UP

She reminded me of the house from Up. You know, Up. The Pixar film. The house containing the old man and the child, tethered to thousands of brightly coloured balloons, takes off and flies away.

She wasn’t flying away, this woman. She was walking away. And she wasn’t tethered to thousands of colourful balloons. She was holding about three peach-coloured nappy sacks containing dog excrement. And if anything, they were weighing her down. Like ballast in a hot air balloon. Perhaps if she dropped the bags, she’d fly away. Probably not, but as I watched her go, I thought of the house from Up.

I can’t talk to people. Well, I can, I just choose not to. Picking the kids up from school I’ll stand there in silence among all the other chatty parents. Trying to smile. I’ve got enough friends, you know? Probably got some anti-social disorder although if you ask me, it’s everybody else who has a pro-social disorder. But that all flies away like the house from Up when I’m out with the dog. Don’t know what it is. I just turn really social. Saying hello to absolutely everybody. And the new dog’s great. It’s fucking amazing. Bites me a lot but it’s only playing. That’s how they play.

“Oh, he’s lovely!”

“She, yeah she is.”

“What kind of dog is it?”

“Don’t know, a big black hairy one,” I reply because it’s kind of funny. And then, without prompt, I’ll launch into her history, how we got her, her great temperament. I’ll even talk about Banjo who snuffed it last year. I’ll just go on and on and on. I’ll talk to their dogs too. “Oh hello!” I’ll say.

What a sociable chap with a lovely dog! People think. I’m sure that’s what the woman who reminded me of the house from Up was thinking as she walked away. She was wrong. I just go chatty mental when I’m out with the dog.