There are some things I simply will not do. Out of a sense of connection to everyone else and how we all share in the joys and failures of each other whether we realize it or not, out of a mutual respect, a sense of responsibility, a sense of community. Whatever the reason. I have an internal list of things I WILL NOT DO.
I violated one such thing. The shame of it lingers. I am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad person. This is my confessional and I beg you for your forgiveness. I have sinned.
Here is the situation: our air conditioning went out. We live in the desert. It was 107 outside. So while we waited for someone to figure out how to close the gate to hell that had opened in our house, we shipped the child off to the grandparents to stay and we managed to cool the house down a little and stayed the first night of this apocalypse. Big mistake. So hot we tossed and turned inside a channel of our own sweat and frustration, we did not sleep at all. We went to work only to start a three day long stretch of impossibly little sleep. What's that? Air won't be fixed until the next day? Maybe? Ok. Well, it is too hot to stay there and too hot to have animals stay there.
So we get our heads out of our asses and pack up, get the pets, and head to a local pet friendly hotel. Ahhhhh. Better. Everyone is cooling off. Now we can sleep. This is good.
The dogs are freaked out, there are people going in and out all the time. They decide they have to go out to go potty a thousand times. We oblige. Fuck it, they have had a rough few days. We understand.
My 90 pound dog takes a shit on the hotel room carpet at 5 am? Ugh. No biggie. We'll just clean that up. We don't need sleep. The cat is insecure and nocturnal. It's ok. She is just trying to get through this whole thing too. The pets don't know what is happening. They aren't sure why we now live in this room with two beds and no kid. Why we suddenly don't have a refrigerator or backyard.
It is ok. So far so good. It will be over soon. They are installing the new unit now. It is going to be ok. Just a little longer now. Hubby has to go in to work. I'll wait at the hotel with the dogs and their incessant bitching until it is time to check out and hopefully they have that thing ready. Maybe I can get a nap in. Let's make one more trip out to potty, just to be safe.
I take the dogs one at a time because they are crazy. On a hunch, I take the big boy first. Even though he is behaving better, I think- nah, let's get him out there. This was my lucky break. It was to be the only one I would get. And I am forever grateful.
He gets out there and proceeds to dispense a gigantic pile of chocolate fro yo to rival a world record. Sleep deprived, I watch this happen in a mixture of disbelief, while also quite impressed and feeling a fracturing sense of helplessness. I know, in that instant, I cannot fix this. I cannot remove this. I have to leave this mess. I am dying here. What can I possibly do now? I'm not this person. They have dog poo bags. I need a hazmat crew.
So I go get my other dog and take her out. She goes potty, not realizing I am in a trance of fear and self loathing about the mondo dog patty hanging out over there, mocking me with its unclean status. I re-enter my hotel room a different person. THAT person. The one that would leave their dog's over sized poo puddle sitting in the manicured lawn like an asshole. I wash my hands, my arms, but its not enough. You can't clean yourself enough to remove the stench of who you are now. They don't make that kind of soap. Don't even try.
I think through my options, trying to come up with something that will work. In my sleep deprived state, I decide, you know what? It could be hosed off. I'm sure it has happened before. I'm not the worst person who has ever stayed here. At least he didn't do that to a bed. I salvage what is left of my dignity and try to forget this ever happened.
My husband gets out of work, we get word that the house is ready, we pack up and check out of the hotel. I notice on the bill that they don't have a charge listed for cleanup of an enormous dung beetle colony. Its only a matter of time before they realize my transgression and charge that to the credit card. I live in fear of that moment. That is my payment for what I've done. I got home to a house with air conditioning. This should have been bliss. Instead, I slept the fitful sleep of the fugitive. Its my punishment.
I'm not sure what kind of community service someone does to repay for this kind of thing, but karma decided to move quickly and help me feel someone else's pain on this one. We had a little time while the house was cooling down and my husband says that he hasn't picked up the backyard poo since we've been in and out so much over the last several days. He asks me to help him clean up. I say sure, go get some bags and head out there.
People, our backyard grass really loved the recent rain. It is jungle height. Then I find out that by 'a few days' he actually means two weeks. I assist in the clean up of a metric ton of dog shit. Systematically, we scoured the yard to clean up every last bit of nastiness these animals are capable of. I don't know if I'll ever even the score, but I feel like I got pretty close. Tonight I will sleep soundly, and dream of redemption.