with toothpick and soapy water at the utility sink. and i’m pissed.

Dogshit is a mysterious phenomena. Perhaps, if explored in a macrocosmic way, it is more predictable than I’ve experienced; studied on a global chaos-theory level both the intensity, size, and regularity of dogshit deposits found in urban areas reveals a dotted-swiss pattern that loses any irregularities or in distribution and incidence. But in my studies – involuntary ones, I might add – I have yet to find any magic formula or even guestimation to help predict and avoid this particular bane of my existance. It existed in Port Townsend in mysterious, irregular manner; and despite my friend Abbi’s surprised observance she didn’t see it anywhere while visiting us, it exists here in HQX, too.

Take my parents’ yard. All my life I have been confused whether it was a Shangri-la or shits-a-lot. The yard is, due to the sixty-odd-and-up inches of rain a year in Grays Harbor, almost perennially lush and green, expansive, huddled with beautiful flowers and trees and singing leaves. Usually the kind of yard you’d like to run in, arms out and dirndl twirling, belting out song. Many a day and night we’ve piled leaves, rolled in the verdant, scented grass – greener and more vital here than anyplace I’ve been – to chew on blades while talking about nothing in particular and having nowhere to go. Then again sometimes amidst the greenery lurk foul, monstrous fecal landmines so voluminous they seem to have emerged from nothing smaller than the ratty ass of a bloated Clydesdale. One time in high school my friend Zoe (or maybe it was Shannon) brought in on her shoe so much shit from the yard that even after (unknowingly) laying down tracks on the porch, entry, kitchen and living room there was STILL enough on the shoe for the other girl (again, I can’t remember who delivered and who was sullied) to slip on a last and fatally thick track about an inch deep and two feet long somehow spread over my parents’ tasteful charcoal-and-rose living room carpet.

This season’s latest featured nugget-land is a small tab of city sidewalk at my parents’ front entrance, the entrance generally used the least. Despite a fair amount of rain this season a peppering of tiny but loathesome turds seems to always accompany this little patch, both on the concrete itself and winking from behind blade of grass or clump of lawn clipping. This afternoon, too busy feeling sick, herding children inside for an ice cream cone, trying to struggle my daughter – just having received three booster shots which are worse for a fully-sentient child who knows what it means than the two-month baby sitting chubby, cheerful, and unknowing in your arms – struggle my daughter into her hoodie, I’m afraid I wasn’t thinking about this patch of lawn. It wasn’t until later, sitting on my parents leather sofa with my foot characteristically tucked under my ass and flipping through a tattered copy of Patriot Games that I suddenly became aware someone – oh God, let it not be one of my children – someone had stepped in some foul slimy mustard-brown dog-ass concoction. Well, guess what? It wasn’t my children. Guess what else? Of course it was the foot I was sitting on.

Our recent mental flirtations on adopting a dog of our own have once again ebbed into nothingness.

Thanks to nature’s healing processes, more rest (which in turn, was accomplished by the help of others: primarily to my husband but also my mother, my brother, my friend Amy, and possibly, but doubtfully, my father), the good doctor’s good advice, and whatever is in Afrin – I am feeling much, although not all the way better. Today I was able to cope with help from aforementioned Amy (who watched Nels for a few hours this morning) and my husband worked a full day. Thank God.

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