Go Fetch

We all know the saying: dog is man’s best friend. And women’s too, though they seem slightly more feline-oriented in choosing a house pet.

That’s a positive expression, man’s best friend (and women’s, too, whether or not they own a kitty ). And it rings true.

But which brooding philosopher opined hell is other people? Roger that, too, except we are all someone else’s hell at one time or another (but of course). People come, people go. Oh, do they. Someone in particular comes along and you mutually agree to open a relational door, be it platonic, emotional, intellectual, romantic/physical (let’s skip the drunken/stoner flighty one-night stands and escort options ok?). This newfound connection, possibly, improbably, might be initialized in person, spontaneously, in the public sphere, and not mediated by Match.com or eHarmony or any cyber profiling, not even two lonely web surfers by chance eyeballing one another in a lingering glance up from a lap-top screen at some coffee shop; call me old school/fashioned. Social media do connect people. Sure. Dating sites are like playing a slot machine: sometimes, but not very often, JACKPOT!

Aside from dating apps. consider the Facebook addicts and their alleged 1,793  “friends,” those Instagram-ers, Twitter-ers, Pinterest-ers and the rest typically relying on such cyber mingling to see the world and along the way possibly making a real connection. Really? Pinch yourself. Reality check. Sure you’re not simply Linked-in? Never know, maybe you’re actually in the Matrix, where the computer code that’s being transmitted by cable connection into your brain as you obliviously bathe in goopy dystopia, convinces you that believing is seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, hearing. Over there, that yummy looking babe or dude. Mmm. Take the red pill or the blue? Free your mind. Disconnect.  Go down that reality-show of a relational rabbit hole.

Love is everywhere and nowhere, from here or there or even outer space (just ask Jenny Hayden about her Starman).

And speaking of pills, if you are carrying a lot of reality-based relational baggage, be it of your own making, or it was gifted to you by one of those other people, there’s likely a prescription drug with your name on it, or a non-prescription, street vendor pharmacist who can take your mind off that ache, that sad, sappy melancholy, the festering mind-funk resulting from thinking you had something real (as in, kismet!) with someone real; except time can steal all swoons, sadly. Can’t be on the ascent forever. Level off and work hard to maintain. Or crash and burn. It happens, no? Regardless, all relations must–and shall–pass, little by little, whittled away by relentless turns of the calendar, relational corrosion often eroding the eros: drip. drip, drip…; or it’s gone in a shocking flash, the blink of an eye, the malevolent magician jerking away the velvet curtain to reveal the cold emptiness behind which once there was warmth, substance, that very special someone…who…once…mattered…

But we forge ahead, lugging our variable baggage every step of the way. Some disguise the psychic load well, but everyone has some. Best be stoic. Be strong. Persevere. Be relentless. Be Ahab! Or maybe not. A bit too obsessive. However, fishing for that right find starts with throwing in that fine line. Then be on guard. Feel a nibble? Reel in, slowly. Be open to what surfaces; a keeper? Catch and release is always an option. It’s a vast ocean of opportunity.

It is not meditation that brings you to those waters.

Temptation. Sensation. Leave that love boat and trek that sunny beach and beyond. Find a meadow full of fragrant wild flowers. Get lost in the lush forest. Listen to the quiet,  calm, tranquil landscapes of nature. So solitarily very relaxing. For awhile, at least. Then…

If only someone with which to share it. You’re not a lone wolf. Back on the road to join the rest of the pack. Proceed with caution. Humanity awaits. Jack or Jenny Hayden awaits, there on the side of the road, needing to hitch a ride to nirvana. Reduce speed. Curved road ahead. Slippery when wet. Watch for falling rocks.

Grab the binoculars. Scan the skies. Love is down, around, left, right, or up. Take flight. Soar. Search. Glide. Time to descend. Getting some chop. Brace. Be careful, as upon landing, open that psychic overhead cautiously as emotional baggage may have shifted during your flighty mental fugue.

Paging Hayden…gate 35B…

Dog: best friend.  So did you get that furry friendo? The frisky one somehow programmed to wag that tail and lick your face and not give a crap about your baggage. If that’s not love, then what is? Humanoid’s best friend. Sure, it might dump on the floor while your out waiting for Kismet, looking for Jenny or Johnny, fishing or star-gazing, but it won’t bite the hand that feeds. Just walk that dog. Your pooch can be a real conversation starter out there in the urban jungle or the verdant suburban forest preserve. Go fetch! And not just that stick you just flung. Bring back some real bounty. Who knows? Your Fido might find his or her Rover. And while the doggies both duly sniff one another’s fannies, maybe you, its Master who picks up the poop as part of the price that must be paid while otherwise breaking the conversational ice with pooch-owner-the-other,  might just make your own connection.

Hell is other people? In that case, your caring canine might be enough to ride out your days feeling loved and wanted. But only if you are wired as a Lone Wolf. Wolves of any ilk don’t play go fetch. They know there’s no point to it…

Woof. Woof.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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