June 03, 2011

A Simple Purpose

When my friends mentioned their trip to Hawaii, but lamented that their dogsitter might not be able to help them out this time, I jumped to volunteer.

"Really? You'd be willing to stay over for a week?" they asked.

Their surprise surprised me. "Yes of course! Why wouldn't I?" After all, I'd stayed with them twice last year while I was living in NYC and looking for a job in LA. I'd fallen in love with their dog, and at the time, had gotten so spoiled by their gorgeous section of West Hollywood, I was afraid my expectations of my potential quality of life in LA had been set too high.

Now I live just a few blocks away. Even if I needed to go back to my apartment for any reason during the week staying in West Hollywood, I could just walk there.

And the fact is, it's not like staying somewhere else for a week is really interrupting my routine much. I'd barely settled into my apartment during my first three months in LA when the rug was pulled out from under me, routine rendered topsy-turvy, suddenly eliminating my reason to get up in the morning. Without a job to go to, I found days slipping away from me, spent in front of a laptop, or accomplishing mundane errands like getting gas, groceries, copies made, etc. (which, because of traffic and sprawl, does take forever in LA).

So at least now, for a week, I have to structure my day around very simple assignments: walk the dog, who stares at me expectantly and licks my face sometime after 6 a.m., feed him and the cat, walk the dog again sometime after 6 p.m., and feed them again. Snuggle. Praise. Love.

It's kind of nice to have a creature depending on me, to have the feeling that what I'm doing is important (though not complicated).

I'm a selfish person, and if I'm going to have to be living in LA jobless, I'm going to do selfish things like hike and swim and visit new cafes and flirt with new cute bartenders. Maybe I'll find a place to volunteer. Maybe I'll find a way (finally) to help people.

But in the meantime, this little doggie looks like he needs to be pet.

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