Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Ghost(dog) Story

So Halloween night, Austin and I pulled together our costumes (he was a mime, I was a buttery nipple shot). We left the house around 8, with the intention of going to Carmen's house for the costume party and eventually moving on to the 5 Points Pub Crawl. We were running a little bit late, but it was ok. We put Mischa in the back yard, kicked the cats out of the front room, set the alarm, drove away from the house, heading down 19th towards Holly.

I was wearing false eyelashes, which maybe diminish my eyesight a little bit. I saw something moving in the road, and said, "Is there an animal ahead of us?" I realize it's a dog, and it's running down the street in the same direction we're driving. I see a pink collar, a familiar shape of brown backside, black body. I said, "Austin, oh my God. It's Mischa."

Austin leaped out of the car, I drove slowly down the street, calling for her, freaking out. Austin was running full strength down 19th (in mime makeup, striped shirt, beret, dress shoes). At different points we were both running, both driving, calling the whole time. We saw the dog run behind someone's house and almost had her cornered, and then she took off again through another backyard. By this time we were at the corner of 20th and Holly, which dead-ends into the golf course. And we couldn't see any movement, for about 15 minutes we just rode in circles, trying to shine the headlights into the park, driving around calling out the window. And I was thinking, We have lost our dog. She's gone. She's not even going to know how to come back. We spent all this time falling in love with this dog and she's gone. How are we going to go to sleep tonight? I kept saying, "I can't believe this. I just can't believe this." Like a mantra.

After we'd been searching for about a half hour, I said,"Let's go back to the house and get a flashlight and come back and retrace our steps." We drove home, pulled up next to the house, and there is a familiar nose peeking out of the chain link fence of the backyard. Mischa is at home, where she belongs. And apparently has been the whole time.

We just sat there in the car staring at her through the fence. I could have cheerfully strangled her, and she hadn't even done anything wrong. Apparently we've been harassing some stranger's dog all over Shelby Bottoms. Austin says, now, after the fact, that he knows it wasn't her. I still feel like maybe it was. Maybe she jumped the fence, let us give chase, then doubled back and headed home and someone (who read our address on her collar) dropped her back in the yard while we were still driving in circles. I know that is unlikely. But I stood within 6 feet of that dog in someone's front yard and I swear I would have known if it wasn't Mischa. This dog had the same markings, the same ears, the same sleek shininess, the same PINK COLLAR. And the same extremely annoying habit of letting you get near to her and then taking off again right as you grab for her collar.

So we locked Mischa up inside (just to be safe) and headed to Carmen's. By then the party was in full boozy swing, and it took me forever to calm down, to get my head out of the near-disaster it turns out we just WEREN'T in. Austin's eye makeup was smeared from running. After a while I settled in, and the party (and subsequent adventures) was a lot of fun. I was a buttery nipple shot because my other girlfriends were also shots: Shannon was a White Russian, Megan a Purple Hooter Shooter, Carmen a Redheaded Hooker, Leia was Sex on the Beach. I posted the link to pictures yesterday. Austin was a killer mime, while Chris Grainger might have been my favorite costume of the night (a redneck football coach or something, but it was just so NOT Chris, it didn't look anything like him, it was very bizarre to look at his face and realize it was him).

We walked to Rumours East and then to 3 Crow, which was such a mob scene it took ten minutes to get from the front door to the back. I bailed after that, headed over to Mercy Lounge to see Trent play a showcase for Americana Music Week. That was a great show, high energy, much hilarity from Supe and Mike Webb in (sort-of) costumes. I was getting body glitter on everyone I hugged, I hope I didn't get any married men in trouble. Home and in bed by 12:30. Very successful Halloween, after all, and I'm really glad Mischa was in her bed at the end of the night, even if maybe there was no chance that she wouldn't be.

Oh, and remember me saying that it wasn't long before she decided she should sleep in our bed with us? Yeah, not long at all. That was last night, and it took an extended negotiation session to settle her back in her spot in front of my closet. Austin got up with her about 7:30 this morning, and at some point between then and 9:30 (when I woke up), she came back and slept with me. It was sort of nice.

I'm getting into this NaBloPoMo challenge. When have I ever promised you I'd talk about something and then actually DID? I'm probably not going to bother discussing the pumpkin patch/orchard trip, since I shared some cute pics from there and that is sort of all I wanted to address about it. But I have lots more I want to discuss now, thoughts I jotted down during a panel discussion at the Country Music Hall of Fame today (featuring Scott Miller, my favorite) about musicians and writers and the creative process and inspiration.

Happy 87th birthday to Mary Frances Jansen, my maternal grandmother, my abuelita. I miss you, Grandma.


Red Beard said...

Was this on Halloween proper, the 31st? Running the risk of sounding like a total crackpot, I honestly believe that Halloween itself is just a little...different. It's got something to do with all that Irish blood in my veins, I know it, but I just believe shit happens that night that otherwise wouldn't. I think it's entirely reasonable that the dog you chased was Mischa at the same time the dog sitting quietly in your backyard was also Mischa. The world would never be this much fun if we could always explain it.

Vickie said...

I was laughing at the Ghost Dog story--you couldn't make up the mime and the buttery nipples if you tried--but then when I got to the end and saw that photo of you and your grandma, well, it caught my breath. I called to wish her happy birthday--after a bit of a scuffle with Doro to get her to hold the phone correctly, she said, "Vickie!" and I said, "Happy Birthday, Mom!" and she proceeded to sing the entire Happy Birthday song to me. It was lovely. Her blood is definitely in your veins. Love you, Mom

Delfina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.