Okay, so this is going to be a relatively quick post. But seriously, I really wish sometimes that I had a camera that followed me around and had footage of random bits of time within my weird life.
Like today, for instance. Not a particularly special day, by any means. It does happen to be payday, but that's beside the point. Anyway, so I wake up this morning, and decided I was going to try and get back into the swing of things and start taking better care of myself. I've been in a bit of a funk for a while now, not really taking time to focus on things I enjoy doing and instead filling my idle time with much drinking and being lazy. So I thought, Hey, you've been lazy for long enough. Time to get off your ass, get outside, and go for a run.
There's a park just a few blocks away from my place in North Hollywood that is prime territory for running. It's not paved, which is great because my knees can't handle high impact stuff, and there are always people there jogging, or with their kids, or just hanging out. The rec center is there too, and the library, and it's just a nice little green patch in an otherwise bustling metropolis.
I'm not crazy about running, by any means. In fact, I hate it with a passion. But I made myself a deal - I had to go once around the track, equating one mile. Seems fair enough, I told myself. It's like having a treadmill, but much more scenic. Oh yeah, and it's free.
So I go over there, stretch, and start plugging along; running, then walking, then running the rest of the way. Now that it's cooled off a little, it doesn't feel so bad, and I can feel the endorphin rush, that fantastic runner's high. And it feels good. There, I tell myself. That wasn't so bad, was it? And it wasn't. I felt great. I was a little sweaty, and red in the face, but I didn't feel like I was going to die, and that was good enough for me.
Feeling quite proud of myself for taking the initiative, I began the walk home. About halfway there, I could here the high-pitched yapping of some little dog behind me, muffled against the music being fed into my ears from my iPod. The street I was on is lined with about a billion houses, so a dog yapping at me is a very ordinary sound to hear, and naturally I didn't think much of it.
I was walking on the sidewalk, on the right side of the street, passing an apartment complex that has a wrought-iron fence around it. From the corner of my eye, I saw a small dog - a Rat Terrier or something - run alongside the inside of the fence, barking at me. I then watched in astonishment as it casually slipped under the fence, and then, to my horror, began chasing after me, nipping at my leg.
Keep in mind, this dog was only about as big as my shoe - which is still big, when you consider my shoe size, but I was about to put my shoe up this dog's ass if it didn't stop. So I'm kinda turning in circles, kicking at this damn dog, and it's snapping and barking at me, and it can probably smell my fear.
Why would I be afraid of such a minuscule mutt, you ask? Once, I had to break up a fight between a couple dogs I had. Like an idiot, I did the thing you should never, ever do in a dog fight - I put my hand in the middle of them. And I got bitten. Not badly, but I still have a nice scar on my fingertip where the canine tooth sank into my flesh. And that wound, though small, was obnoxiously painful and bled for days. Since then, my view of the canine species has been a little shaken. And though it would have been different had this been, say, a pitbull, there is still something about a strange animal with razor sharp fangs and a hankering for human flesh coming toward me that puts my nerves a little on the edge.
I kept kicking at it, and trying to evade the impending attack, all while looking for the neglectful owner so I could punch him or her in the face for letting this vicious animal loose, but the little bugger was relentless and kept on nipping at my heels. So, I ran.
This was, I think, the stupidest possible thing I could have done at this juncture. The little bastard was fast. Really fast. And though I may not be the fastest runner I know, when the adrenaline is pumping I can still cover a considerable distance. Plus I had the added incentive of the thought of those little white razor-blade teeth sinking into my leg, and the resulting lawsuit that would surely follow, to keep me moving. But the dog was always right there, hot on my trail.
Just as I turned around to meet my fate, wincing in anticipation of the pain that was sure to be coming my way, he stopped, hearing his owner (finally) calling for him. I felt as though I was a mile away from the woman calling her precious Fifi back home for a savory meal, and grew angry not at the fact that it took her so long to get her ass out of the house to get that stupid dog, but the fact that here I was, nearly six feet tall, running and screaming like a child from a five-pound Rat Terrier.
I think I yelled something back at her, like "What the fuck lady" and "I'm gonna get some mace for that damn thing next time" but in the heat of my embarrassment I really can't remember what was said, I only remember thinking that I have never in my life been so glad I don't work for the United States Postal Service.
In closing, if you happened to be having a lousy day, or if you're feeling bad, or you just need to laugh, then close your eyes, and picture me, Heidi Charisse Miller, five feet ten inches tall, running for her life from a dog the size of her shoe. I'm laughing now.