A mind like a steel trap ain’t such a good think. It creates a singular, not necessarily true truth
We are fond of repeating this dogma with frequency in our history.
Both personal and global.
I stare out my picture windows and watch an older man walk his gigantic furball dog past on my sidewalk. My street. Four or more times a day for a year, alternately being dragged by or dragging the beast.
I dislike him. I hate the dog. I wonder why he has to walk so much on my block. He stumbles at times, hunched by time and misfortune. An ex-con whose housing is paid by the department of corrections/us in a local motel. We pay, too, for the dog food for the vicious creature who has turned on me more than once. Dog Man is thin, and is pulled from his feet to the ground as the dog lunges.
I contacted Animal Ordinance Control officers who were most compassionate but cannot do anything unless I have photographs of the dog attacking. So I practice taking pictures of the two. As luck would have it, all 5 of us end up in the veterinarian office one afternoon.
At home, a study of my photos shame me. I see that he walks two dogs twice a day despite his growing frailty and the climate extremes. The dogs differ in appearance significantly. Why I could not see this is due to a brain function called clozure. A technique by which we learn to read and fill in blanks in our grade school workbooks. Also called Slice of Life Memories by police detectives who receive 12 different sequences of events from 12 witnesses. An illusion created by faulty thinking patterns.
Turns out, one dog is the protector. One is gentle and attentive, as my black cat twines happily around its massive fur paws.
We are good at this. Jumping to conclusions. Assuming the worst. Creating battles from the wrong perspectives. Failing to recognize essential details. Rewriting history to our preferences. Trumpeting self importance. And when I say we, I mean me.
While I ponder battles, discrimination, pollution, kingdoms, illusion, Dog Man ambles by his street with one of his panting dogs in the rising heat.