Was taking my bike out through the basement exit yesterday–per co-op rules, anything you can’t carry has to go in or out through the basement–when I saw a man letting his dog shit on the tiny wedge of grass in front of the building.
I rode by the man, on my out to the park. Then decided, Fuck this. I stopped. Turned back.
“Excuse me,” I say, trying to be polite. “Did your dog just take a shit back there?”
This is one of those third-person, disembodied moments, when I can’t really believe I’m doing what I’m doing. It’s like I’m seeing myself do this, and I’m rooting for myself, hoping it all turns out OK for me.
Guy stops. Looks at me. Sunglasses. Vintage T-shirt. Unshaven. Jack Russell terrier. Douche all the way. “Did she shit?” he asks.
Did she shit? I saw her shitting from 20 yards away while riding a bike. Give me a break.
“I think she did,” I say. I motion towards the turds in the grass.
He stops. Sighs. Turns. Looks at me.
I say, “I live here. In this building.” To explain why I’m complaining about turds on the lawn. I motion towards the building.
He looks at the building. He looks at the turds. I wheel my bike around, and I’m about to ride off, when he says, “Hey, you’re riding your bike on the sidewalk. That’s against the law.”
“What?” I say.
“Yeah. You’re breaking the law right now. And when you rode past me, while breaking the law, you almost HIT ME. You almost RAN ME DOWN.”
At this point, I’m facing the other way. Towards the park. He’s backtracking, moving towards the turds, his dog in tow. “Hit you?” I say, looking over my shoulder. “I didn’t even come close.”
I step on one of the pedals. I’m about to wheel off.
“What did you say?” he says.
Now I am wheeling off. “I said I wasn’t even CLOSE.”
He mutters something, but by this time, I’m already on 35th Ave., riding into the wind, towards Flushing Meadow. I’m pumping hard, full of adrenaline. I’m pissed. Really pissed. I ride, faster and faster, thinking of all the things I could have said, but didn’t.
-If you don’t want to clean up your dog’s turds, you shouldn’t own a dog.
-Give me your address. That way I can stop by your building later and take a shit on your lawn.
-Hit you? If I hit, belived me, you’d know it.
-Now clean up your dog’s shit, and get the fuck out of my neighborhood.
-And don’t let me ever see you on my block again.
I burned off all my adrenaline at the park. Most of it. 90-percent of it. When I rode back to the neighborhood, I checked the lawn for the turds. Sure enough, they were still there. I was winded, sweating, too tired to get pissed off all over again.
Since this happened, whenever I go down to the street, I’m thinking about this guy. This douche. Always thinking about him and his fucking Jack Russell. I walk around feeling a mix of bravado and cowering fear. I hate that I’m thinking about him. Hate how this whole thing has tainted my formerly friendly, peaceful neighborhood in a weird way. I’m always half hoping I run into this guy again. And always half hoping I don’t.