Bad Raccoon

There is a raccoon in the pool and it’s not fair.

I’m stuck inside, and nobody is home. So, I’m lonely, first of all, and secondly, I’m really bored. There’s no food left, and I’m not tired, and I finished pulling all of the stuffing out of the throw pillows, so, now what?

All I want to do is go swimming but I can’t open the stupid door. But even if I could, Mae and Pearl won’t let me go in the backyard anymore because of The Body.

Lately all I’ve heard is, “Oh, don’t let Lester sniff the The Body!” or “No, no Lester leave The Body alone!” Like, come on, you can’t bring that kind of thing into the house and expect me not be curious! I have literally nothing else to do except for explore things that smell different, and eat stuff that smells crazy.

So I’m irritated. And the worst part is the raccoon can sense it and is acting super smug about it. At first I barked my ass off, so that we could maybe have a conversation about why the raccoon’s behavior was insensitive to me, but then I realized it was ignoring me on purpose. But when I actually howled at it to be like, dude you’re being a dick, it showed me its butt. I’m gonna keep barking anyway because I have literally nothing else to do.

“Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark.” I said.

If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I’m very focused, so this has been going on for maybe, like, 2 hours? I’m not bored, but I do smear my nose all over the sliding door so I could feel like I’m in some sort of control.

Eventually I bark so hard that I go into a zen-like state, and when I come out of it, I realize that the raccoon is not in the pool anymore, which makes me feel a tiny bit better, but until I know that it is completely gone, I won’t be able to calm down.

I run to the window behind the couch and look out over the part of the yard I can’t see from the door.

Shit.

The raccoon is sniffing The Body. The one that I have never been able to properly sniff! It’s just laying there, wrapped in a quilt, waiting for me sniff it, and there goes this fucking raccoon just walking all over it and sniffing and sniffing and sniffing while I am stuck inside this stupid house!!!

My tail wags so hard that a little pee comes out.

And then it happened. The raccoon looks directly at me. I stop barking for a second so that I can listen properly. Maybe we’ll come to an agreement.

Slowly, very slowly, it stands up on it’s two back legs and balances flawlessly on The Body.

“Come on, come onnnnnnn,” I think, but don’t say, because I need to be patient, “please don’t take all the smells!!!!”

We are making eye contact. The raccoon lifts its left paw. And then: gives me a thumbs up.

It is official. Not only did the raccoon get to swim in the pool, it has now fully experienced the plump aroma of the The Body.  MY plump aroma!

And so I really lose it. I feel absolutely out of control. I run in circles as fast as I can. I eat a shoe. I poop on the shoe. I eat another shoe. I eat the poop. I throw up. I eat the throw up. I tip over Pearl’s in-home dialysis machine.

But nothing makes me feel better. I am a prisoner inside this house, and I just can’t find a way to express this desolation, and bitterness and fear. Today feels like the opposite of Christmas. Not only am I not allowed to open the present, but I am also trapped inside the box.

I want to tear that pompous raccoon limb from limb, but I can’t open the door.

If only, I had thumbs.

twisted homes

Christine investigated her Hamptons living room: the floor length drapes, playing peek-a-boo with the ocean in the backyard; cold beige couches so modern they made you question sitting at all; the prodigious canvas above the mantle and its $900,000 swipe of red paint.

It was all so familiar. And yet she wondered where she was.

“I am in my home,” she told herself. “But how?”

This sense of displacement was not new to her. She experienced it briefly at Sarah Lawrence, thousands of miles from Oklahoma, but managed to stay distracted by the novelty in her life. It wasn’t until her first year out of college, when she was sitting in a roomful of artsy strangers, that she truly felt the first great shift in her life. She studied them- their furious smoking and sporadic laughter- and wondered how she could tie them to home.

Eventually she realized the only way to do that was to adapt. To become the center of her own venn diagram.

