Window Woman

So, I’m minding my own business the other night, walking my dog down the block for her nightly exercise, when a woman opens her window, sticks her head outside, and starts yelling, “Hey! Do me a favor and walk your dog on another block! I don’t like dogs hanging around outside the house.”

As I ignore her, and almost on cue, my dog squats down to relieve her bladder.

“Oh, thank God, she’s only peeing, and not taking a sh*t,” I thought to myself.

“Now, see! That’s not nice! Pick that up!” the woman in the window yells.

“Do you have a rag I could borrow?” I ask her, “because she took a piss and it’s kinda hard for me to pick that up.”

“Oh. Well, just next time, walk her down the other block, would ya?”

“Whateverrrr,” I retorted.

The next morning, I walk my dog down the block, as I normally do. Out of spite, I loiter around the curb in front of the window woman’s house. Ever loyal to my wishes, my dog does her thing right there, for which I praise her loudly (and so that window woman could hear me), “Good girl!”

Like a responsible dog owner, and consistent with what I always do, I cleaned up after my dog.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see the curtains ruffle in the woman’s window. She didn’t open her window, although I was secretly hoping she would.

I wanted to let her know that no one, not even she, can tell me where I can and cannot walk my dog. It’s my neighborhood and my block, too. I’m a responsible dog owner, and I take pride in my block. I refuse to walk down another block just because she doesn’t like dogs hanging around outside her house.

And more importantly, I just wanted to let her know, in my own, silent, way, “Don’t.f*”


I met EH about thirteen years ago. He had stayed at my house for a few nights when he came to visit his son, SH, my boyfriend at the time. He was a big, but gentle, man who liked to give bear hugs and tell stories of his youth. He was an excitable speaker, and I was an avid listener, and so we got along famously. Unfortunately, he did not have such good communication with his children. SH and his two sisters all fought with him constantly. Many times I never understood why they were so angry with him. Sure, he had his little quirky ways about him, but there was no doubt that he loved his children. All three of his children, including SH, are all free-spirited individuals that do not like to be tied down to conventional ways of life. EH understood that, but that didn’t stop him from giving his opinions on their hippy-like lifestyles. Sadly, his children did not appreciate his opinions, and all three of them had stopped talking to him.

Last month, I talked to SH online and asked him about his father. He told me that he had not talked to his father in two years.

“How is your dad? I asked.

Not sure… have not spoken for 2 years.”

Ohhh… I thought things were going well between you two.”

“I just needed a break to define who I am as a man instead of adopting his patterns and mistaking them for mine.”

‘I see.”

“Maybe someday before he dies we can try again, but he just pissed me off, and I don’t need people in my life who piss me off.”

“I see.”

“Life is too short, even if it is your own family.”

“Life is too short, and maybe that’s why you should just give up your anger and call him… you don’t have to be friends with him, but at least be friendly with him

‘I have no time for people like that…Maybe someday I will have more patience.”

I didn’t agree with SH, but what could I say? I let it go.

Yesterday, I got this message from SH:

My sisters just called me and told me my dad shot himself yesterday. He’s dead.”

As I read his message, I couldn’t help but think about our conversation, just last month.

“Maybe someday I will have more patience.”

Sometimes, the somedays just come too late.

Putting All the Pieces Together

This past Friday, I became thirty-seven years old.
I have never really liked birthdays much (my own). I love celebrating other people’s birthdays, but when it comes to my own, I am anti-celebratory. My birthday has always been a time of reflection for me, and a personal gage of how much I have accomplished (or not accomplished) from year to year.
For many reasons, this birthday was one of the most melancholy that I have ever experienced. The worst birthday that I have ever had was my twenty-ninth, the year that my sister passed away, twelve days before my birthday. This birthday is a close second.
I am going through many changes in my life, many of which have been beyond my control. I have been trying valiantly to keep all the pieces of my life together, but sometimes the pieces are so misshapen, that I do not know how they can possibly fall into place. I know that eventually the pieces do fall where they are supposed to fall, but like any puzzle, the fight to find the proper fit and the frustration in doing so can take its toll.
I am doing the best that I can.
Meanwhile, I am thankful for the good things that I do have: a beautiful and healthy baby girl, a loving and supportive family, good health, and a job, despite my usual grievances, that pays the bills. And that’s enough of a birthday gift for me.
Cake from Villabate