My dog Ruby’s mind is totally blown. We are in Austin, and I think maybe my mind is blown too.
Yesterday I drove away from Baton Rouge, sedated Ruby in tow. The pre-departure festivities consisted of lots of lunches and dinners with old friends spread over the past two weeks, a great big raucous party at my house on Saturday night for which I cooked up heaps of Indian food, one last brunch at The Chimes on Sunday, a dinner at my in-laws’ house with the whole in-law family, drinks at Chelsea’s on Thursday night with a handful of my close friends, and finally, one last breakfast at Louie’s yesterday morning. I ate chocolate chip pancakes.
After breakfast, c. and I headed home, and we took our dog Basil to the vet where I had to leave her (we finally got her fixed after all these years). That’s when it first hit me that I was moving. We drove away from the vet’s office, and I couldn’t help but cry. It hit me that I was leaving my house for good. That when I come back to visit, I won’t be staying in my house. My lovely little house.
But I’m here now. And it feels a bit unreal. Last night, after I got settled into the apartment where I’m house sitting, I drove a few blocks to a Co-Op grocery where I bought oatmeal and juice and lunchtime things and dinnertime things. When I got back I ate some food, watched TV and then went to sleep.
Today, I didn’t know what to do with myself when I woke up, but then I realized I didn’t have dog food, so a task handed itself to me. Ruby and I walked to the Co-Op, and she was ecstatic. I tied her up to a handrail, and when I came out with the dog food and a bottle of juice I set my stuff down to untie her. My juice bottle fell over and busted, cranberry liquid and glass pouring out all over the cement. The guy at the store was nice enough to give me a whole new bottle for free. So then I felt ecstatic. Ruby ate some pretty fancy no-animal byproduct dog food today.
I checked in on Clara the cat who is staying in the big house that belongs to the garage apartment I’m in. Later I sat out in the backyard with Ruby and Clara wondering what the hell to do now that I’m here. Finally, I started searching on Craig’s list for apartments. I came across a little house that is in East Austin, and I packed Ruby into the car to go and take a look. She was very excited. Involuntary monkey sounds charged out of her throat. It’s a great location and a kind of crappy looking house.
I decided to drive through Travis Heights to daydream a little and then to check out Stacy Park. Ruby’s monkey sounds got higher and louder when she sensed that we were driving in park-like setting. I had to let her out to walk around because I was afraid she’d get so excited she'd pee in the car. She was pretty damn excited as she explored the park. I thought about taking her over to Barton Springs to the dog-friendly area for a swim, but I decided that might be too much excitement in one day. Instead, we drove on back to the place I’m house sitting. When we were back, I decided to walk Ruby to a taco place I saw, and she was, again, ecstatic. I can understand it. There’s no place you pass in Austin that you don’t see a park, pedestrians, cyclists.
I tied her up outside the taco place, ordered my shrimp tacos, and then we walked the five blocks home. It is very hot. Very, very hot. Ruby was exhausted when we were walking back, and I was getting worried that I’d give her heat stroke, but we made it. Every time we get back to the house we’re staying at, she walks up to the car and looks at me like, “Is it time to go home now?” When I walk to the apartment door, she follows suit and looks pretty happy to stay. "I guess we're still on vacation!" That's what I think she is thinking.
As I write, she is passed out on the floor. I fed her a little midday dog food today, as she’s not used to all this walking around in one day. Now I am about to take a nap, because I’m not used to it either.
I’m hoping c. and Basil get here soon, that our house sells soon, that c. gets a job soon. A lot of things to nap on.
SONG: Rainbow Connection, Willie Nelson