But New York City, in all its amplitude, was never home. Not even when she’d eventually created a life with a husband and two children. As for her mansion on the sea: well, Heaven can’t be home. Not even when you pay for it.

Even in this cavernous house, she could hear Robin slam her bedroom door. And with that slam she felt the emptiness inside her get pounded into mud. It was as if she was stuck inside a cave, while a summer storm began to beat the rocky walls in. Oh, let everything crumble.

She had once, many years ago, seen a tornado. She rooted herself, watching as the sky birthed itself, and her grandfather quietly but quickly ushered the horses inside. “They’ll be fine,” he grumbled from their darkened cellar, as the sky screamed with pain.

Afterwards, she stood in the kitchen of her grandparent’s farmhouse, where she and her mother lived at the time, and looked up through a gaping hole in the roof. The sky was blue again. “If we remembered pain, we wouldn’t have second children,” her mother once told her. Though she was an only child.

She used to tell her own children about that tornado. How all the power lines were bent in half, but the horses were okay. How they sat in the damp cellar together for eternity, and when they came out, the weather was back to normal, but it would never be the same again.

Her daughter would climb on her lap and ask her: “Are you Dorothy Gale?” as her son twirled and whistled like a little cyclone, ripping the sheets from the bed.

But Robin was no longer her sweet little girl. She was a force of nature, just like that twister from so long ago, and Christine had spent the better part of the last two years waiting it out in the cellar.

Just a few minutes ago, Robin stormed out of the room, leaving her iPad on the counter.

Christine placed it in the sink, and reminded herself that she was the adult, as she had done so many times over the past 14 years.

She grabbed a stone from her son’s collection, and held it over the sink. She let it drop, hoping for a satisfying crack. But it did no damage.

She would never be a tornado. How had she let her daughter become one?

“How do you stop a tornado?” She wondered. But once it’s formed, it’s formed.

Please RSVP!!

What’s not to like about a picnic?!

Unless you’re allergic to grass, perhaps. Or the flies bother you.

But other than those two things, what can you do other than just fully enjoy the day when you are at a picnic?

I mean, I guess if you have back problems, I suppose, and it’s hard for you to sit on the ground. Or if you’re prone to sunburn – I get that that.

But other than those four things, what’s not to love about lounging in the park on a sunny day with good friends and good cheese?

Unless you’re coming alone and you don’t know anyone to start, and you’re not really great at meeting people, especially in the daylight on a Sunday afternoon when everyone is sober, or only having one glass of wine, and there’s a distinct possibility that everybody will already know each other, and because of this, they will be too busy having fun conversations amongst themselves, and they won’t really want to take the time to make small talk with you, and if you show up late, there won’t be much room left on the blanket so your butt will kind of be halfway on the grass and you’ll get kind of itchy because it’s Brooklyn Grass and so it’s probably contaminated and you’re wearing short shorts so bugs might try to look at your hoo hah and perhaps you might bring the wrong cheese and everybody will say “awwwww thank you,” with a fake smile and then nobody will really eat it because you have generic taste in cheese and then the cheese will start to feel left out too and you will feel bad for it and you will get totally in your head about the cheese and you don’t belong and you never will and you’re too pale for picnics anyway and why did you even wear shorts what if people notice your cellulite what if they stare at it what if they think you’re weak why would you invite a redhead to a picnic at a treeless park anyway and what if someone brings nuts and you eat them and suddenly you become allergic to nuts or what if you don’t become allergic to nuts but at the EXACT MOMENT you find yourself warming up to someone and having a comfortable conversation, you get cocky and then you choke on one instead? And then you die?

Image result for social anxiety memes

So, if those things bother you, I TOTALLY understand if you don’t want to come to my birthday picnic.

But just so you know, if you don’t show up, I WILL overthink it, and I’ll probably send you an email asking you why you hate me, and then you’ll have to live with that for a couple of weeks.

Please RSVP so I know whether to bring GF crackers or not! Thanks!