Block 524: November 19, 2014


Another one of my Bowery Beauty series.

Date: November 19, 2014

Crane: 524

Days Spent on Project: 639

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Jacob D. Pigg.

Growing up, I was diagnosed at a *fairly* young age with Asthma. The doctor, my first asthmoloist, in my childhood rated it almost at the peak on a scale of 1 to 10.

Because of that sentencing, it was understood that we would not have any kind of pet in our household. Anything with fur or hair– or anything that had the possibility of shedding ANY PART OF THEMSELVES– was forbidden.

To bear with the lack of any kind of pet, our family had a rotating series of animals: fish and turtles, animals that were interesting and technically “pets,” but unable to really show affection or be a “family member.”

Fast forward to my sixth grade year in elementary school, sometime in the fall, and reading in a magazine about an animal that was non-allergenic and becoming increasingly popular as a pet in (a few) households.

Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs.

I was desperate for an animal. And so started my fascination with these animals and the pleas with my parents to get one. They had every reason NOT to get one. I was asthmatic. I’d never had a pet before and it would bring a lot of responsibilities with it. It was going to be expensive (not as expensive as a French Bulldog though!). IT WAS A PIG. We lived in a growing suburb. And so on.

So, imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I woke up and opened a package that contained pet supplies. And then another that had pig food. And then I was told to look in a bathroom in the back of the house.

A piglet was standing in the bathtub. Oinking.

My brother and I started shrieking like young boys do. The pig replied with his own shrieks.

That first night, my brother and I slept in the laundry room on the floor because we were so infatuated with this animal and so strangely happy to finally have a pet. A real honest-to-God pet.

Jacob– or Jake– stayed with our family for a very long time. And he eventually grew and became an adult PIG. He brought with him a lot of responsibility and concerns. He would, as the years passed, be relegated to the garage and then a hut outside as he kept growing and turning into what nature intended him to be– A PIG.

Pigs make interesting pets. I wasn’t, at that age, a great pet owner, and I’m sure my parents shook their heads frequently at what my pet-desperation had wrought on the family. But, still, I had a pet– however loose that definition needed to be– and I think I was happier for it.

Jake eventually graduated out of the hut (this was many many years later, when I was in high school) and onto a farm. My parents had a friend with acreage in upstate Indiana where Jake would spend his twilight years.

The things kids will do for a pet. The things parents will do for a kid.

Music I listened to while sewing: Lady Gaga’s ArtPop… the song “Gypsy” specifically.

When all is said and done, this project is going to have a really diverse and amazing playlist on Spotify.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: We start tech rehearsals for our Christmas shows today. Both theaters in this complex will have Christmas productions up and running this weekend. IT’S NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET.

Meanwhile, I’m concerned with my attitude that I want to stay as busy as possible so I don’t feel so alone and unanchored here in Portland. If I do so, the time goes by quickly and I’ve got a lot of things to work on… but I’m also not exploring this city or allowing it to seduce me.

Come on, Portland, seduce me. At least try…

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