I’m supposed to be a full-time writer. Yeah, right. My poor dead husband used to say I have a helium right hand. At every opportunity to give my time away to some good cause, my hand involuntarily rises in the air. “I’ll do it. I’ll do it. Let me.”
I’m incredulous that I’ve actually completed nine novels, four unpublishable, in which I taught myself how to write, and four modestly successful police procedural mysteries. And a new one wending its way through the production process.
I’m now holding the poop bags. Eight long years ago a tiny group of us started a dog park in the California mountain village where I live. We had to fight our way through indifference to outright antagonism, but finally a small park was created.
My dog hated it. She’d sooner poop in the forest than in that sissy dog park. So we dropped by just often enough to make sure everything was okay.
A vandal decided he wasn’t going to pay a join up fee so he kept destroying the lock on the gate. We gave up repairing it. No new members joined once the gate was left unlocked.
The homeowner board forced us to get an emergency telephone at $40/month. There was never an emergency, never even a dog fight. But slowly our reserve has dwindled and the prospect of fundraising is upon us.
Over the years the small group has also dwindled. My best friend moved away. The old guys that put up the fence and did the hard work have died. After six years of my being president, I hornswoggled another woman to take over. Then one day she announced she too was moving.
From the window of a car speeding by, she flung out the poop bags and said “Good luck. Have fun.” I’m still waiting to have fun with the poop bags.
She probably gave me a key to the lock of the poop bag station so that I could insert the bags. But over time it’s been lost. So for a week or two now I’ve been going up every day to pick up poop and stuff new bags into the poop bag station.
Our vandal has reappeared. The poop bags disappear every day—and I know there aren’t enough dog hind ends up there to use up the bags. Why would anyone steal poop bags when they are freely available at many other poop stations in the village?
People! That’s what’s wrong with the world. People—not dogs!
I still haven’t figured out what’s wrong with me.