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Friday, April 19, 2024

The Art of Flying Solo, Topic 6: Make Up or Break Up

There is a little dog that lives in my apartment complex that is driving me absolutely, positively crazy. Although I have never laid eyes on this beast, I can hear it. Oh, how I hear this dog. My guess is that it is a tiny thing, a “toy” something or other, because from the sound of its bark — no, wait, bark is too strong of a word — from the sound of its yip-yip-yappy-yip, there is no way the creature has a vocal box larger than a dime. Yet the shrill, pulsating, random yelps it transmits throughout the morning, afternoon, evening and late night hours are so ridiculously obnoxious, this ammunition gives infuriating proof that a bark is so much stronger than a bite. Seriously, this dog needs to shut the hell up. But it doesn’t, it hasn’t for months, and its selfish owner does not care about how his or her pet affects the rest of the neighborhood. As a result, I have waged war with the monster. Fear this wrath.

For the record, I would like to state that I also have a dog. In fact, I rescued my pooch from death row, so don’t even think about pinning me with some anti-canine classification. In any case, I’ll tell you what — there is no way I would permit my dog to bother my neighbors all day long.

The matter falls under the realm of courtesy and respect for others. If you cannot properly train and/or give your dog adequate attention, then you shouldn’t own one. Period.    

Every time I hear this dog yip, my blood begins to boil. And when my blood begins to boil, my mind starts to think about other things in my life that are less than satisfactory. The latest vexation? An argument I recently had.

Last week I got into a nasty, nasty fight with someone. It was one of those fights where physical violence was absent, but verbal vomit hit maximum capacity. There were tears, name-calling, cutthroat ridicule and an unleashing of frustrations that had been suppressed for years. A battle that was all bark and no bite, this one called for the works. 

For privacy’s sake, neither the person with whom I fought, nor the reason for the battle will be revealed, as they are not relevant. What is important is this: The person with whom I fought is someone who has been incredibly important to me throughout my entire life and who has become closer to me over the last few years than they ever had before. Now we are not on speaking terms, and it feels pretty catastrophic. 

But the worst part about this situation is that even with the provided background information, I’m still not at a point where I’m ready to try and put things back together. In fact, the more I think about the fight, the angrier I become. It’s almost as if the reflection of the incident is like the sound of my neighbor’s barking dog: persistent, disheartening and uncontrollable.

My fear — and it is a fear — is that my pride will never mend, and I will lose the relationship I had with this person for good. I don’t want that to happen, just like I don’t want anything bad to happen to the yappy pooch (or even its owner.) I just want things to go back to being peaceful, or at least the closer semblance of peace that was present before all hit the fan.

Never before has the expression “agree to disagree” felt more relevant. Again, this is where the fear comes in. What happens if I make a call to make amends, only to find that I’m not really ready to apologize for certain things said?

What if admitting hurt to words received is spoken without eloquence, thereby digging the already present hole into a six-foot trench from whence one cannot escape? I realize the answer is obvious (“You’ll never know unless you try”), but sometimes even the most apparent plans are the hardest to implicate. 

Why can’t that dog just stop barking? Better yet, why can’t I just accept the fault for what it is, and allow myself to move forward?

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