Tonight, I am... astir.  Thinking to myself, WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING???!!!??  This New York Experiment could turn out to be just that, an experiment.  In the meantime I am leaving my little dog behind, leaving my friends behind, stable living, my car, my job.  Floof!  Outthefuckingwindow.  Can I come back?  Yes.  But what kind of shambles will my life be, and I will have said goodbye to the only escapist dream I have left, of going to New York and making a living as an artist.  Because if this fails, that dream has suffered a serious blow.  And I don't know how to fucking do anything else.  I'm not saying "I am genius actor!  I know nothing, but the theatre!"  I am saying "what little I do know is in the most airy and unreliable professions.  I'm a pretty good actor, writer, decent singer.  So if I don't make it as a performer I can always fall back on the supremely secure position of SHORT STORY WRITER?!!!?!?!??

The thing I'm having the hardest time with is leaving my dog behind.  My sweet little mutt Stella, whom I adopted 8 months ago.  Now, listen.  My rule has always been never adopt an animal until you are sure you can make a lifetime commitment.  I'd never gotten a dog until now, because I wasn't secure enough.  And for 18 years I had a cat who wouldn't tolerate another animal.  And after his passing, I got Stella.  And now New York???  Before you worry about Stella any more than necessary, she will be staying with my folks in a lovely house where she will be well loved by dog loving people.  My mother is home a lot of the day and very excited to be having her.  She's looking forward to walking her, and Stella has a great yard.  But she won't have me.  And she's a skittish little dog with these sad soulful eyes, who's been at my side since I got her.  I'm worried she'll think I abandoned her.  And these little pound puppies...well, you never know what they've been through.  It's keeping me up nights.

Right now, my plan is to get to NYC and settle myself, looking for a place that will accept dogs.  And yet, would this be the best thing for her?  Who knows how often I would be home?  She'd have to be walked 3 times a day, she doesn't like loud environments...  I'm praying on this one, trying to figure out what's best.  I know she is safe and loved with my folks.  But is it best for her to be with me?  Or in little old Round Rock.  Am I scarring her little dog psyche?

I keep asking myself these questions, running over this in my head, wondering if I'm doing right by her, even though at this point I've already packed, gotten a storage unit, booked a flight, promised to house sit... in 9 days I am outta here!

I'm praying on it, hoping that either answers or comfort will come my way.
Joe Hartman