Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Invisible Dogs in Brooklyn

Only yesterday, at the Art Under the Bridge Festival in DUMBO, MoPa, John and I were discussing the phenomenon of the invisible dog.  Muckle had never heard of them, but Mo got one at the circus once, and had played with it for all of six hours.  Had she still owned it, she would have let Muckle enjoy it to his heart’s content.  But alas, it was long gone.

Then today, John and I step out our door to go to an open house (pretending we might actually buy real estate in New York), and invisible dogs are everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  Seemingly on the arm of every person–black, white, Latino, Asian, male, female, transgendered, straight, gay, young, old, and any accidentally overlooked demographic group–except us.  People have invisible Chihuahuas and invisible great Danes and lots and lots of invisible beagles, labs, and mutts.  Don’t ask how I know that.  I just do.

The first three invisible dogs were on our street and were quite amusing, particularly because we’d just been talking about them.  I thought they were an isolated incident, a mad coincidence.  So I took a picture.

Grown Men with Invisible Dogs

Grown Men with Invisible Dogs

And then the people with invisible dogs began multiplying.  Before our very eyes.  And when you asked them about the dogs, they said things that made you feel stupid, like, “Oh, I adopted her upstate,” or “You know, it’s generally a good idea to ask someone if you can pet his or her dog before just reaching out and touching it–you never know how a dog will react to strangers.”

What about how strangers will react to scores of adults with invisible dogs!?  Especially if said strangers are me and Muckle and we literally were talking about invisible dogs not 24 hours prior!?  How many of you, gentle readers, were talking about invisible dogs on Saturday?  Hmm…Really?  Unless you’re MoPa, I’m just not inclined to believe you.

As John said, it was like we lived in an alternate universe.  I tried convincing him that a real dog he saw was actually invisible too, and that he’d developed the power to see them, but he didn’t fall for it.  Crafty fellow.

My early iPhone searches for ” ‘invisible dogs’ brooklyn”  yielded nothing but exciting ads for this really cool looking art space opening up in my neighborhood.  So I started thinking that maybe we were living in an alternate universe (another weird thing: people were climbing in and out of a manhole on Atlantic Ave as if it were a tourist attraction).  I wondered if our talking about the invisible dogs had called them into being.  Or if it had made dogs turn invisible.  Or if I was losing it.  I’m reading The Third Policeman, by Flann O’Brien, a weird and wonderful book in which, among other things, people turn into bicycles and vice versa, so maybe my mind was feeling a bit susceptible to insane possibilities.  Or maybe it always is.

Then I posted on Facebook—an excellent way to check one’s sanity.  And then a blogger I follow in my neighborhood, prettyinthecity posted on her Twitter.  And then the truth came out: it was Improv Everywhere!  Which made total sense, especially because they’re known for doing things which make people feel socially awkward.  Just like Doubleawk!  Oh no, that’s right.  I do things that make me feel socially awkward.  Whatever.

The dogs totally did make me feel awkward, because I felt like there was something everyone was in on but me.  And I wanted to be in on it.  Like, a lot.  I kept wondering where we could get the dogs.  I wanted an invisible dog.  I wanted an invisible dog right now!  Because everyone else had one.  Even though just yesterday I’d been saying they were silly,  I wanted one a whole lot because I didn’t know where everyone else was getting them and I felt left out and sad.

But the truth is,  I’m kind of afraid of dogs.

I like cats.  Especially these cats.  My cats.  I know preferring cats is an unpopular position and I am prepared for any hatemail this statement invites.  Fortunately, I should be somewhat protected by the infinitesimal size of my readership.  Being unknown does have its benefits.

I like cats. Especially these cats. My cats. I know preferring cats is an unpopular position and I am prepared for any hatemail this statement invites. Fortunately, I should be somewhat protected by the infinitesimal size of my readership. Being unknown does have its benefits.

And imagine how scary an invisible dog would be?  It would be able to attack you and jump on you and bite you and drool on you without your even being able to see it.  So I’m glad the invisible dog thing wasn’t real.  I can think of cooler alternative universes I would want to inhabit, like ones in which I already own New York real estate and cats can talk and teleportation is possible and candy corn doesn’t make you feel sick if you eat a whole bag of it.

And I guess I’ll get over being left out.  Maybe I’ll start a cool “happening” like bring your invisible friend to work day which will just look like I’m talking to myself in my apartment, a.k.a., any typical workday.

Awkward and out,

Leda