She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Maasai

I have been staying at my mother's house for the past week dog-sitting.  Her dog, Chancey, has been banned from my building after his previous month-long forbidden stay at my apartment.  The condo association got wind of his furry presence and have been on the lookout for any signs of him.  So when my mother left town to go to visit family in the D.C./Maryland area, she needed me to watch my little canine "brother".  Typically, I do not watch Chance.  She will ask my cousin or even a family friend.  My building's rules, get me marked off the list of choices.  This time around, we came up with the most sensible and logical idea of me just staying with him at her house.  So that has been my whole week since two Friday's ago:  twice-daily walks, feeding and preparing the apartment for my departure.

I have to admit, the morning and even some evening walks are no joke- energy-wise.  Since he is usually confined to a cage for the day (in hopes of avoiding accidents), I try to provide decent length walks both times.  Last Friday, I actually just started letting him have free reign of the living room and kitchen area and he seems to do well throughout the day.  Regardless, it can be a lot trying to take care of him and get myself ready for work.  Not to compare him to a child, but I feel for both the doggie parents and human parents alike.  Being responsible for a living being, whether animal of human (obviously) takes a lot of commitment. 

That said, I still have to catch a bus in the morning to make it to work on-time after walking him and getting dressed.  This morning, as I was on the elevator going down to the lobby, I pulled up my Chicago Transit phone app to see when the next bus was scheduled.  According to my phone I had one minute to catch the next bus.  If I missed that bus, my next opportunity would not come around for another 22 minutes- making me late for work for sure.  The bus tracker sites are usually 1-2 minutes behind, so I knew I would have to run to get outside in enough time to catch it.  As I got out of the elevator and headed for the front door (where the bus actually stops), I could see my bus come into view and then move on before I could get to the second set of double doors.  Dammit!  Next option, try to catch it at the next bus stop.  So I do what I affectionately call my "fat girl run".  Anyone who has ever been on the phone while I have done this sprint will tell you, it usually involves heavy breathing- and not the good kind.  As I call out to "hold the bus!"  I realize, no one has heard me or cares.  So there I was in the middle of the next block, pissed. 

A cab pulled up and shouted out through his passenger window, "get in!"  As I opened the door reluctantly, I said, "I can't afford a cab ride."  He responded, "no, I'm going to help you catch the bus."  "Thank you" was all I could get out through my labored breathing.  Then, because I thought about how nice it was of him, "thank you, again."  The cabby said, "I saw you sprinting and thought, wow, she must be a Maasai!"  That made me laugh and feel proud all in the same moment.  By no means can I be compared to this beautiful, semi-nomadic group of people found in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.  I felt regal, nonetheless, in the moment though.  Just imagining what I looked like running- giving my all to catch something that seemed like I had only barely missed.  Depressing as it can be, I watch the news each morning to start my day.  I hold personal stories like this one dear to my heart, because no matter what is said about the ills of our society, there are still good people who look out for one another.  Two blocks up, I got out of the cab and caught my bus.  I made it to work with a couple of minutes to spare and a good story to tell.

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