On the eve of June 6, I ordered sushi. I deserved it. I was about to get a year older. Quarter of a century – that’s a landmark to celebrate, they said.
So I did. I ordered three sets of sushi from my favourite sushi place downtown. They don’t deliver to where I live, but I knew it would be worth the drive, so I placed an order, grabbed my keys, and went to pick it up myself. It wasn’t ready yet and I had to wait. No problem, I’d just look around. I noticed a magnificent ficus plant on their window sill and asked if I could nip a branch to grow my own fig tree. I left the sushi place with two bags of sushi and a slightly abused piece of tree.
In the morning of June 6, I had planned to sleep in. Unfortunately, no one told that to my relatives who decided to call at 8 o’clock. I ignored the ringing, but the damage had been done – I was unable to fall asleep again.
My partner brought me a small marzipan cake with fountain candles. He wanted to have five candles to represent my mental age but could only fit two. For breakfast, we trained the dog and had leftover sushi, cake, and coffee. My partner had also given me bubble blowers. It had been ages since I last blew bubbles, so I spent some time admiring their colours and floatiness and tried to make the dog chase them.
At 11:05 o’clock, my mother called. That’s the exact time she decided to eject me from her body some 25 years ago. “Begone!”, and I was.
I also got two new plants. One pot of lithops from my partner and a cut-off baby from an aloe I had noticed on the window of a friend of a friend. As if I had too few plants. Oh, no. There’s very little space left on my windowsills. Although… The bedroom one has no plants on it…
My partner took our dog to his relative’s place. He has a bit of an isolation anxiety, so we cannot leave him alone at home yet. The dog, not the partner. Although…
This allowed us to go for a ride with the motorcycles. We had a stop at Paldiski cliff which was cut short because I remembered that I had forgotten my keys in ignition. “Absentminded” is my middle name. Before I remembered that, though, I had admired some colourful plants growing between the rocks on the cliff. There were green and yellow and bright red. They looked astonishing together between the white rocks. I grabbed some of them, hoping to be able to grow them in a pot at home.
We went for ice cream at the local store. A Russian-speaking drunkard came to us when we were munching on our frozen delights. He asked about my partner’s bike and my partner replied in his broken Russian. I speak no Russian, neither do I understand it, so I was just stuffing my face with ice cream.
We did a lap around Padise monastery and headed back home. It was nice to ride. I feel like I am getting better.
Then we went to pick up the dog. He had had so much fun playing with the children and running around the yard that he couldn’t care less about us and going home. We finally managed to coax him into getting in the car and could drive away.
We did not get far before noticing a loose dog running onto the road. I yelled for my partner to stop the car and was out the door before the wheels stopped turning. I made kissy noises to invite the dog over, squatted down to make myself less threatening, and threw treats in his direction. He sucked at eating the treats from the ground but, fortunately, he was brave enough to take them from my hand. He was so gentle! I could only feel his lips brush against my fingers. Not like our dog who tries to eat your whole hand when you offer him a piece of chicken.
He looked a bit half-witted, but that was probably because his lower jaw was slightly longer and his teeth were exposed between his lips. He was small and cute and did not deserve to be running around like this – startled and confused and hot. He was wearing a badly-fitted collar, but had no leash, nor tags. No indication of where he might have come from or who he might belong to.
I cried out to my partner to bring our dog’s leash, so I could prevent the stray from running away again. The pup was afraid of my partner who is a big guy and was towering above us, so I told him to either squat, go away, or find out whose dog this might be. In my head, I was running various scenarios and options – take him home with us overnight, drop him off at my partner’s uncle’s place which was in the same village where we found him, take him to the pound… What if his owners never turn up? Could I keep him? My partner called the shelter, and they promised to call him back in a minute.
Two guys passed us. Both said something about there being a Facebook group for their village, but only the second one offered to post a photo there. Before he could do that, my partner noticed someone running towards us from afar. I was focused on the dog and kept feeding him pieces of fried chicken and liver. The woman claimed the dog and I unclipped my leash from his collar.
The woman explained that he must have broken loose from the yard. She had brought no leash with her, so she grabbed the dog’s collar and started pulling him away. It was a miserable sight to see. The dog did not want to go with her at all. He had his tail tucked between his hind legs and he kept looking back at me. The lady had to literally drag him away with her. Why she did not pick him up, I do not know. It was a tiny dog and it would have been perfectly possible to carry him, even for long distances. But as it was not my dog, it was not my place to say anything. I just made sure she knew what I had fed him in case he has any allergies.
To finish our day, we went to a local diner. We sat on the patio that was full of mosquitoes and ate barbecue. The dog was tired and calm. For most of the time, he slept near my feet. The food was decent but the weird Georgian lemonade was overly sweet. We walked home as it was just across the street from our housing complex.
At home, I finally planted the rockery plants I had picked from Paldiski into a big flower pot. They did not look half as nice as they did outside, but I thought perhaps the sight would improve once they grew in and I added some white rocks. I have yet to do that, but the plants seem to be surviving so far.
So this was my quarter-of-a-century birthday. It may not sound like much, but in my opinion, it was the perfect day. Full of such trivial and usual things, e.g. soap bubbles or loose dogs, but they all added up and caused me to be amazed at everything. I could not have wished for a more perfect birthday. I fell asleep around midnight, tired and content.