Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#1 - Pet Peeve

Every day is the same. Standing on the unstable wooden ladders, plucking bright red apples from the trees as I try my best not to fall. You could say I have the worst balance in the world, or you could say that all my experiences with ladders are just unfortunate. But everyday goes the same, I pick the apples and place them in wooden wicker baskets, then I carry the baskets one by one to my truck. I drop them off at the farmer’s market and receive my paycheck every Friday. On the average day, I arrive home, as the homeless dog that lives on the street barks at me, and I carry my groceries to the third floor of the apartment complex.

Everyday, as my truck pulls up to that parking space, the little creature gets up from his spot by the metal bench and stands on all fours, his back arched slightly, as he barks at me like I’m a squirrel. I am not a squirrel. Never once did I take any action to try to offend that poor owner-less dog. His barks are loud and deep, how could such a small animal make a ridiculously loud sound like that? And after a long day of my droning and repetitive job, when I’m covered in sweat and I have a migraine due to heat exhaustion and dehydration, I get barked at. It’s the kind of thing that makes you tense up whenever it occurs, you could even call it a pet peeve. Yes, a pet peeve. The bellowing noise seems to ring in my ears even after I’m in my apartment and out of earshot.

But today, that dog did not bark at all. I’m so used to fumbling with my car keys, trying to lock the doors, feeling utterly disoriented and overwhelmed as the dog barks and barks and barks. When I noticed the absence of the ringing noise in my ears, I looked around, doing a second take. The area felt overall peaceful, but I felt that something was wrong. Why was the dog not barking angrily at me? Why wasn’t he sitting by that bench on the sidewalk? Maybe someone picked him up and took him to a local dog pound? My mind raced for possibilities of this change, but then it struck me, why did I care so much about this annoying dog? He would endlessly bark at me every day when I arrive home for work, so why should I even care?

Maybe it’s my issue with change, one detail left out of my daily routine seems to throw my entire mind off. Maybe that’s it, but why would I care about the absence of one of my strongest pet peeves that occurs on a daily basis?