Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thankful Not to Be a Stuffed Animal. I Need to See

The first thing Glamis the Wonder Dog goes after when a new toy is brought into the house is the squeaker. They usually last about fifteen minutes and she tears them out right away. The second thing she goes for are the eyes. A few days after a toy enters the house, I get spooked that this dog has torn out the eyeballs. What's strange is I never find the eyeballs. There are just holes and stuffing where the eyeballs should be.

For weeks that follow, Glamis then proceeds to work at the stuffing, pulling it out until it simply becomes a carcass of cloth. She flips this in the air, wrestles with it, throws it on my lap, and seems to long for the time it once had a squeaker and actual eyes. It does entertain her, however, for a few weeks.

In my house, I have scraps of stuffed animals and toys that used to be. Their threads are woven into my carpet, furniture and the crevices and corners throughout my house. She treats her toys as if they are spaghetti squash, ripping innards apart one threat at a time. This brings her pleasure, and if she is leaving me alone, it brings me pleasure, too.

These rituals are actually quite the metaphor for those of us who teach in higher education, too. At this time of the year, our squeak is gone and any vision we once had for an irreplaceable semester has given way to bureaucratic glaucoma and stramismusses. Ah, but we recoup, just like the dog does when new toys are brought in the house.

And I'm thankful. I appreciate each and every day I wake up knowing that I've haven't become Glamis's oversized, fleshy, human stuffed animal where she's chosen to take out my squeaker and eyeballs. So far, I continue to squeak and see. This is all good. 

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