« Modern Love

Learning Humanity From Dogs | With Ethan Hawke

2018-09-12 | 🔗

Ethan Hawke ("Blaze") reads an essay about how lonely it can be at rock bottom -- and how sometimes, taking care of someone else is the only way out.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love, the podcast is supported by produced by the island a W B war, Boston. Oh, the from the New York Times and WB. You are Boston. This is modern. The stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host magnet Chakrabarti. The rock bottom is a lonely place. times. Taking care of someone else is the only way out. That's what Paul's to Tonga about in his essay learning humanity from dogs, it read by Ethan Hawke, who directed
Co wrote the new film blaze about the life of singer, songwriter Blaze, Foley, I came home I'm work on a rainy November afternoon more than a decade ago, defined find for U haul truck in my driveway and behind it a police car. My first thought was fast clear: instinctive are we being evicted I lived in the little rental home and Middlebury from out with my wife for much of the previous year. It hadn't been an easy year. We fought constantly the fights escalating into ugly confrontations and the confrontations lasting long into the night tat that morning had left the house suspecting I was certainly unprepared for the scene that I would encounter later that day
headboard of my bed, bobbing through the front door, in the arms of my father in law. What's going on asked? What are you doing? He didn't even look at me as he walked with the truck sir. The police officer said suddenly very close. We're going to need you just step away from the residents. It would be another nine years before I stop drinking. So on that night night, my wife left me a blamed everyone and everything except my son. I fled the house because it's too sad, moving Van Police and father in law, combo and went Equally to the nearest bar, where I live, everyone, my story: wild downing, pint after pint of tepid, two dollar butter.
The show, not apologetic, and I was ashamed. I barely remember stumbling back home, What I do remember is what I found when I got there waiting for me at the door hungry and bewildered or Glasgow in Seismic are two: Saint Bernard dogs on turn Cardboard box just inside the threshold? I found a letter. My wife explained that she couldn't take the dogs with her she would be moving into her parents house, while she got her life back an order and there wasn't room for two hundred fifty pound animals. Even so He was helpful that I would fulfil my obligations to her and to our pets. As a caretaker the dogs looked at me. I looked at them. We began or new lives together.
The first night I went upstairs to what had been our bedroom and Knowing what else to do? I turned out Watson lay down on the floor. The dogs followed, lay down as well one on each side of me Glasgow the four year old female we recently. puppy situated herself behind my back seismic. We had adopted from the humane society at Chidden, didn't county cuddled into the curl of my arm. He stack then again, I didn't know much better in an empty house. Everything is louder. It seems, I guess, Small detail, but it was transformative, had rented the home for nearly a year and suddenly it was completely foreign and disorienting.
Every morning I woke up with two giant animals. Nuzzling me panting. In my face demanding to be walked. And upon my return and check the phone hoping had somehow missed my wife's calls saying that she changed her mind was moving back. She never did. I tried to carry on about groceries, hello to the neighbors. see now that I was in shock, pretending everything would be ok. The house deteriorated. The laundry hamper overflowed bags clustered in the kitchen, my bed was sleeping bag, dog, hair, accumulated and giant clumps in the corner of rooms and filthy patch the road I was commuting in our each way for work and unmoored,
In my previous life couldn't manage my responsibilities, I arranged for dog sitter you just moving in she asked surveying than your empty house. Now I said unable to tell the truth. Just you know minimalist living. One day I had to leave earlier than usual for work. I called the dog sitter and told her I'd put the key under the mat, but she never showed that night. I would I find the foyer soaked with urine the next week. I got to call at the gym the dogs and broken out and where through the trash, the daily down the street, eating chicken, salad and steal bake goods, a neighbor had recognized, I drove home terrified that they would be too
in a way that I would return to find them gone a police car out front once again and a trail of hair balls floating into the yard. For their part, Lascaux Seismic were always glad to see me always confidence. I would be bringing dog food or achieve pizza, providing a walk or giving them a bath. They believed in me. when no one else did not even myself. I think I kept them so long in that chaos, because I couldn't bear to stop loving them, couldn't bear for them.
Stop loving me, but the truth was I couldn't care for them, not in the way they needed in May I heard a rumor that a family outside of town was looking for. Two big dogs to adopt I drove by their farm and saw mile of white fencing and neat and tidy flowerbed a freshly painted mailbox. I kept their phone number in my wallet for a week before I called it It was another week before I didn't hang up when someone answered the family and I arranged to meet on a
in the summer evening in June, I put the dogs and my black Chevy Blazer, along with their chew toys, dog beds and food dishes. Glasgow is always was excited to get in the car she loved to sit in the passenger seat. I cracked the window for her and she would press her nose into the small open space and start drooling, leaving ropes of dried saliva along the glass. That day I reached over and scratched her ears. I was crying as I drove crying as we pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Union. The new family was there in their Ford F to fifty pick up, a man got out walked toward me. I open the back hatch of the blazer. These are the dogs,
He said I nodded, please take good care of them. I said my voice, cracking loosing. My wife had been sudden a blow that struck with immediacy and power. The loss of the dogs, however, had an event horizon. I approached gradually and then it was beyond the pressure of time me inescapably forward in down and that evening at the Grand Union. I remember Shepherd seismic who didn't hesitate into the back as he has a truck Glasgow took more coaxing, her hips had become bulky and she had started moving more slowly. I think, but she understood at least some part of what was going on, finally
