Genuflect by Gordy Grundy
January 2005; Issue No. 72
LIVING IN WARTIME, PART FOURTEEN
Is it 2005 yet? I refuse to open the door to my kennel until I know for sure. I was done with the year several months ago. I finally said to hell with it and went underground. Now I'm waiting for the New Year to hurry up and become official.
God knows I love Excess but 2004 had too much of it. I don't mean the kind that translates as 'too much of a good thing'. It was the opposite. Too much war, fear, politics and general bad behavior. Just when we needed a little Silence, the year was a hysterical cacophony, a messy human opera of great poignance. Sadly, 2004 was not 'a year to remember' but one 'never to forget.' 2004 found me in the doghouse.
Turmoil being relative, one of the most significant events in a year of many was the acquisition of a roommate. After several years of living alone, my tranquil, selfishly hedonistic lifestyle was shattered. If Hollywood were to tell this story, I would be reunited with a son I never knew I had or an eccentric old codger who dispels life's lessons in an amusing manner. Instead, I was reunited with my dog.
Excited to have him again, I imagined that old Din and I would be running through flowered fields or sitting on a dock of a bay. Instead, we take naps. Din is no longer the young pup that I remember. Din is now a senior citizen on a countdown.
I have not lived with (Gunga) Din for many years and I was ecstatic. I love my dog for many reasons and cute tops a long list. A Dobie with floppy ears, he is handsome and spry for an old man of fourteen years. I imagined that our reunion would be like old times. It wasn't. As of last week, I have officially capitulated. I am now dog and he the master. It is no longer my studio but his doghouse. I guess a smelly, deaf dog is better than a strange child suddenly calling me Daddy.
I can't imagine what its like to be old but I am learning rather quickly. Caring for and living with an old man has taught me many Life Lessons. The experience has made me responsible. As I care for this old dog, I am forced to think of the Cycle of Life and how precious time is. I have learned that Love does conquer all or at the very least, Love forces us to put up with a helluva lot gladly.
I don't mind the lack of sleep, wakened hourly by his hacking cough. I no longer stop him from shredding the carpet. He barks orders at me, literally. I fully accept all foul odors. I keep the lights on at night so I don't step in something unthinkable. I burn a lot of incense. I make two trips a week to IKEA for new rugs. My life has become Din's. As I write these words, he stands loyally and lovingly by my side, dry-heaving.
In celebration of the New Year, my gift to the world shall be a work of art, in an edition of six, entitled 'My Two Dukes', a reference to childhood influences. The first three people who visit the website www.gordygrundy.com and respond with name and mailing address shall receive a "My Two Dukes."
GORDY GRUNDY is a Los Angeles based artist. His visual and literary work can be found at www.gordygrundy.com.