Oblivion and the Dogwalker
The other day I ran into a lady on my hall who I’d met many weeks back. I see her around the Clay Lofts minimum security compound quite a bit, but we never really get the chance to chat. The other day she was in the hallway tugging the cute bulldog I always see three balconies over. “I love him! I love him, I love him,” I cried as I jogged up to them.
Lady: You need to calm down. He gets overly excited around people.
Carolyn: Wow. That’s tough. You know, with the insane amount of people in the world and all.
Lady: Just try not to raise your voice or pet him too excitedly.
Carolyn: Right on. So what’s his name? How long have you had him?
[Prolonged silence. The lady stopped, pirouetted toward me, and stared me down.]
Lady: He’s not my dog.
Lady: I’m not your neighbor.
Carolyn: Okie doke.
Lady: I don’t even live in your building.
Carolyn: The plot thickens.
Lady: I live in the next building over. I’m a dogwalker.
Carolyn: Roger that.
Lady: Haven’t you noticed me walking different dogs every time you see me?
Carolyn: Apparently not.
Lady: We’ve met twice before. Do you even remember my name?
[Prolonged silence. I stopped, pirouetted toward the bulldog, and stared him down in the hopes that he could telepathically share with me some key information.]
Lady: I know your name. It’s “Carol.”
Here’s the first thought that occurred to me: Man, I hate the name “Carol.” Now for the record, she could have called me Hermione or Aphrodite or Vestibule and I would have been happier than her having called me “Carol.” (Yes, I know “vestibule” isn’t a woman’s name. It’s today’s vocabulary word. This blog is nothing if not educational.)
And here’s the second thought that occurred to me: My attention to detail borders on the nonexistent. What car does that guy drive? What was that woman wearing? What did that house, building, theater, church, restaurant, store look like? I have no idea. I couldn’t write a memoir if I tried. Let’s just say there’s a reason I write fiction.
Lady: I’m still here.
Carolyn: Sorry. My brain’s awhirl. Mind if we start over? I’m Carolyn …