Thursday, January 23, 2014


Good morning, Ecuador!
I have to share something with you that is driving me insane.
Back in August, Buddha was diagnosed with Spinal Ataxia, a degenerative disk disease that is causing what they call "drunken walking" in his back legs. Instead of going ahead with a spinal surgery, which I refused to put my 11 year old best friend through, I did some research to find alternative treatments. That's when we found Dr. Jane, pet acupuncturist.
Dr. Jane deserves her own blog post that is just about her and her work, because she is magic. She began aggressively treating Buddha with needles and a machine that hooks to them, sending minute electric vibrations through them. Before we started acupuncture, Buddha would fall down several times during a walk.  He couldn't lift his leg to pee. It was getting very sad to watch. The difference has been night and day, and he now lifts his leg to pee again, and though now and again he will lose balance, he gets around so much better than before.  He continues acupuncture with Dr. Jane every couple of weeks.
One of the recommendations to make egress easier for him in the house was to replace our thin leopard print rug with something shaggier, so that he could get better traction. Though we love our Norma Desmond rug, we saw exactly what she meant, as Boo was much happier on any other surface than that rug.

I went to Home Depot and found what looked to be the perfect fit for our house.  A white shag rug that looked like it was straight out of the 1960's. Four hundred dollars later, it came home with me. I brought it inside, and Matt and I moved Norma Desmond to the downstairs bedroom, which Buddha seldom is interested in visiting. As soon as we unrolled it, and put the coffee table back, Buddha was in heaven. He LOVES the shag rug, and moves much better on it. Dr. Jane came over for a session and LOVES the shag rug, and thinks that it is the perfect rug to give him more padding and traction in the room he spends a majority of his time in. We LOVED the rug for the first couple of weeks. LOVED it.

Here is where the tale begins to unravel.
We started to notice that the rug was shedding little white threads.  Just a few here and there.  No big deal. That's what the vacuum is for, right? Right.
I go to NYC for a week to workshop a new musical, and notice that I find a few threads of the white rug in the apartment where I am staying.  I laugh, and mention it to Matt on the phone. He laughs, and agrees that it really is starting to get worse, the shedding. It's a phase, we both agree.  It will pass. I board the Amtrack train to come home and find another white thread on the floor of the train by my boot.  And I had been hundreds of miles from the rug for a week.

As the weeks followed, the rug began to shed more and more.  We were about to throw a party for New Year's Eve, and were busy cleaning the house.  We gave the whole house a good vacuuming. We had to pause several times to unclog the bristles of the vacuum from the tenuous white threads. Finally the carpets were clear, and all looked good. One hour later, and before company even arrived, Matt said, "Look at the rug. I can't believe it! We just vacuumed!"
 The crawling tendrils of thread had already creeped back onto the other rugs. We both slumped our shoulders, feeling defeated by the rug and it's millions of creeping children.
But Buddha LOVES it.
 And Dr. Jane LOVES it. Now we LOATHE it.
I have found the tiny white threads everywhere that I have been, and sometimes in places that I haven't been. Friends who visit soon find the threads in their own homes. This rug is trying to multiply and make other little rugs in other homes, and will no doubt try to conquer the world within the month.

I can't help but think of the vignette from the 80's film, Creepshow, called "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill"In it, Stephen King himself plays a man who finds a comet that has crashed in his back yard, and what does he do? He touches it. I mean...people...have we not learned our lesson from The Blob?  When something falls from the sky, LEAVE THAT SHIT ALONE! Before you know it, he begins to grow a plant like moss all over his body.  Anywhere that he walks, anything that he touches, the green growth spreads. By the end, he is barely recognizable as a human, and shoots himself out of misery. I'm not at that point yet, but I reached a breaking point when I got out of bed this morning to pee and found one of the threads...oh yes.  Just where you think. I hear them now, mocking me.
They are even here, at Ford's Theatre. They have followed me. Watching.  Waiting. Slowly observing when the best moment to strike will be.
We continue to fight. Like Sisyphus, we vacuum the rug, we vacuum the rug, we vacuum the rug. We muse to ourselves that we will rent a rug doctor and that will REALLY get all of those threads for good. Then we are weary that it might only make it worse. So as we lose our minds in a never ending cycle of madness, the threads continue to multiply. I just found another one on my leg.  My mind is unraveling along with the rug, and as I empty the vacuum bristles from their tangle of white threads, I can hear them laughing at me, very softly.
Pray for dawn.


Jenna Ballard said...

We can never allow the white rug to meet the hideous blanket! love, jenna

Jenna Ballard said...

We can never allow the white rug to meet the hideous blanket!!