a neighborly apology letter

[think kit. day twenty.]

INDIANAPOLIS — The following letter was inspired by a real interaction between two neighbors in the South Broad Ripple district of Indy:

Dear guy who literally called me on my shit:

Well played, sir.

I’m sorry I let my dog poop on your lawn and failed to clean up after him. Of course, the one time I go out without a bag, Marvin poops, and I have no option but to kick snow over it. And you saw me.

You see, I was telling the truth when I said I always pick up after him, except this one time when I didn’t bring a bag. Yeah, that sounds as lame to me as I’m sure it did to you, but I was being honest. It was early and freezing cold when Marvin started barking, and I forgot to grab a bag. When I realized it, I hoped he wouldn’t poop. As you and the southeast corner of your lawn know, he did.

I want to commend you for saying something to me, and for doing so in such a lighthearted manner. I apologize that my brain was thick with morning slowness, so I could not appreciate your joke, though you will probably be happy to hear I felt sufficiently shamed, which was probably your goal. Apparently sarcasm is lost on me before 8 a.m./before I’ve consumed caffeine.

Additionally, I thank you for your superb display of teamwork on that frigid morning. As you and I discussed the doggie doo near the edge of your driveway, I expressed my desire to clean it up, and you abandoned your windshield-clearing to  find me a bag. There was no need to apologize when the tortilla package with which you returned seemed a bit small for the job, because it worked quite well, and you were in no position to be asking for forgiveness. It was I, neighbor, who sought clemency. I hope you have since excused my misstep.

I’m sorry we had to meet this way, neighbor. Perhaps we could have been friends: I appreciate sarcasm, and I also drive a Honda Element. I ruined what clearly could have been a pleasant camaraderie. But not all is lost. I will certainly never leave to walk the dog without a bag in the future. The guilt and shame you cast upon me that morning was too unpleasant to bear ever again.

You know who I am.

But really, I hate when people don’t clean up after their pets, so I’m pretty embarrassed I did that once. Lesson learned. This happened weeks ago, and I’m clearly still hung up on it.

[Think Kit Dec. 20 prompt: Who made a difference for you this year? Was it a close friend or a stranger? A specific moment in time or the entire year?]


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