Just Write is a writing exercise I thought I’d like to try, having seen it on another blog. It’s writing down some everyday moments without over-thinking it. It’s just a sort of freely-written exercise done in the moment, descriptive of the experience, no matter how mundane.
I wake up for the second time when the wife barges through the bedroom door with the dog scooped in her arms. “Something is wrong with dog,” she announces. The first time I woke up was when her alarm went off an hour earlier. The best of part of sleep is when you wake up to learn you can still go back. But this time I was awake for good.
“Is she sick?” I ask.
“No, she’s depressed. I think she needs an anti-depressant,” the wife says. There’s nothing wrong with dog as she pants happily in the wife’s arms. This happens regularly in our house. The wife is a therapist and maybe it’s like dreaming, where the brain processes the day’s events—the wife processes her work day by projecting diagnoses onto the dog.
She plops the dog down next to me in the bed, a scruff of brown fur and snout and wet eyes, and then leaves to take a shower. I roll the dog over on her back and she’s eager to play, snorting and wiggling. “You’re not depressed, are you?” I say.
Then I see it, the size of a sesame seed. As I become fully aware of it, it becomes aware that it needs a better place to hide, crawling along the dog’s belly. Ugh. A tick. These things are straight out the third or fourth circle of hell. Well, I’m out of bed for morning.
Processing. There’s that word again. I quickly process abject horror, shuddering disgust, and a memory of the time we went camping and a tick landed on my sister, my dad picked it off and killed it with a lighter. He did it so casually, a Salem Light between his lips.
I scoop the dog up and make a beeline to the bathroom to get the wife out of the shower. The dog loves this game, whatever this new game is, which involves me banging and shouting at the bathroom door like a gorilla. She playfully bites at my hands and makes pig noises. The tick clings on, just waiting for a more peaceful moment to gorge itself on the host’s blood before beginning its reproduction cycle and dying.
The wife holds the dog down and I get the tweezers. I can not do it casually. My hands are just slightly shaking. I’m fine with spiders and those bastard spricket things, but I have this thing about disease-carrying parasites. But even with a shaky hand, I expertly nab the tick on the first try. Videogame-playing reflexes. I’ve never used advanced calculus once in the real world, I use the small-muscle mastery of landing Mario on that impossibly tiny ledge all the time.
I flush it down the toilet and flush twice, just in case he got a little hope after surviving the first deluge of water. The dog leaps up, a little leery with this game, the one where she gets held down and prodded with metal on the wet bath mat. Not as fun you guys. Later the wife says “you’re good at dealing with crisis,” even though she regularly counsels people through crises and picking a tick off the dog probably isn’t one of them.
“The bed sheets,” the wife says grimly. That’s how she processes crisis. Completely stripping the bed is her solution to everything. Just in case we didn’t notice the dog was actually infested with other ticks that were now creating a blood sucking colony in our bed. Also, the dog is now forever banned from our bed, but that executive order will be ignored by the end of the day.
We change the bed sheets and struggle putting the fitted sheet on, which is always too short on one corner, when you can even find that corner at all. Ugh. Fitted sheets are another circle of hell, at least the sixth or seventh.