Matilda wanted to go on a walk. She bounced excitedly as I clipped on her leash. But within a block of my house — a location Matilda shouldn’t have any particular attachment to, really — she refused to walk farther. The boundless potential of another walk had once again ended in her stubbornly pulling back, the leash taut and me saying in gradually increasing volume, “Tilda? Tilda? TILDA?”
But this is not a post about dog behavior. Matilda likes the idea of walks but not the experience of them. I have made peace with her cognitive dissonance. This is a post about that damned hot pink leash.
I would like to think that I am secure enough with my masculinity and sexuality and penility that I can be comfortable walking a dog on a hot pink leash. However, the combination of that leash, me loudly addressing her as Tilda — yes, as in Swinton but not because of Swinton but why wouldn’t people assume Swinton? — and the fact that I’m having a public spat with her because she is refusing to do the thing I want her to do? This may be too much. I can see how it might look to someone passing by — the leash at a tight angle, Matilda throwing the little dingo baby version of a hissy fit and me attempting to regain control with “Tilda, this is not what we do. This is now how we take walks. This is no. No, Tilda. No.”
Did I mention that my fingernails are also stained purple? They are. There was an incident yesterday that involved some black dye that turned out to be somewhere more between eggplant and plum. Here is how my hands looked yesterday.
And here is how they look today, post-scrubbing. I think they look like I just emerged from a goth phase. It is probably not especially noticeable, but I sure keep noticing it.
So purplefingers and “This is no, Tilda” were pretty much setting the scene when my next-door neighbor walked by. He said, “Drew, you got a dog!” and he seemed genuinely happy for me. Me: “Oh, she’s not my dog. I’m just watching her. She belongs to my friend. My friend Katherine.” Yes, I specified the gender of the dog-owner, which is basically a half-step away from “THIS ISN’T MY LEASH MY LEASH WOULD BE BLUE AND MADE OF NAILS.”
So while I would like to think that I am secure enough with my masculinity and sexuality and penility that I can comfortably walk a dog on a hot pink leash, I apparently have a ways to go.
Matilda’s leash, it must be said, perfectly matches the blooming bougainvillea. She seems comfortable with that.