Tales from Milwaukee

Lately I’ve been feeling very…something.

Maybe it’s the many changes in my living situation, maybe it’s my recent bill of good health, I don’t know. But I feel different. Older, but not tired. Calm, but not still. Is this called growing up? Opening up? Is it an emotional thaw of some description? I couldn’t tell you.

But that doesn’t mean that the external drama of my life has calmed down one bit. No way. As my mother said when I called to whine about my drive-by assault (I’ll get to that), “You’re just someone that things HAPPEN to. You could live in the middle of the woods and every day would be exciting and crazy. Roseanne Rosannadanna, it’s always SOMETHING.”

The Congress Theatre, a beautiful building not but two seconds away from where both of these stories took place.

So. Here are two stories that happened in the same physical place: Milwaukee Avenue. If I need to walk anywhere to get anything, chances are that I’m going to be struttin’ down this street. The first tale is a called:

WHOMPED: Or, How Alle Went Out For Envelopes And Ended Up Covered In Beer And With A Possible Kidney Injury.

I was walking down Milwaukee, listening to my ipod (as is my wont) and not really paying much attention to the world around me. MY MISTAKE. Because all of a sudden I feel a SMACK! on my very lower back, a smack hard enough to knock me a step over. This was followed by a SMASH! and out of the corner of my eye I can see something breaking. And then there was WET! on my back and side, and I’m pulling my headphones out of my ears when I realise there is also PAIN!

This all happened in the space of two seconds, by the way. My inner monologue was something erudite like “What the…and what the…and WHAT THE FUCK OWWWWWWW!” And that became my outer monologue quite quickly, by the way. I have a high pain tolerance, but never let it be said that I suffer in silence.

What seems to have happened is that someone, from a moving car, threw a BEER BOTTLE at me. That explains the force of the hit and the unexplained wetness and, of course, why I smelled like a bar. I don’t know if they wanted to hit me or if they were just littering, but this is how it shook out: Alle Malice, drive-by beer bottled. HORRIBLE.

After checking myself for bits of glass (I didn’t really know if it broke before or after hitting me, but it was after) I fired off several angry text messages and stalked home. My clothes went in the washer and I stood in front of the mirror, staring at and prodding my rapidly swelling injury. And trust me, it’s gross. The worst part of the bruise is on my upper-butt region, but it’s the not-so-bruised part that hurts the worst. It feels hard when you touch it, which I don’t do very often because IT HURTS SO MUCH.

All in all, WAAAAAHHHHH, MY EVERYTHING.

. . .

The second tale is happier. It is called:

Alle And Junkie, The Junkyard Dog.

There’s a vacant lot that I walk past almost every day, and when I say “vacant,” what I mean is that there’s always construction equipment in it but nothing is ever being built. I’m pretty sure that the people that I sometimes see wandering around just dig holes and fill them up again. It’s been like this for as long as I’ve lived in this neighbourhood, which is almost three years.

Anyway. In addition to the wandering people, there’s also a dog. The dog is a recent addition. He’s a brindle pitbull, on the smaller side (under 90 pounds, I’d say), and oh man, talk about the perfect guard dog. He patrols the perimeter of his empty lot, staring menacingly at the people who walk past and occasionally snarling and barking at anyone who gets too close to the fence.

Now, I’ve never had a dog. I also really, really LOVE pitbulls. The combination of these two factors means that I have no compunction about doing some very un-smart things, like giving the hypervigilant, growly guard dog a doofy name (“Junkie”) and gradually working up to calling him over to the fence to hang out.

Believe it or not, this story doesn’t end with me getting bitten. Because for whatever reason, this dog really, really likes me. I’ve seen him run to the fence to strenuously bark someone ten feet in front of me away, and then run up to me all smiles and wagging nub-tail. I finally bucked up yesterday and stuck my hands through the chain link fence to give him some scratches, and he licked my hands so much I was amazed I had fingerprints left.

(KIDS! Don’t try this at home! I realise that petting a strange dog, especially one trained to repel strangers, is not the best idea. I did it because I can be remarkably stupid for a smart girl! DON’T BE LIKE ME.)

So today, as I was getting kisses and pitbull smiles, I actually considered busting him out to take him home with me. I mean, I’ve got the space. We could be besties and play tug-o-war and eat bacon all day! But then I considered that this lovefest only seems to apply when I’m alone. The couple times I’ve seen Junkie while walking with someone else, it’s been snarls and barks galore. So mayyyyybe he’d be a TAD overprotective as a pet. I really can’t have ninety pounds of muscle and teeth defending my honour from the mailman, now can I?

As far as I can tell, Junkie doesn’t even have a food bowl (which makes me want to cry, I can’t even tell you) so I’m going to take him some treats this week. Human kindness, man. It’s never wasted.

. . .

So basically, just a typical weekend for yours truly. On another note, it’s an epic night here at The Malice Palace because it’s the first time all year I haven’t had to wear pants and socks to bed. SPRING IS ON THE WAY! I’m so ready for it.

Loves you!

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