I make comments all the time about the Goose and her anxieties. As if she’s the one with the problems and I’m the one that’s got his shit together. But of course that’s not entirely true.
For example, the Goose used to be scared of walking over bridges. So I made sure we walked over a bridge every time we went out for a walk. I brought a tasty doggie treat for her as a reward for crossing the bridge. And, to no surprise, she is no longer afraid of crossing bridges.
But, there’s a corollary. I have my own walking phobia.
It goes back to a weird experience I had years ago when I was driving down this street and a young man was standing in the middle of it. As I slowed and approached, he looked at me menacingly. I stopped to let him finish crossing the street, but I suppose he wasn’t in any great hurry. Instead of crossing the street he just stood in front of my car and stared at me. I’m not exactly sure what the etiquette is in these kinds of situations, so I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and waited. I guess he found my response contrite enough and he eventually went on his way.
Now, this is far from a traumatic incident. I realize that. Even in my extremely sheltered life, I’ve encountered far more hostile situations. But there was something about this guy’s attitude or expression that really bothered me. And still bothers me to this day.
As such, I have made every effort to avoid going down his street.
I’ve been avoiding it for about ten years now.
So today I figure what’s good for the Goose is good for the gander. And it’s time for me to get over my own silly anxieties.
Goose and I head over to the dreaded boulevard of terror. And we walk by the spot where I had my run in with my ornery neighbor. He wasn’t there. Instead there was a young couple making out against the door of a Honda Civic. They stopped. One of them looked at me and nodded. I waved.
Then the Goose noticed a mangy junkyard dog she wanted to make friends with. The junkyard dog mozied over and barked. It’s bark was half-hearted. Kinda like it was out of habit but not so much from passion.