Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Scratching My Brain

On my way home today I saw a dead dog on the side of the road. It was at the northbound connection between the 91 and the 110. I don't know if the dog had caused an accident but there were two cars stopped just ahead of where he lay and at least one of the travelers was emotionally distressed in a way that seemed incommensurate with a minor fender bender. It was a singularly awful image.

The dog appeared to be a large pit bull but I can't be sure of that. I think rigor mortis had set in and there wasn't a lot of blood visible. Just one bent paw hanging off of a straight front leg and the head bent at an impossible angle. The neck was clearly broken but it might have happened after the dog died.

As I made my way past the death scene I became aware of a gross little coincidence. A Florence + The Machine song with the hook, "the dog days are over," was playing on the radio station (98.7FM Rockoholics station). I felt like puking or like I was on the cusp of vomiting.  It was sort of like a headache but instead of pain there is an itchy hollowness, a thorough discomfort and sadness. I don't know of any way to assuage that feeling. It's the same thing I felt while watching Magic Mike. If there had been a tall building to jump from I might have taken my chances.

I listen to the radio sometimes while I drive. It feels a little anachronistic now but I didn't have a cable to connect my phone to the stereo. So there I was with a song I was unsure of my feelings toward and was trying to make up my mind until I saw that dog's appendages suspended in the early evening air like a broken tree branch. I lost track of the song until I was past the corpse.

Some things make me really hate being alive. It's not shame or anger. On some level I like both shame and anger. It's a hopelessness that sets in from time to time that makes me really wish that I could be ripped apart molecule by molecule and spread across the universe. Not to be dead but to just not be at all.

I feel horrible for animals in a way that I can never feel for an adult human. Tragedy with people makes more sense than some dog that, perhaps if I had known the dog I would have hated the dog, really doesn't have much say in what goes on with its life. If the dog's owners had trained it (or not trained it, depending on the circumstances) to live close to a feral state in its manners it still wouldn't know any better and would be exploding inside as it got tossed off a truck bed (or whatever vehicle) by the one being the dog really knows to love. That just bothers me in ways I can't own up to.

I'm not really a total sucker for the Sara McLachlan commercials because I just keep thinking, "this song is painful," and, "Sara, how about you chip off a few mil and leave me the hell alone?" But the animal faces do get to me. Somehow I ended up driving home thinking about how easy it is to see through the matrix but how hard it is to actually fight it or leave it behind. I have an unfathomable amount of debts that I'm currently scared to pay because it would mean eating a lot less and maybe even moving into a more dangerous place. I have my dumb comforts that aren't very comforting and the dead dog punctured me for a few hours. I'll be fine. I'll probably wake up back in my normal haze tomorrow morning. My string of self-loathing came to a head when I remembered Jessie Bernstein saying, "just because something disturbs me I like to think it is important." Well, the weird air still pervades my being. But I'm not as sick as I was earlier. I still want to scratch and smush my brain until it stops itching me.