Work Backup

Have you ever just wanted to send someone in your place for the day?  It could be to the office or just as a fill-in for whatever you do every day.  In our case, it’s just the two of us so the only logical substitute is the dog.  We paint the picture by discussing him trotting into the office, going down the hallways, with little glasses on that we feel he needs in order to make him look more professional.  He could hop up into our chair at our desk, putting his little paws on the keyboard and looking at the computer screen like he’s perfectly comfortable and confident in what he’s to do.

For me, I’d have him write blog posts about getting to fetch fluffy toys, how to properly discover and roll in stinky things in the yard, best practices for reminding your owner of when it’s dinner time.  He could research Twitter members to help promote my book.  He knows if he helps his mamas, he gets more cookies.  He’d look up Lassie and Bub to follow, like minded pets and people that he can relate to.  He’d take a break every so often to get a drink of water and ask to be put out for some fresh air.

For my partner, he’d drive to work, honking the horn and barking at everyone that cut him off or for the horribly long traffic lights.  He’d sit in meetings, play on his smartphone, interject every so often with a sigh and a growl before retreating back to his open office, adjustable desk.  He’d shake all over flinging dust and hair onto the neighboring desk but since it’s just a guy, he barely notices.  Before heading to lunch, he lets out a big yawn causing half of the office to pass out.  It’s all a part of his plan to get in front of them before the caf gets too full.  He grabs a slice of pizza, eats it right on the floor and retreats back to his desk where he curls up and sleeps for a few hours.

Upon waking, he heads outside again before heading to the next meeting where he tries to draw his plans on a white board but can’t reach so he just scribbles on the wall below it.  He drops the marker on the floor confident he’s made his point, knowing that he’s a genius and under-appreciated everywhere he goes.  And with that, he hops back in the car, drives home with the windows down so the wind can blow the hair from his face.  He arrives home exhausted, pleads with his mamas not to make him do that again, has some dinner and retreats to his fluffy bed where he can curl up with his plush toys and sleep through the evening.

My partner and I discuss if anyone would actually even notice the substitute.  Would he end up biting the people we didn’t like in the office or growl at them?  Would he get distracted and end up peeing on the floor or try to mark every desk and pee on each one?  Or worse, get frightened and poop right in the middle of the hallway.  We think it might be too much for him but want him to succeed.  Just then, he lifts his head to peek at us from behind his bangs.  We’re stare at one another for a moment as if he knows we’re talking about him.  He flops his head back down on his bed, down for the count.  We face the realization that there is no backup.

Coastal Motorin’

Driving along the highway, through a small storm cloud, I felt the tiny needles of rain pierce my jeans and spatter on my helmet. The moisture rich air smelled clean and warm even though my nose was getting cold as I drove toward the northern hills.  Taking the exit started the series of sharp turns, narrow streets, and bottlenecked cars with drivers too busy looking at the cavernous hillsides and streets lined with eucalyptus trees shedding their bark and casting shady shadows on the road.  The scent of eucalyptus washed over me as I passed by.  I breathed deep, wanting to take the smell with me on my journey.

Once I’d made my way over the mountain, I maneuvered through some downtown streets and then started on the coastal roadway.  Within minutes, I was cruising high up on the road with the sea far below.  The cliffs were stunning and the see was a blue-green against the powdery blue of the sky.  Up and down hills, around corners and I was suddenly at sea level with white-capped waves crashing on white sand beaches with the orange, brown and green cliffs in the background.  The sea salted air filled my helmet and the tiny particles of mist covered my shield.  It was beyond beautiful.

As the road flattened out further up, it was green for as far as I could see.  There were manicured rows of fruits and vegetables. I always love to see the anal retentiveness of farms.  It smelled of manure and fertilizer which wasn’t pleasant but it was so amazing going between the extremes that I didn’t mind.  I could see the sea just beyond the rows of green.  I thought that it must be magnificent to own a farm right on the ocean.  It’s the best of both worlds.

I continued my journey for over 100 miles and finally wound my way back home, tired but exhilarated at the same time.  It was my new favorite thing to do.  I felt fortunate for the opportunity to experience something, a ride, a site, an area, that some may never get to see.