Sunday, March 10, 2013

To This Day

In my obsession with TED talks and YouTube, I stumbled upon a fabulous spoken word poem, "To This Day" by Shane Koycz. It is an insightful and personal video about bullying, which, apparently, has been getting great attention on the internet. The poem itself is quite powerful, but when you hear it set to animation there is a richer layer of added meaning. It is seven and half minutes long.

I don't mean to brush off the seriousness of bullying with some light-hearted story, but I have to share with everyone what happened yesterday with Charlie, the bully. For those of you who have read my other posts, you are aware that anytime Charlie is let out in the back yard unpredictable events are bound to occur. Yesterday morning was just one of those times.

Charlie and I were up early. He immediately wanted to go out back, so I let him outside and watched from the back door window (since the back door doesn't lead directly out to the backyard, Charlie has to walk nine feet to the open gate by the garage). I can be an impatient person and wanted to be doing something while waiting for Charlie to do his ritualistic rounds of smelling everything in the yard while finding the perfect spot to do his business. Just standing at the back door is boring.

Honestly, the decision to multitask was probably a poor choice on my part; I'm just not good at it. I began to make coffee, opening up a new bag of grounds given to me by Michelle's parents for my birthday. After I broke the seal, I realized that this particular coffee didn't have one of those twisty things attached to close it back up. I needed to leave the kitchen to get tape or something from the other room to seal up this bag. Keeping a careful eye out the window, I didn't see Charlie. He must have been behind the garage. I waited. Still, there was no sign of Charlie. I made a calculated decision that I could make it to the other room and back to the kitchen without Charlie knowing.

Quickly, I retrieved the tape I so desperately needed and returned to the back door of the kitchen. Even still, there was no sign of Charlie. Doubt entered my mind. Was I not fast enough? In that brief moment, could it be possible that I missed him, and he slipped from the open gate, down the driveway, and to the front of the house? It has happened before. As my confidence in my multitasking morning began to diminish, I put the coffee away, stayed put at the back door window, and waited. No Charlie.

Then, a mad flash of a black and white cat whizzed from around the corner of the garage, through the gate, Charlie sprinting behind it in full speed, and both quickly disappeared out of sight down the driveway. I didn't have much time to think, half amused and half pissed that this was actually happening. I opened the back door and pretty much screamed, "Charlie, get back here!" at the top of my lungs, hoping he would hear. I know the dogs inside the neighbor's house heard, because they immediately began barking. I'm sure my neighbors were pleased.

I waited. Charlie did not appear. I began to wonder how intent he was on catching that cat and how far he had run in the front yard. But I wanted to keep the faith. So I didn't dare take a step down, out of the house, onto the driveway. Rather, I just left the door open and yelled Charlie's name one more time.

That was when I heard the pitter-patter of paws hitting pavement up the driveway. Charlie rounded the corned of the house, stopped, looked at me, and just starred at me, communicating his dissatisfaction with me ruining his early-morning bullyfest. "Get inside," I commanded.

I'm just surprised the cat didn't put up more of a fight. It was just as big as Charlie.

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