I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. — Stephen Grellet.
You know those days where nothing seems to go right — that everything and anything that could go wrong does? Welcome to my week this past week. Well, life has a way of smacking some perspective into you. It happened on my drive home from work yesterday.
The intersection of Western Avenue and Logan Boulevard is situated beneath the I-90/I-94 overpass. Because of the location, it is not uncommon to encounter an assortment of drifters and down-on-their-luck types. The entire drive home, I was occupied with throwing myself pity party. I was two cars back from the light when I saw them: a man, close to my age, and his little dog, a boston terrier. They looked like they could easily blend in with our group of friends — something about the shaggy beard, worn out skate shoes, the nose piercing. The light turned green, I turned left and watched them grow smaller in my rear view mirror.
I needed to go back. I hurried into our apartment and released the pooches from their crates. I quickly made a couple sandwiches. I washed and dried a container of cherry tomatoes and one that contained some blueberries. I emptied a box of granola bars into the empty plastic grocery bag. “Don’t forget the dog,” I told myself. I added a Gladware container full of dog food as well as a Ziplock bag full of treats to the stash. I threw in a couple of cold cans of Pepsi, wishing I hadn’t finished off the last of our Gatorade this week.
I drove back to the intersection. They were gone. In the fifteen minutes since I had last seen them, they disappeared. I drove up and down Western. I couldn’t find them. Jeff arrived home from work just as I was parking the car in the garage. We met inside and could barely tell him what happened I was crying so hard. I had failed.
The image of those two is still with me today. We had a series of nasty thunderstorms this morning which woke me from my sleep. My first thoughts were of them — hoping they were some place safe, some place dry. It’s suppose to hit 86° F today here in Chicagoland. The heat can be lethal for a short snouted breed like boston terriers. I hope they found a cool place to rest. I like to think another good samaritan reached them before I returned to the intersection and hopefully they are a bit closer to home, wherever that may be.