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  • Lauren Sauer

Like a Tiger at the Zoo

This week (yes, it's only been a week) has felt longer than any other. Perhaps the last time I was counting minutes this intently was in the eighth grade when I didn't want to be at sleep-away camp. I would lie awake in my sleeping bag, sweating profusely in a cabin in August, rolling my eyes as I remembered it was actually Tuesday, not Wednesday, and the bus home wasn't going to careen through the campsite entrance for another four days. But back then I was without smartphone and was swimming with a tampon in for the first time, experiencing the acute agony of being thirteen in the summer. This is different than that. I'm not outdoors and I don't have braces, and I'm only watching the hours tick by because I'm bored.


Isn't that something? Bored. With more options that humans frankly should have, I manage to be bored. With a cell phone that seems to do just about everything short of turn into an aircraft. In a way it's sweet to know that we humans, ultimately, just want to connect and just want to get fresh air. When push comes to shove and we've exhausted every Netflix title, we just want to go on a walk with our friends. Feeling like a tiger at the zoo must, I'm getting antsy pacing back and forth in my 800 square foot enclosure. So, I took advantage of the 75 degree weather the other day, walked a few miles and collected my thoughts. And now here they are for your reading pleasure:


Thoughts From a Tiger in the Wild (aka Georgetown on a Thursday)


For every person outdoors running right now, how many do you think actually identify as a runner? Like, how many of these people actually are psycho enough to run even when there’s not a health pandemic? Furthermore, do you think they’re annoyed that all these non-runners have decided now would be a good time to start running, and now it’s, like, less special because it’s not just their thing? I think if I was a runner that would annoy me.


I keep waking up at 5 am and then can’t fall back asleep for another 30 minutes to an hour. I wonder what that’s about.


I don’t care how much humans value connection, I thought a stranger was about to start a conversation with me and I almost had a panic attack. Turns out she was just talking on the phone using her AirPods. And while it looks fully insane to talk on the phone via AirPods, it’s less insane than striking up conversation with someone you don’t know in the year 2020.


If all of Netflix's digital titles were to materialize in a physical space, just how big would that be? Like, how many shelves of wall-to-wall DVDs are we talking? When I was a little girl, going to Blockbuster was one of my favorite special treats, and even then I would get overwhelmed by the sheer number of titles to choose from. Now I manage to scroll through Netflix and guffaw at the lack of movies and TV that catch my eye. Which is why I often decide to throw in the towel and just watch Broad City for the eleven-thousandth time. But if I'm remembering correctly, I also often rented the same VHS copy of Thumbelina when I was little, so perhaps not much has changed.


People keep getting closer than six feet to me. Or at least I think. Today is really a case study in just how bad my spatial awareness is. Do you think measuring tapes are one of the items Amazon can’t seem to keep in stock?


Dogs don’t know we’re in the middle of a health crisis, they’re just like, “Hey you’re home more than normal, that’s fun!”


I'm seeing lots of teens just kind of...hanging out in public? Leaning on their cars and shooting the shit standing in a vague semi-circle. But now that I think about it, that’s kind of a touchstone of the teenage experience, because you have no money and can’t get into bars. So I guess for them this is just like a month long weekend, except it’s harder to sneak weed into the house because your parents are always home.


Did you know Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” was written about Dave Coulier? It’s not as satisfying power walking with the song in your headphones knowing it’s about Uncle Joey. But if I have to have my angsty music video fantasies ruined, you do, too. Still a good song though.


I think my cat is starting to get depressed by proxy. He can sense something is up with the world, even though he's only left the house once, and that was to go to the vet when he was a kitten. I would like to think he's happy that I'm home, but he's probably feeling like a tiger at the zoo, too. Ultimately, house cats are just the wimpy small versions of that, but I'm sure the primal instincts are more or less the same.


I wish people could understand how hoarding doesn't help them. If you have 80 rolls of toilet paper and 120 bottles of hand soap, that means your neighbor probably has none. And if that's the case, they're dirty and germy, and you with your throne of household items are still going to get sick because of it. My aunt says this is a perfect example as to why socialism could never work; I just think it's an example of how stupid some people are.


Costco is literally just a grocery store with a cover fee. I've never thought of it that way before, but now I'm realizing that's fully what it is. And if that's the case, they should do some deal where ladies get in free before 9. I think nightlife culture is frankly gross and another place where misogyny thrives, but I'd put on a tight little dress and heels if it meant I could get bulk groceries and a $1 churro without the annual membership charge.


My senior year of high school, my psychology teacher had us all do a project where we psychoanalyzed ourselves and wrote autobiographical case studies. I never spoke up much in that class – and in high school in general. But when it was time to pass back our graded assignments, my teacher handed mine over and said, "You're funny," with an incredulous tone. I politely chuckled, to which she continued, "No, seriously. I had no idea. You're frickin' funny!" I think about that a lot, and feel like for a lot of people, this blog is their version of that psychology project. Y'all never saw it coming, huh?


Update: You can still buy measuring tapes on Amazon. That’s good. We have that going for us, at least.



Well, I guess this tiger's gotten enough fresh air. Back into my enclosure I go. I have a sneaking suspicion this won't be the only time you'll hear from me during this. Much like the runners gotta run, this writer has to write. And keeping my thoughts to myself isn't really my strong suit.

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© 2018 by Lauren M. Sauer