“I like myself more when I’m ticked off. And right now I like myself a lot.”
– Tom Izzo, men’s head basketball coach at Michigan State University
I’m on my morning walk, the one that takes me toward the foothills, through the condo complex, alongside the engineered drainage ditch. A woman walking a dog approaches on the sidewalk. The dog is medium-to-short in stature, stocky, big-jawed — I don’t know my dog breeds, but I’m thinking at least half pit bull. The dog is on a long leash, and it’s got that look in its eye like it wants to tussle. Just as we’re about to pass one another the woman shortens up the leash, pulling the dog next to her. We pass. Immediately I feel something grabbing the back of my leg. I turn: the woman and the dog are walking away.
“Get that fucking dog off of me,” I yell at the woman.
The woman stops and faces me. “Well good morning to you too,” she replies. The dog says nothing.
“Your dog grabbed me.”
“It didn’t grab you.”
“Yes it did, you bitch.”
“Oh, so I’m a bitch now?”
“You’re both bitches.” Woman and dog walk away. I’m still standing there, yelling after them: “That’s a fucking pit bull. If you can’t control it better than that, you should get it off the street. Or better yet, let it off the leash so it can go for my throat.” I continue my usual route, make the turn by the open field, and head home.
* * *
EVENING UPDATE. Today just wasn’t a good day for me to go outside. My afternoon run took me to the library (where I dropped off a book for my wife and picked up Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash for myself). Two different cars almost hit me, both times when I was in a pedestrian crosswalk. The first guy seemed to be looking right at me as I approached, but as I was passing directly in front of his car he started driving toward me. I had to take evasive action to avoid being hit. When I yelled at the driver he acted like I’d dropped out of the fucking sky directly in front of his car. I swore at him and gave him the finger; he returned the gesture and drove off. Not two minutes later it happened again, at a different crosswalk. THESE FUCKING ASSHOLES, I yelled, and this time the car actually stopped to let me pass. The library book and I both made it home intact.