Inktober Day 13 – “guarded”

I thought it was kind of funny that the one part of the reference photo I didn’t even attempt was my own tattooed arm! Haha! It was such a small drawing (see my thumb for reference), and I didn’t know how to even start it. But don’t take that to mean I don’t love my sleeve, I do! But how do I draw that? No idea.

The other night Jason asked me what my current Inktober prompt was, and I told him it was “guarded”.

“I don’t know what to draw,” I said. “Maybe one of the guards who stand outside Buckingham Palace?”

He took out of his phone, and I thought he was going to look up a photo of a palace guardsman. Instead, he pointed the phone at me. “You should draw this,” he said. “The way Finnegan is always laying on you. He’s guarding you!”

Sure enough, he does look like he’s guarding me all the time. He’s such a good baby. I call him my “soul-mate dog”. He takes care of me. While I’m sure he doesn’t understand what fibromyalgia is, it seems clear he understands that I’m not as strong or energetic as other people in the household, and he watches over me a lot. If I’m upset, he comes directly to my side and comforts me. Anytime I’m on the couch, Finn jumps up with me, and curls up like he is now, against my legs.

Finn is my third corgi, and my first Cardigan. While there are other differences, an easy way to spot the difference between Cardis and Pems is that Cardigans are the corgis with tails, while Pembrokes are the corgis without tails. With both my Pembrokes, I felt that missing a tail meant they were missing a lot of emotive capability, and that idea seems well borne out by Finnegan’s wide range of expressions in the swish of his mighty Cardigan tail. That tail can telegraph excitement, contentment, playfulness, questioning, exasperation, pensiveness, and total ecstatic joy (like when we get home from the store and he knows we have pizza), among others.

Finn was purchased from Léo at Toreth Cardigan Corgis, and is, hands down, the happiest and most relaxed and intelligent dog I’ve ever owned. I was able to get to know Léo and visit her home a few times, and I’m in a Facebook group with other owners. My adoration of and good experience with Toreth Corgis is shared by many others! If you’re looking for a corgi pup bred for all the right reasons, I highly recommend Toreth.

In random other news, while I was painting, I was listening to this talk on “shadow work” by Craig Lambert, who has written a book on the topic.

A quote from his web page:

Shadow work includes all of the unpaid tasks we do on behalf of businesses and organizations. It has slipped into our routines stealthily; most of us do not realize how much of it we are already doing, even as we pump our own gas, scan and bag our own groceries, execute our own stock trades, and build our own unassembled furniture. But its presence is unmistakable, and its effects far-reaching.

Interesting stuff! I agree with a lot of his points, but I don’t know how we go backward. I see that problem a lot with our culture today – especially those areas of our daily shared lives that have been shaped by market forces and completely out-of-control corporate power. Yes, it’s bad, and I’m pretty exhausted talking about how bad it is, but what do we do? 

The monster in the bathroom

The other night, I woke up about 2am, for no good reason. I knew if I just lay there quietly, I might fall back asleep, but then came that annoying impulse to use the bathroom. Oh come on. Really? I did that thing where you lay in bed and debate with yourself. How much pee can there really be? Maybe I can just ignore it? Maybe I can just stay in bed under the warm covers until morning?

But then the more you think about it, the more you have to go, until it’s just inevitable. You will be getting up. So there I was, padding to the bathroom in the dark, annoyed that I was about to enter a brightly lit bathroom, which would wake me up even more. I’m so dang light sensitive. Unless…..I just didn’t turn the light on. Yes! Great idea! A dangerous prospect for guys, sure, but for women, what could really go wrong? I can do this. My eyes are adjusted to the dark. I can make out the outlines of things. I’ll be fine. Why didn’t I ever try this before?

I stepped into the dark bathroom, and immediately remembered every moment in childhood when the idea of going into a bathroom in the dark ran against every fiber of my being. Riiiiight, this is why I’ve never done this before. Because monsters, and scary movies, and creatures who hang outside the window scratching to get in, and the angry demons who live in mirrors, and don’t forget the murderers with masks and giant knives who enjoy standing in bathtubs with the shower curtain 99% closed. This is why we have transparent plastic shower curtains.

I stood up straight and laughed at myself. This is FUNNY! Feeling wiggy about peeing in a dark bathroom when you’re 44 years old is so adorable! I smiled. I looked boldly into the dark mirror over the sink, and stared straight out the window into the dark. I peered around in the dark, labeling the outlines of things. It was just a bathroom. There’s the edge of the tub, there’s the shelf with the Nyquil and Tylenol, there’s the garbage can. This is so mundane. This is so boring. Nothing is weird here! Time to pee.

The second my butt hit the seat, I looked up, and in the corner of the room, out of the shower stall, LEAPS A GIANT BLACK THING DIRECTLY AT ME.

For a fraction of a second I have the thought:


I jumped – a feat I’m still not sure how I accomplished – and then fell back onto the toilet with a boom that echoed through the room and caused the monster to startle and leap into the air once again, at which point I realized my demonic bathroom presence was our 8 lb cat, Chloe.

Why she was hiding in the shower, I have no idea (I checked the next day, she wasn’t using it as a litter box). But I’m guessing she’ll never do it again, and I’m guessing that I’ll be peeing with the light on from now on.