What’s seen cannot be unseen

26 Apr

Waking up Friday morning, I was surprised to discover my ribs hurt – the sort of hurt that comes from a night of coughing, but I hadn’t. I laid back, taking a moment to reflect on what might have caused this strange pain. And then it hit me.

A basset hound’s nose comes in second place after a bloodhound’s. Consequently, as I walk Richard, I look down, on alert for icky things his nose might be drawn to. Somedays I catch them before he does. Thursday I did not.

I live in a residential neighborhood a few blocks away from “Restaurant Row”. After almost 16 years in my home, you’d think I would have grown accustomed to the food waste that gets dropped. There are also lots of icky things that appear – there are also establishments that serve alcohol. Of course, Richard’s nose led him straight to the vomit obscured by grass. I yanked the leash, pulling him away, but the damage had been done. What’s seen cannot be unseen, and my lizard brain took over.

I have always had a light gag reflex. Thursday morning, it was in Overdrive because I gagged for a full two blocks. I used all the tricks in my arsenal – visualizing pretty scenes to banish the ugle, breathing exercises, self talk – all the while looking around to be sure no neighbors saw me retching.

As I sit here writing, the memory has me near-gagging. I’ll need to file this mental image deep in my brain, along with that time a kindergartner sneezed in a book. But that’s a tale for another day.

5 Responses to “What’s seen cannot be unseen”

  1. Trish April 26, 2022 at 6:48 am #

    Oh my gosh, all the joys of pet ownership on full display. I can only imagine, and you’ve helped me do so with description that is a lot suggestion (haven’t we all wished we could unsee?), how intense the gagging was to produce the rib discomfort. Here’s hoping you can beat Richard to the punch next time!

  2. arjeha April 26, 2022 at 7:25 am #

    Oh my! That is a sight, and in some cases the smell, that is so hard to unsee. I would have the same reaction.

  3. Book Dragon April 26, 2022 at 3:33 pm #

    Oh yuck, I am right with you.
    I enjoyed how you built anticipation within this slice. The opening paragraph was a great hook, and with each subsequent paragraph I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next.

  4. Writing to Learn, Learning to Write April 27, 2022 at 3:07 am #

    You have me gagging too! Yuck! My dog went through a few weeks where she kept finding dead things on our walks and tried to eat them. She found a bird, a frog, and a mouse! It was awful. My husband had to pull them from her mouth.

    • Adrienne April 27, 2022 at 5:07 am #

      Oh, that’s so gross.

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