15 August 2010

Other ladies probably get raccoons for spirit animals and I get Iggy Pop and a panda bear.

So I just came off of a work week that had way too many days of work in a row without a day off. I know. LOTS of you do this all the time. Who needs stinkin' days off when you're a rugged sea captain in a jaunty sea cap doing important work? You have a vocation, a calling, a horribly troubling boss and suck it up, dog lady. Too tired to even snively whine on the blog this week because you had extra hours in your self employed days filled with people paying you for rainbows and ponies decorated with ribbons and flowers in their flowing manes?

Can you see me here? I am sighing and leaning back in my chair and, yes. Because of my sensitive constitution, if I do not have some blank spots here and there to wander aimlessly about, this thing happens to me where I start talking about stainless steel appliances and sports bras and personal growth and then gets so bad I wake up one day up in a Julia Roberts massive tooth induced panic attack during an Eat Pray Love matinee, slathered in house brand CVS moisturizer wearing an acrylic sweater and eating sushi and if it got that bad, then, yeah, I'd probably have to change my name and cast off all my pens in lieu of killing myself and either way, no Team Small Dog. I am already 3 pairs of Gap jeans closer to this nightmarish apparition and it is only the safety of vision quest that keeps that trigger in check.

I saw this vision of my no day off self driving to work the other morning. I was stuck behind her, and she was in a hunter green Toyota Camry with it's back window full of stuffed bears in a funereal diorama surrounding a decorative kleenex box. The wake included a panda, in what may have been a daring inclusion of other races or maybe just a panda. I admit, I'll never know. And the Camry was driving really slow. Really, really, really slow and all I could think about was that I needed some more coffee and by this point, plain coffee wasn't going to do it and I was going to need to contribute to global warming and child slavery and god knows what else by going to the Starbucks and getting a skinny vanilla latte in a paper Starbucks cup and first of all having to say that word, skinnyvanillalatte, then drinking the horror and thinking about dying and going to hell the entire time. Every last 100 calorie/zero fat drop.

But the thing was, if I hadn't been stuck behind the slow moving Camry, I wouldn't have seen Iggy Pop. There he was. Right there on Mission Street. In my very own neighborhood. Teetering on the curb. Like about to jump into traffic, which probably wouldn't have killed him if he had jumped into my lane because of the freakishly careful driving of what may have been a sweet grandma but could just as easily have been a raving bitch who terrorized her kids their whole lives and is the secretly hated one at water aerobics class. The fact that I don't know which still makes me squint my eyes a lot and screw up my face in more new forehead wrinkles and bolt awake in the middle of the night.

But there he was. Rock star sighting. Just like when once when I was in LA and Flea almost drove into my lane in his giant SUV. I used to see rock stars all the time, or at least occasionally, when I was down there and having a day off. Back when I had time to have days off and time to do a day of errands in Hollywood that might end wandering around the maze that is Fred Segal and bumping to Jordan Catalano in the mens pants. Iggy Pop was in a down jacket and no shirt, because Iggy Pop never wears a shirt and because it's really cold here in the mornings now. Global warming apocalypse is upon us and in the morning in the summer it always rains a slow damp drizzle and this is something we have to buck up and learn to accept. Because we know cannibalism isn't far behind. And if we haven't bred, then at least we don't have to connive to save our spawn but our dogs are certainly not safe.

Iggy Pop was teetering and ready to leap into traffic. His jeans were skinny and coated in years of sludge and his hair was stiff with that orange Sun-in product and his buddy pulled him back from the brink. Iggy Pop backed up and threw up his hands in that universal sign of, WHATEVER Dude, with buggy eyes and frantic shaking head and his buddy had a big mustache and I'm guessing was his agent or his manager or maybe his personal finance director. Who was really trying to help him out, but apparently, that was an issue. They were both really slim. Either personal trainer slim or skinny vanilla latte slim or the lean look of meth and a life spent outdoors with a bottom shelf clear liquid. A lifestyle they've learned to accept, like it or not.

So I'm always hoping for this spirit animal vision to enlighten me and drop a winning lottery ticket in my lap, in a little plastic easter basket with those flowing bike handlebar things streaming from the handle, plastic easter grass flying out as it plummets down from the sky and nearly missing the deserving neighborhood children to drop down into my lap. And instead I get an elderly driver who is probably going to have her license tearfully ripped from her grasp any day and Iggy Pop in his downward spiral and a Toyota Camry. I knew this was an important message and I wrote it down at once in my reporter's notebook which I use to write stuff down when I drive, which means, don't drive near me, probably. And in thinking about this message, I can see that it's grave. Very grave. In a vampires like Bill Compton who sleep in the dirt and yet speak so beautifully kind of grave way.

You see these wakeup call vision quests, kittens? They make you freakout and get the dogs to the park really fast, for at least the shortest of walks in the crappiest of fields, but to make sure to count them and be sure they're all there and that you didn't go nearly brain dead in the blink of an eye? Maybe yours look different, but I bet they scare you just as much, down to the shivering core, to where you're on your knees, scrubbing the black bits out of the floor cracks, and trying to remember all the words to that song you used to know, a really long time ago.

6 comments:

Elayne said...

I want to know how you can ever be sure it's really Iggy Pop and not some scary ancient homeless meth addict who's been frying in the sun for far too many years.

Coincidentally I was just listening to 'Punkrocker' on the way home from my dog trial so maybe it's a sign that it really was him.

Mary said...

Who is Jordan Catalano?

For that matter, who is Iggy Pop?

I really wish my spirit animal were like a soaring eagle or spirited stallion (I know, gender confusion, yes, an issue beginning with wanting to be a cowboy - but, hey does anyone REALLY want to be a cowgirl? Well, except the very cool cowgirl that Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice dressed up, but I don't think they had cowgirls like that in my formative years), or at least Otterpop. But I think it is some species of small rodent.

So, why bother going on a brave vision quest such as that undertaken by Team Small Dog every day of her life? I really doubt that rodent spirit animals generate a lot of interesting signs such as Zippy Pop sights (whoever s/he is).

On the other hand, maybe it's a hibernating rodent. In fact, I'm sure that's my spirit animal. A hibernating rodent. No wonder I have sleep issues. From now on: winter vacations for hibernating!

Thanks for triggering my very own self-absorbed reportage of vision quest at keyboard! Yours is the best Personal Help Blog ever!!!

team small dog said...

Now come on Elayne. What are the chances some guy walking down Mission Street at 7:30 in the morning with a backpack is just some homeless guy and not really Iggy Pop?

Mary, you personally atttended the '70's. You know Iggy Pop. But maybe you did miss My So Called Life. Jared Leto went on to star in a movie about a famous track runner and have a band and date Cameron Diaz then sort of vanish away, like a vapor. But Jordan Catalano was his life defining role.

Maybe it's hard to conjure up spirit animals as a quiz question. I guess they just have to reveal themselves, like mine did. You will know, someday.

Elayne said...

Point taken. But I don't know, I still think it could go either way.

Elf said...

OK, right here with this single post, you have convinced me not to get a third dog.

What's the connection? Who knows. But thanks anyway, it was a revelation.

team small dog said...

It might have been the panda!