By Chrissy Stockton, February 23rd 2014
I was rearranging my furniture tonight and I found them, two deep violet paw prints on my hardwood floors. I should have googled how to remove them years ago but they’re underneath my bedroom’s only window, so I pushed my desk over them instead.The paw prints were born out of my own stupidity (don’t mix dogs and paint). I moved into an apartment I was excited about and I was painting it a power color. I always did this. My apartments have to be about something. My last one was green–for growth. This time I picked purple–bold, unapologetic, feminine in a bossy way, me. I was talking with a boy I was obsessed with at the time and he wanted to see the place, so he walked over with his dog.
Even intelligent people have brain farts–a moment when you forget an easy word. It’s not an intelligence gap, just a natural moment of messing up. I think that’s what’s happening with mother nature and this generation of men. It’s very hard to find one that is interesting. It’s fine, there are worse things that could happen.
This one was different. He read things constantly, compulsively. He was unconventional. He didn’t let me walk all over him, the way most men do because they are used to treating women as unicorns they have to humor in order to have sex with. There is a certain kind of toughness there that I thought had died out from our generation completely.
He wanted to come up the back door because dogs weren’t allowed in my building and he didn’t want anyone to see. For the rest of the units in my building the back door is connected to their apartments, since I’m the top floor it functions as more of a fire escape. We reached the top of the stairs and the door opened up to the night sky and the deck that lives between the stairwell and my home. I was blushing because we weren’t being romantic but it was such a beautiful night that it seemed that way.
I was painting so my furniture was all grouped in the middle of my bedroom. We sat on my bed with the dog between us, watching him bliss out with the addition of another set of hands to pet him.
I remember how childish he looked, laying in bed with a dog, like a little boy who feels lucky to have a best friend to go on adventures with. That’s the emotion I felt with him, luck. The first time anything happened between us I felt so much disbelief. He was such an impressive person–and he was in bed with me, and he wanted to be there! There was a picture of me online somewhere of my best friend and I mugging for the camera. He asked me if I would pose that way, so he could see it in real life. He’d looked at it, and liked it. It was hard for me to imagine anyone even saw me in that picture, next to my friend who is–objectively–about a million times more attractive than I am.
So I had a new apartment, one with a deck that opened up to a beautiful sky, a new job that made me feel like an Actual Adult, and this guy who things weren’t perfect with, but with whom, for the first time, I got a kind of glimpse about how my love life could go.
This wasn’t the way my life was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a mess! It was all the other 25 years, at least.
A friend of mine was talking about his job, which he loves dearly, earlier this year. He said that when he decided he wanted to be a writer he thought the best thing he could get was to be a copywriter and work in a cubicle, that that would be making it, what he should strive for. And now, he has this job that looks nothing like that, that he didn’t even know he should hope for. That’s what these paw prints on my floor mean to me. There are things out there that are so good, it doesn’t even occur to us to wish for them.