i realize this isn’t the most uncommon experience in the world. and being a San Francisco resident, i should have appreciated that it was shit of the canine variety, at least, as opposed to human.
that said, there’s another important detail: i was barefoot.
with a 3000-mile walk ahead, most sensible people would interpret this unfortunate incident as an omen. “you stepped barefoot into dog shit right before a big walk you have planned? maybe you should reconsider.”
but no, that’s not an option. while i was obviously fucking disgusted in the moment–and even spent a few moments frozen in social terror, praying that my spirit would evacuate its (now shit-caked) shell of a body and rocket to another dimension–i’m still here and doing fine.
there’s something cosmically humbling about stepping in a pile of mush that’s coursed its way through a dog’s intestinal tract. you can think you’re on top of the world–charming enough to snag a beautiful brilliant girlfriend, rhythmic enough to spin soulful vinyl at a deep desert party, clever enough to kick ass at a nerdy board game, and brave enough to quit your 9-5 to be a full-time bum–but step in a little poo, and you remember how precarious it all really is.
a few minutes later, i sat on a ledge and scrubbed my feet down with an ice cube and napkins. that’s all i had. and it felt good. cleaning your feet can be one of the most rewarding, meditative exercises. cleaning turns to scrubbing turns to rubbing turns to full on massaging. no wonder Jesus’ friends loved him so much.
and christ! what a joy to even have feet! and legs! and limbs! and life! maybe it’s worth stepping in dog shit every once in awhile just to regain appreciation for the things we take for granted every day. we assume we can walk anywhere we want. we assume we can take care of ourselves. we assume we’re all little special deities walking on water. and then–squish!
in any case, the walk is still on. hopefully my eyes will be open.