“Jaime! Sabrina! Help!”
I opened my bedroom door and saw my housemate, Alice, chase after a four-foot long sleek, dark brown dog with a fiercely wagging tail down our narrow hallway in our three-bedroom apartment. He – I only assume it’s a he since he didn’t stick around long enough for me to check – made his rounds up and down the hallway, sniffing and licking every corner, as curious as a toddler who just learned how to walk and now wants to explore the world orally. Within five seconds of opening my door, he ambled over to this new opening, and tried to poke his nose between my legs. But I stood my ground. When he discovered he couldn’t get any further, he lost interest and meandered back to the kitchen – another reason I assume he’s, well, a he.
“I don’t know what to do!” Alice cried out in frustration, throwing her arms up in the air with a look of helplessness.
Jaime and I stepped out of my room to help Alice coax the dog out of the apartment. The two of us positioned ourselves side-by-side and acted as a feeble barricade between the kitchen and the hallway to the bedrooms. Luckily for us, the dog was more interested in lapping up the scraps of last night’s chopped onions and prodding our over-filled trashcan than heading back to the bedrooms.
As we stood there, Alice continued to follow the dog. How did that dog get inside our apartment? According to Alice, the pooch leaped out from behind a rock wall about half a block from our apartment and bounded towards her when she passed him on her bike. Afraid that the dog would jump on top of her and cause her to topple over, she stopped biking and walked the rest of the way home, hoping she would be able to get in the apartment and close the door before the dog followed her inside. She was unsuccessful.
Now what? The dog had tired of the dirty kitchen and moved on to the living room, where he circled around the chairs and poked his nose under the couch.
“Here, boy, come on, follow me,” Alice chirped while clapping her hands, trying to get the dog’s attention. He ignored her, and instead slurped some water someone had left in a glass next to the couch.
“What should I do?” Alice asked. Instead of answering her question, Jaime decided it now was prime time to take a shower and took his leave of the living room. I moved from the hallway to the space in between the kitchen and the living room in, yet, another pathetic attempt to turn myself into a barrier.
Meanwhile, Alice kept clapping, trying to divert the dog’s attention away from the floor to the open front door. After a few more minutes of Alice snapping and sweet-talking the dog in vain, a biker passed by our door and the dog took off like an eager soldier rushing towards his enemy in combat after hearing, “Charge!” Alice peeked out the door, gave the dog a limp wave good-bye and promptly shut the door.
Although this incident may sound strange, my housemates are no strangers to stray animals. In fact, Alice attracts animals. Last summer, a white cat with a spiked collar followed her home, and again she was unable to close the front door in time. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what happened exactly. I can only assume it’s now dead.
For this reason – quirky happenings, not dead cats – I love Isla Vista. I firmly believe this one-square mile area harbors some of the most fascinating people, and I have seen some of the strangest events and engaged in some of the most interesting conversations in my life in this town. But I digress.
Moral of the story: slow and steady does not in fact win the race. And if you can’t beat ’em, learn how to swiftly close your door.