Saturday, July 04, 2009

bg/ish: Bonus 4th of July Edition

Contrary to my previous statement regarding not posting over this weekend, I am indeed "dropping" a bonus bg/ish today, the 4th of July that ironically, has nothing to do with the 4th of July.

I was a jerk this morning. Borderline asshole. Purposely. Intentionally. No regard. Without qualms. Dick. Jerk. Me.

I'll divulge the details of the situation shortly, but first I'd like to, in my own defense, state that this behavior is not typical of me, and thus this mornings events have triggered in me what may be an awareness of some strange moral comprimise that has taken root in my soul.

In my neighborhood I'm typically kind, outgoing, helpful, responsible and friendly. Many would coroborate this. This morning however, I was none of those things, and it was willfull, deliberate and at the very least, uncalled for.

This morning I was walking Chewie at Dolores Park like I do everyday. Every. Day. She has her typical places she likes to drop deuce, and one of them is over where the grass starts by the tennis courts. The courts are separated from the grass by fence, and a 4 foot wide paved path. The grass sprawls south of the courts and after about 25-30 feet grades uphill. The hill levels off about 40-50 feet from the courts.

It was near the top of this hill that Chewie decided to squat. I stood, waiting for her to finish, having been awake for all of 10 minutes at this point. I observed a doubles tennis tournament of some sort taking place on the 2 courts I stood facing. The participants seemed to be mostly be in their mid to late 40s, and were of widely varying race and color. There were other players waiting around the courts to play, and various spectators, all within the fenced area.

One of the players, in between a point, looked up in my direction and shouted, "Hey, could you please grab that ball and throw it back over here?"

He pointed to a ball that lay in the grass, near the fence, probably 30-40 feet downhill of where I stood. As soon as he asked me, he turned to play the next point. I bent down, scooped up Chewie's shit in the poop bag, tied it off, and walked away, towards my house, saying nothing. After about 20 feet, I hear from behind a highly sarcastic, "Thanks", which was indeed, deserved.

As I continued to walk away, I started weighing the social and moral consequences of my small, likely insignificant social interaction. As intently and consciously as I'd decided to ignore the friendly request of the tennis player, I began the process of justifying my behavior in my own head. But forget the excuses, what was the reason?

The reason is simple. I spend a lot of time at Dolores Park. I've had numerous encounters with tennis players and wayward tennis balls. Once, I was asked to throw a ball back over the fence, and I did. Once, a ball flew over the fence right as I happened to be walking by with Chewie. It landed a few feet in front of her and she scooped it up in her mouth, ran with it for about 10 feet and then promptly dropped it. She has no interest in tennis balls. In that instance, the player asked for the ball to be thrown back as well, but did so hastily, while Chewie was still briefly carrying it, and with urgency, clearly stemming from an overinflated sense of value and attachment to the ball.

Another time, a ball came flying over landing a few feet from us, and the player simply waved and said, "There's one for the dogs to play with." Chewie not being into tennis balls, I tossed it back over anyways.

The point of these stories is this. I have a 100% track record for tossing back tennis balls, regardless of circumstances. And yet for some reason, as a result of all these tennis ball encounters, I'm annoyed by it. So today, I just walked away.

I realize it was unfriendly, rude and unhelpful. I know I was a jerk. I don't know if I am capable of making that decision 6 months ago. I feel like something has changed. And strangely enough, I like it.

1 comment:

Orijanel said...

in a way i never expected, this article was exactly what i needed