So how many of you knew at once that my subject heading references a female dog? But on to the story.
Today I went to report the deposition of a senior-citizen expert with whom my firm is quite familiar. I was prepared to hear long, rambling testimony and to put up with flirting from someone older than my grandfather. Since the job was to last "all day," I was prepared not to have a lunch break but to sneak my packed grapes and peanut-butter sandwich during breaks. I wasn't, however, prepared for the dog.
She greeted me at the door with a growl. Then she poked her nose into my purse and the bag containing my packed lunch. The aged deponent informed me that most court reporters who come to his office know his dog and bring her a biscuit. I managed not to apologize sarcastically for not bringing an offering to placate the bitch. I set up my equipment and kept my bag as close to me as possible.
The dog knew I had food. She spent nearly half of the first three hours of the proceedings under my feet, near my bag and power strip, and once managed to trip over and unplug my backup tape recorder. Her grandfatherly master tried to coax her over to him whenever her low growling (directed mostly at me) disturbed the attorneys, but as she was deaf, it was difficult for him to get her attention. Whenever he did manage to call her to him, she would wait about five minutes before returning to her sentinel's post near my lunch.
As I'd predicted, we took no lunch break. At about 1:15, as the attorneys poured over some documents off the record, I began sneaking my grapes. The dog was on to me in a heartbeat. She watched each grape journey from my bag to my mouth, and she began to whimper audibly. When the senior expert witness asked if she were begging for some of my "damned candy" (the Tootsie Rolls I offer to attorneys and deponents during breaks), I said they were grapes. He replied, "Oh, she can have a grape." I didn't thank him for assigning a portion of my lunch to his animal over my stomach's growling, but I tossed the dog a grape and hurried to finish off the rest of them.
The entirety of the proceedings was over sometime after 2:00. The attorneys, the witness, and the dog left the conference room, and I began to pack up, deciding I'd eat my sandwich in the car on the way back to the office. The dog reentered the room and ran out. Just as she darted out the door, I looked up and saw my plastic-wrapped sandwich in her mouth. I blinked in disbelief, then looked to confirm that my sandwich was no longer in my bag. It wasn't. The bitch had it. I began to pack my equipment with greater haste, expecting any minute to hear a loud voice in the hallway saying, "Hey, what's that in the dog's mouth? Who gave her a sandwich?"
As I was zipping my case, the dog came back into the conference room with my sandwich. She had, it seems, decided to taunt me by eating my lunch in my presence. She settled under the conference table, and I heard her wrestling with the plastic. My only consolation lay in imagining her thoughts, something along the lines of "I know there's peanut butter in here. I can smell it. But it's trapped behind some kind of force field."
I thought I could escape before the bitch's theft of my lunch was discovered, but as I moved toward the conference-room door, the elderly deponent reentered followed by a retinue of young people with whom, it seems, he wanted to have a conference. He blocked my outbound path, entered my personal space, put a calloused hand on my shoulder, and said, "Thank you, Sweetie." I said in my most professional voice, "Certainly. Please excuse me. I have a very big bag." I wonder how far down the hall I got before someone discovered the dog and my sandwich. No one stopped me.
That's the story of the bitch. Now on to my new-budding vampirism.
I've noticed a strange phenomenon of late. My eyes are becoming increasingly sensitive to light. Sometimes it will be the computer screen or fluorescent lights inside, and I'll have to look down or away from the source. But mostly it's sunlight. And mostly it's when I'm driving. Today I had this problem both going to and leaving my deposition. I was squinting all the way there, and my eyes were watering. On the way back, I was in genuine pain. My right eye was the most sensitive. I spent most of the return trip with one hand over my right eye, as shutting it wasn't sufficient. Even sunlight through my eyelid was painful. By the time I got home, my tears had removed the makeup from my right eye. The left eye was squinted the whole trip, and it was a real struggle to keep it open enough to drive. If I hadn't known exactly where I was going, I would have had to pull over and wait for the sun to move.
Any thoughts on why such a strange thing is happening to me?