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Black Hole Dog House
October 14, 2021
It's hard to describe how it feels like a black hole, the Dog House. It's many short events that always, somehow drag out the time it takes to take my mom's dog out. Part of it is my fault, I guess, because of OCD. Put on my dog-walking pants over my clothes, so I don't have to touch things in the house, don't have to dodge the dog's tail. I used to just wear shorts and I always felt like they were dirty. And when I'd get back to my room I just felt dirty if I didn't shower and change. Put on heavy boots because I don't want to contaminate my shoes. Hallway full of oversized boxes, one holding two small jars, nothing else. I always have to wash my hands constantly and the sink is full of more trash than the day before when it was full of more trash than the day before when it was full of more trash than the day before. I have to do something with it because I have to wash my hands and I can't stand the flies. Mother talking the whole time I want to be nice but I'm a different person after a few of these tiny events. They could be called microaggressions just to underscore how alone I am in being affected by them. Large sickening flies, harbingers of feces or rot, crowd around fecal matter that somehow got trapped between the deck boards. I go back inside—she's talking the whole time—to get disinfectant, spray it to poison the area, bring the bottle back inside. Dog's water bowl is nearly empty, better than when I don't see him for a few days. Empty that, fill that. There's too much garbage, break down some cardboard. Put the collar on dog, wash hands, put the leash on. Take him out, he's slow, possibly too old but when I slow down for him he just ignores me entirely, tugging so hard that I have to drag him to make him move anywhere, forward or backward. I think he has to go back, don't think he's doing well, so I just drag him back downhill. Back at the house I just think about how this is my life because it never occurred to me that I could create my own, build a family, do anything. Because parents and school told me I'm too sick, incapable, and the media said the world is overpopulated, it's wrong to build a life, abortion is a human right, but human life isn't. When I get out, a new box blocking the door. I disassemble it, put the new stuff in the house. Fortunately it hasn't been touched yet so I can store the flattened thing in my car, and bring the plastic padding to the grocery recycling box. It all takes so long, and it's all invisible to everyone else.