we were both in the other vehicle to hug them inhaling their scent holding Glasgow, especially close one. Last time I left Vermont when the divorce was complete. There was nothing to move just myself. I thought everything would be different when I got out of that house, when the legal issues were settled when I hadn't, job. When I stopped expecting my former wife to call I didn't drive by the farm after I surrendered seismic and Glasgow, I didn't visit what if they thought I was there to take them home. It was not until I got sober and that children of my own, that I felt again that awesome responsibility the complete trust that it
Places in you the face that you will bring the pizza and take the walks and poop the warm bass. that you will be the one who guys who tens who listens. Glasgow seismic are dead. Now they would be twice the, sure lifespan or more of the same per Nord They were in a way my first children. They taught me how to be human, how to be a better human to put someone else's needs before my own Maybe it was my first wife, we taught me this when she decided to leave me with two dogs in an empty house not long ago. As I sat alone at home one night, my oh, cried out in her bedroom. She was having a nightmare. I went up of his time. I reached her she'd fallen back to sleep
I lay down next to her anyway your small dead and kissed the back of your head brush the hair out of her face And I said a small prayer of thanks and gratitude for this role for this opportunity to care. Ethan Hawke, reading Paul's to Tongass essay learning humanity from dogs Will how Poles is doing now after the break. I love spelling bee my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually,
and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in salary. it may have happened again. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was get nervous. I sent it to my parents or something me and my dad. We liked the first time together and I wish her out out forgot it. J, a c k, p o t It's a jackpot. Yeah nice, I'm same as earth's. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at N times, dot com, slash games, in fourteen years since Paul's Teuton geese. His first wife left him and since he became the sole caretaker of Glasgow and Seismic, he
since remarried, and has two children, but until about- years ago he was still drinking but you get so bras among when the light kind of goes on. For me, It was my son right at the edge of two and a half he Saw me one morning, early early early in the morning, sick in the bathroom, and he said, do you know what's wrong with Papa and he asked my wife that and- and I I heard it you know in that moment for me- was Had a very powerful because I could suddenly asked tat question myself: what is wrong with you? It didn't have any judgment along with it looking back on it now. I wish that I could have done many things differently. I wish that I had been sober.
I think every alcoholic understands that they lost a lot things because of their alcoholism. And I wish I hadn't lost those things. on the other hand, if I hadn't lost them, I would have never made it to the point that I'm at I wouldn't have hit the bottom that I hit, and so I'm really grateful for that and Paul says that Glasgow and Seismic were part of the reason he was able to push through. They were there for me when there was just nobody else. You know that's what dogs give. You is just pure unconditional love and I needed it so desperately at that moment these days. He has a much more stable life. Well now,
I live in Portland Oregon. My children are twins boy, girl, twins, they're, eight and a half years old, so they're getting giant. I teach Sinclair College. I teach creative writing. I work in Serbia. DE as much as I can in my life is, is amazing. Like my life is amazing, if he does sometimes think about those years that he spent in Vermont. You have your ghosts. Obviously, when things unravel- and I never got to you know say goodbye to him to anyone from that period of my life, and I mean that. remains difficult, but on the other hand you know I got what I deserved, so I I don't have
Say really the polls to target he's? of several books, including doggone, gone, evil, Knievel days and red, whether you got more after the break The. I love spelling bee my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together. I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating, sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own. I feel a little betrayed in salary. they may have happened again to I have one friend
who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was get nervous. I sent it to my parents or something me and my dad. We likes this time you together and I wish cuz it out. It J, a c k, p, o t it's a jackpot. Yeah nice? I'm same as earth's the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at N times, dot com, slash games. Here's Daniel Jones, editor of the modern love column for the New York Times for me this essay is a bit of a meditation on the meaning of selflessness or selfishness, and I feel like recognizing your limitations this case is a selfless act. If it were up to him, he would love to have the companionship of the dogs, but it was
the dogs expense. They were living like. Why haven't animals and rim itching down the street and to be But to understand about yourself- and you have to get your own house in order before you can properly care for others. I thought it was. I am a painful moment, but an incredibly onest one, and one where he's honest with himself and his own limitations And here's Ethan Hawke Just the story for the simple reason of how much I love dogs, when I was teenager, I really hated going to church. and my mother said I could skip church if I would do something else on Sunday mornings for someone else. So I stay me too, has pc. I maintain. Ninety as a dogs, and the best things I could have done is on happiest times I had as a teenager taking care
is dogs and kennels, and I've just been in love without ever since I love animals, as we all do in this story movie thanks again to Ethan for reading this week's essay he Did CO wrote and produced the new film blaze, which is in select theaters? Now Next week, John Carlo Esposito, from better call saw when someone goes to the trouble of try to contact sixteen judges, there's, usually an important issue at stake. but I was a sorry excuse for a judge that day and I was in no shape to do anyone a good deed, the Modern love is a production of the New York Times and W. You are Boston
and PR station its produce, directed and edited by Jessica, Albert Kate, Little Keefe and John Ferralti original scoring and sound designed by Matt read the idea for the modern love podcast was conceived by these atonement. Adler. Our executive producer, Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the shop music. For the past courtesy of of Aponte next week, the, the.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.