Dream of the Dragon

Category: i eat trash

In the mouth of madness.

by Justin

I wish I was cool enough to write about the Sam Neill movie.

Before I begin the tale, I want to clarify one thing. A note on responsibility: I erred in a dozen ways in the course of the following events. I was reckless and irresponsible, naïve, and altogether an idiot. While the animals acted according to instinct and, therefore, cannot be faulted, I was brazen enough to create a situation riddled with potential hazards. I believe I learned several lessons. And I feel incredibly lucky for escaping largely unscathed.

Long Island, NY – A large square field, some 50 yards on each side, marks the end point of most every morning walk. It affords not only ample space for reckless running, but clean sight lines in every direction until either forest or buildings reclaim the landscape. From dusk until dawn, the field belongs to the deer. They graze and lounge, cluster on the edge of panic, and do whatever else deer do under the cover of night.

Icarus (my whippet, newcomers) and I typically conclude our walks with an inspection of the entire perimeter of this field. The purpose here is to check the whereabouts of deer – most nights they sleep in the open spaces, and then retreat into the woods just after sunrise. More often than not, however, a few will linger along the edges, dragging their hooves and nibbling at tall grass. So the dog and I secure the perimeter every morning: I whistle loudly to announce our presence; Icarus bounds along with occasional high jumps so any creatures can catch his scent and steer clear.

The deer in these parts lack a healthy fear of canines. Whether from lack of exposure or a cultivated feeling of security, the instinct to fly in terror from just the rumor of a dog has been dulled. In an attempt to dull my dog’s opposite inclination to chase, I have walked him within 10 feet of the bravest beauties. So long as they stand their ground, curiosity tends to trump madness. Should they run, however, his world goes red. And so we secure the perimeter.

Once I am confident that the wild is aware of us, I let the pup off leash so he can stretch his legs and do what he was born to do. Most mornings, this means a raucous round of Frisbee. A German neighbor named Icarus “the most sporting hound around” after seeing these daily exploits. After nearly a month of these routine frolics, the system of deer-dodging has proven successful.

Yesterday morning, I cut a few corners – or rather one specific corner of the field entirely. The sun was high in the sky, the land featureless and flat, and I deemed the field secure. I let Icarus loose. Read the rest of this entry »

The gas light is on.

by Justin

Nicole and I, perhaps drunk on my employment, decided that the time was ripe to purchase a television. We, children of second-hand internet sales, found a juicy deal on Craigslist and set about bringing an unnecessary, high-tech, too-flat glowing box into our (temporary) home.

We would leave this evening, drive a short distance, and return victorious. I called Nicole when I left the office to let her know I was headed home. Four minutes later I walked in the door and discovered that she was hysterical and terrified. Why? Icarus had wrenched himself and his leash free from her hand upon seeing some secret animal off in the woods. He then charged out into the road, which happened to be busy because the daycare across the street was unloading its wards over to their parents.

Nicole, one can imagine, immediately embraced the worst possible scenario and flew into a panic of the-dog-is-gone-and-dear-god-how-will-I-tell-Justin. She got Icarus back as soon as he lost sight of his quarry, came home, and broke down. Those four minutes must have been a sight to behold. But she recovered from the trauma, and Icarus remained as oblivious as ever.

Shortly thereafter, Read the rest of this entry »

Safety first.

by Justin

Last night three leaves approached me from three different directions, each gliding across the concrete on independent winds.

At least a dozen deer rose out of darkness at once, shocking the dog into unbridled madness as they vanished into the distant tree-line. Just above them, a decommissioned fission reactor’s tower blinked red.

The Department of Energy, contrary to what you may think, takes safety very, very seriously.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how the modern professional prepare’s for his first day on the job:

Nicole thought we should celebrate my birthday with haphazard fort-building and a slumber party. It was, despite the quality of sleep, absolutely the right call.