April 4, 2017

The Quarter-Life Crisis

I sitting on the floor in the middle of the kitchen. My hair's dripping wet, with a puddle of water sitting in between my legs, absorbing new droplets. My towel is slowly slipping off my body as I stare at the hairs on my knees that I missed shaving last week.

 

"Jesus," my brother says disturbingly, walking into the apartment. "What happened to you, you look like shit."

...

 

"Sweet Pea," I mumble to my dog as I'm pulling her down the street, "come on, man."

 

She hates walking. In fact, she hates anything that doesn't involve cuddling and food. At first, I thought this would advantageous to my lifestyle, however, I'm realizing that I'm not as emotionally needy as I thought I was.

 

Don't yell or you're gonna lose your shit. I yelled at her once before which resulted in me crying in the middle of the main street as she ate popcorn off the ground.

 

"Okay," I look down at her, "we'll just go where you wanna go because I can't take your shit right now." I unwrap the leash from hand and pat her stomach with encouragement. Under her direction, she takes us to a park close by. This park is known to have a lot of stray cats and refugees - the two are not mutually exclusive. As we enter the park, I notice a group of refugees sitting on a slope, with their eyes closed, facing the sun. I start smiling, thinking I should capture this moment but then I remember I'm only capable of taking selfies. I close my eyes and lift my face up, feeling the rays of sun seeping into my skin, absorbing the energy. My mind drifts off as I feel my dog pulling the leash as she rolls on the ground. I open my eyes, looking down in horror.

 

Sweet Pea's head is completely covered in shit. And from the smell and smooth texture, I can confirm it's human shit. I stare at her in silence as she gets up from the grass, wagging her tail with delight as globs of shit fall off her face.

 

Oh my god, uh... okay. Okay cool, just take her home, right now, right fucking now. I grab the leash and start walking home quickly. Sweet Pea stops to pee as a woman stops to admire my dog's strong urinary stream.

 

"Why does she have spots on her body?" the woman asks curiously.

 

"What?" I say, slightly annoyed.

 

"Why does she have spots?"

 

"Why would you..." I rub my face with my hand, "don't you see she's covered in shit?  My dog's head is covered in shit!" I can feel my face becoming hot with anger as I wait for Sweet Pea to finish peeing. I practice breathing in slowly as I continue walking home with slight rage protruding through each step.

 

"What a stupid fucking question," I tell Sweet Pea as we walk home, "Yeah, how about I'll just ask your mother why you have fucking spots, she'll tell me why." We make it to the entrance of my apartment building. I try to close my eyes for a moment, building a plan in my head but the sound of drills and jackhammers from the construction outside of my building engulfs my mind.

 

How am I going to do this...okay, I'll have to shower her in the bathroom. Fuck, this construction is so annoying. Okay, okay, I'll keep her on the leash. Okay...okay...you'll have to take off your clothes. Yeah...you can't do this with clothes on. This fucking drilling, yeah, it'll be easy, just wash the shit off.

 

I walk up the stairs and into my apartment, dragging her straight into the bathroom. I push her into the in-walk shower, she sits down staring at me as I undress. I fold my clothes up and place them on the sink counter. Naked, I'm standing in front of my dog staring at her, as she's staring at me covered in shit.

 

"I can't fucking believe this," shaking my head as I walk into the shower. I turn the water on, hover above her, with her body in between my thighs, squeezing her in place. I push her head under the showerhead, watching the floor turn a dark greeny brown. I can see her white fur starting to come into sight and suddenly, the water stops. I look up at the faucet with desperation.

 

"What!" I yell out as I move the faucet up and down, in and out. "No, no, no," I say, panicking, "no, no, no, there has to be water." I stare at my dog's shit covered head as I remember the construction.

 

They turned off the water, oh my god. There's no water... you just can't turn off the water. Okay, Natasha, don't panic, just wrap her head in an old towel and wait it out. 

I turn around and grab one of her doggy towels. Turning back, I see Sweet Pea moving her body slowly, preparing to shake.

 

"Sweet Pea," I yell out to my deaf dog, "No, don't do that, no, no, no--"

 

Sweet Pea starts to shake as I watch shit fly everywhere.

 

"NOOOOOOOOO!" I scream out, as I hold the towel up, covering my face.

 

The shaking stops and silence swallows the room.

 

Don't look. Just don't move the towel. 

 

I slowly move the towel from my face, "oh my god," I repeat out loud again and again. I drop the towel on the ground and stare at my shower. Everything is covered in shit. My shower walls look like they've been in an episode of CSI Miami and my body looks like it could be a part of an abstract art installation promoting environmental protection. The smell fills my nostrils as my dog comes to lick my leg.

 

"Sweet Pea," I whisper at her as she continues to lick my leg. "Just stay here," I say, gesticulating some hand signal that I know she won't listen to. I tiptoe out of the bathroom and into the kitchen.

 

You need to find water, thinking to myself as I turn on the kitchen sink faucet. Nothing comes out. Okay... so, you have no water. I'm standing in the kitchen on my tiptoes staring at Sweet Pea's water bowl. There's a film of saliva glazing the top of her full bowl.

Don't do it. Just wait it out, don't use her water bowl water, that's fucking gross...you have no choice Natasha, just take the fucking water and wash this shit off. 

 

I grab Sweet Pea's water bowl and tiptoe back into the bathroom. I get back into the shower and pour the cold water on my head letting it trickle down my body, washing the drying bits off. Sweet Pea lays on the shower floor beside me, licking the fallen remnants.

I wrap myself in a towel, with the dog bowl in my hand and walk into the kitchen. I walk right into a puddle of water, losing my balance and landing on the hardwood floor.

 

"Fuck you!" I yell out, feeling the heat rise up my neck as the tears start to fill my eyes. "I'm 26," my body starts to shake, "I'm fucking 26 years old!" running my hands through my hair, pulling it back tightly, I feel my face being stretched from side to side. "Everyone is just trying to fuck me! I'm fucking tired of it! Fuck you!" Out of breath, I take a pause letting go of my hair, dropping my hands on the floor in defeat. "Fuck yoooooou!" I yell out as I slam my fists against the floor, feeling the heat rise crawling up through my neck again. "I don't want to do this anymore, I'm fucking tired of being fucked all the time by fucking fucks! You're choking me! You're fucking choking me!" My hands fall limp onto the ground as I let the tears fall into the shit infested puddle of water in between my legs.

 

Sweet Pea walks over to me slowly, squeezing her head under my arm, licking my chin. "No, Sweet Pea," I say, petting her with one hand while I wipe my dripping nose into my arm, "you don't understand. No one takes me seriously, they just want to fuck me. I don't... want to... be fucked," I say in between sobs, "I just want...to fucking...live my life."

 

I'm staring at the hairs on my knees that I missed shaving last week. I can never shave my knees properly. My breathing steadies at a slow pace as my towel slowly slips off my body. It falls onto the floor.

 

"Jesus," my brother says concerningly, walking into the apartment. "What happened to you...you look like shit."

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Chapter 1
October 25, 2019
Chapter 2
January 13, 2020
Chapter 3
August 21, 2019
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