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the night, she acted like she couldn't even see me. That was only half her fault because she was missing an eye. I couldn't confirm if she had lost it because of me throwing her through the window, or if it had somehow been lost in the intervening minutes that she took to come back to the apartment, so I just called it a wash and forgave her for ignoring me.

No comments: