Seriously--I had the strangest day.
There was taking T to get his prescription, wandering the pet store, trying to finish this damned book--all of that had a patina of general weirdness over it, but nothing, NOTHING tops the morning walk.
For starters, this was the morning I left the house with only one poop bag.
Normally, this isn't a problem-- two dogs, two leashes, two little containers with rolls of poop bags inside them. One of the containers went empty yesterday and, as I was pulling on the bag in the other container...oops!
It's my last bag.
Note-- we do have TWO dogs.
And I shit you not (heh heh heh) it was the little poop bag that COULD--managed three dumps in that puppy (heh heh heh) but after the third dump, it was done, I was ready to throw it away and generally, things would have gone very ill in my neighborhood if someone caught me letting my dogs dump on their lawn without a poop bag.
But this is where being a friendly person comes in handy.
See, before I knew I only had one poop bag, I'd passed a young father, walking his son AND his dog at the same time. I pulled my dogs to one side of the street, he used the other, and we waved at each other as if to say, "Yes, we could enjoy this walk together, if only, you know. Dogs. Fucking dogs. Oh well."
Anyway, we were walking the same route in different directions, as I discovered on the other side of the loop, when I saw him.
I moved to one side of the street, he stayed on his side, and that's when it hit me.
"Uh, hi!" I called, feeling like seven shades of dumbass. "Do you, uh, have an extra poop bag?"
He nodded, pulled it out, showed it to me, and then set it down on the ground, pushing it with his foot so it wouldn't get caught by a stray breeze. I waited patiently as he walked about three houses down, and then crossed the street with my dogs and got the bag.
Which, yes, I used later.
The whole thing had the air of two spies in unfriendly territory, exchanging information.
Who knew there could be that much espionage in a poop bag.
So that was one thing.
The other thing happened a few houses down, where I came upon a guy standing in the middle of the street with a leaf blower.
The guy himself was, well, unusual. About ten years older than I am, wearing a velour track suit with the zipper pulled down, he had Nor-Cal star tats on his wrist, and a pierced chin with a christmas earring dangling from each piercing, like a fu manchu mustache.
I smiled at him (because it's been working well for me so far) and waved, and he proceeded to break my heart.
See, his cat had just died.
He'd found it--hit by a car--and he was devastated. Just destroyed. His section of street is NOT meant to be traveled fast--he's at the mouth of a cul de sac and at the end of some pretty narrow turns in a heavily residential area. There's no reason anybody should be driving fast enough to not stop for a cat. And this wasn't just "a cat"-- this was his BABY. The cat that followed him to the bathroom, the cat who talked to him when he cleaned the house. All of his cats were spoiled (they had little beds with matching heating pads. MATCHING HEATING PADS. Sayin'.) But this one was dearest to his heart, and he found it.
He was going to blow leaves because he's addicted to home improvement and he liked to keep the neighborhood nice.
What he really needed was someone to talk to, and, well, lonely dog walker here. I was his to do with as he pleased.
What he did was show me his pirate ship.
"Hey, lady, wanna see my pirate ship?" may sound like a come on from a bad porn movie--but in this case, it was an invitation to see his painstakingly created backyard.
You can see from the pictures, it's amazing. Like any craftsman, he knew where every piece came from, and he gave me a detailed picture of what it takes to build something like this using scraps, sales, rope borrowed from neighbors and lots of time on Craigslist. I know that if I'm knitting something for someone else, they have to hear details about yarn, fiber content, weight, needles, pattern, and designer, so I totally got the explanation.
He'd loved doing this.
He wanted to share.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with Tim--and I do hope his brother got there soon with the kitten he was bringing, because the poor guy was broken hearted and needed something to cheer him up.
I went on my way--and about four houses down, I got to use my borrowed poop bag.
Because, I guess, good neighbors come in all forms.