A friend of mine called her post-divorce/raising small kids years, “the dark ages”. It’s seems like struggle is the word of the day, every day. Still, it’s good. It’s good mainly because it could be a lot worse. I suppose it’s boring not to struggle. We all sit with our worries and try to make the best of it. Yesterday and today have been challenging for me. There’s no time to mow the yard. There’s no time to mop the floor. There’s no time for mindless television watching in a clean house with all work done and chores complete. There’s not enough money to pay every bill on time. The girls don’t want to go to bed, they don’t want to get up. They don’t want to eat this, they don’t want to drink that. It’s a constant negotiation. It’s exhausting. I don’t have time to take a walk. Still, it’s good because it could be a lot worse. I was driving home from taking my daughters to school today and tried to save a dog. I couldn’t convince this dog to get in my car. He was a collie and beautiful. Well, he would have been beautiful had he been groomed. He was very matted and appeared to be blind. He was limping. At first, I drove past him with voices in my head of people I never want to listen to saying that I couldn’t stop and help this dog. “What business do you have bringing another animal home? How will you afford the vet bill? How could you help a blind limping animal? What if this filthy animal hates children, cats and other dogs? What if this dog has rabies and bites you?”
Well, I couldn’t help this dog because I couldn’t catch him. Running after a strange animal through the backyards of strangers was clearly not going to be successful. I let it go. I walked back to my car and drove home. It made me feel very sad that I could not help this dog.
I go home, I shower and head to my 10am appointment. I actually had two 10am appointments because I am scattered. But they were both at the same place, making it silly but doable. While driving down Edgewood Avenue, I notice a man on the sidewalk staggering very dramatically. Then he falls flat on the pavement and doesn’t get up. The driver of the car in front of me seems to also see this. We both turn our cars around. We roll down our windows and ask if the other has seen this man fall down. This other driver is another woman and we park our vehicles and go to see what has happened. This man is pretty incoherent and apparently drunk. He is bleeding from the head wound he got from hitting the pavement. It turns out the other person who stopped to help, Renee, works with mentally ill patients at Peninsula. She’s able to soothe this man and call 911 at the same time. My job seems to be keeping this man from falling into oncoming traffic as he has made his way back onto his feet and veers from the sidewalk to the street and into people’s yards, holding on to light poles along the way. We can’t seem to get him to sit down. We find out from this man that he was just discharged from St. Mary’s Hospital. Somehow he has made his way across Broadway. He’s trying to get to his house, which is several blocks away. People pass by. Men in trucks who don’t stop but they stare. Another car pulls over with two women. They stay in their car but they stay until the situation is under control making sure that we have things handled with this bloody man. A woman comes out from her house to check on us. She has hand sanitizer. I can’t help but notice that no men stop to help. In fact, one man is sitting on his porch while the injured man is lying in his yard with Renee trying to soothe him and me providing a buffer from this man and the street. The man sitting on his porch gets up and goes inside. He goes inside while two women and a bleeding stumbling incoherent man are in his front yard. The police arrive. The ambulance arrives. We leave.
Even though my life seems to sit in the midst of struggle and I can’t quite see how to change it. I am very grateful for it. I’m grateful I’m not a matted limping blind animal. I’m glad I’m not drunk and stumbling down the sidewalk. I’m especially glad that I’m not a man who leaves his porch to lock his door.
I really hope someone was able to help that dog today.