Know what makes it even more disgusting? When it comes out of your exterminator’s mouth in the following exchange:
Carlos (exterminator): “See that brown stuff up there?”
Pointing to the eaves, by what he assures me (he shows me a picture on his cell phone) is a freshly gnawed hole into my house, just out of sight.
Me: Nodding in horrified silence.
Carlos: “That’s their belly grease, where they’ve been slipping inside.”
They, because there is never just one, have been “slipping inside.” Like, they’re date raping my house. Rubbing their greasy bellies on my eaves.
He showed me one other fresh hole on ground level, gnawed into a sad, totally ghetto looking vent of some sort that Bill (oh Bill, I miss you) - the OG exterminator from when this all began - covered up with metal grating, reinforced by rocks and pieces of brick that happened to be lying around, but which has since been demolished by these relentless Norwegians. Carlos pointed at it and shook his head, saying, “This is just old, it needs to be replaced,” in much the same way Bill said to me two years ago, shaking his head, “You need to move.”
Yeah. I know.
In related news, my friend Rebecca suggested douse my house in coyote urine to keep them out, and my mother-in-law reported that in India, rats are chewing the ears and noses off children.
I think she may be slightly over-reacting (I mean, my house is a mess, but I’m pretty sure it’s cleaner than an Indian prison cell), but still.
I have always been confused about the meaning of irony. Something I feel I should have a solid grasp on, since I call myself a writer. Think I may have figured it out. Last night, after an epic bedtime battle with Mila, I sat down on the couch with my laptop and browsed through the archive of my blog, looking for rat posts. (If you’ve been with me for a while, you know what I’m talking about.) Had this crazy idea that I could take some of my better posts, expand on them, tell some more stories (because my life is SO interesting), maybe even make a book out of it. As I sat here in the quiet house, Sash out of town, girls sleeping, reading about my past misadventures with rodents, I heard scratching in the kitchen. I froze, Hairs on end. Horrified. I set the laptop down and crept into the kitchen, listening. Yup, there it is. Motherfucker. Is that not the meaning of dramatic irony? Or am I still confused, is that just a recurring event in your life that fucking sucks, coupled with a coincidence?
Whatever it is, it’s happening. Tonight, after I got the girls to sleep, I made myself a nice salad (quinoa, lentils, beets, persian cucumbers, baby spinach, pearl tomatoes, feta, fresh lemon and olive oil - quite delicious, I must say), poured myself a nice glass of Kono Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand (my favourite region, also a nice homage to the lovely lovely weekend we had with our Kiwi friends, Nic and Rich) and settled in on the couch to watch last week’s Mad Men. Not ten minutes later, I looked up to see a huge fucking rat skipping across the landing between the dining room and the living room. It took me a second to compute. I thought it was a kitten. Then I remembered I don’t have a kitten. It paused when it saw me (as if it didn’t know I was there - the television was on, for chrissake!) turned around and ran back where it came from.
In the now three year fucking saga of rat infestation I have endured, that was the ballsiest move yet. And this was the first sighting, and that wasn’t the end of it. I’ve now been sitting and/or standing here for three hours staring at the kitchen, waiting the fuck for Sash to get home from San Luis Obispo, while this arrogant rodent darts in and out from under the stove, taunting me. It’s big. It’s not scared.
The dog and cat are useless. USELESS! Stella gets a pass, she’s grieving. But Jedi…. Ooooh. That dick. He’s somewhere behind me licking his empty ballsack, while I have literally stopped ten times in the last two paragraphs to yell and clap and stomp my feet to scare this fucker back under the stove. Because I don’t know where he thinks he’s going, but NOT ON MY WATCH, ASSHOLE!
And oh my god it just ran from under the stove to under the fridge.
And oh my god it just peeked out from right next to Mila’s play kitchen.
And oh my god, I’m out of wine. Except in the kitchen, and fuck me if i can’t hear him laughing at me.
I know everyone in the world thinks their dog is the best. I’m gonna say it anyway. Our dog Mishka is the sweetest dog that ever lived. Was. We said goodbye to her today. We always said when it’s time, we hope it happens quickly. But goddam, was that quick, and motherfucker, was that hard.
Mishka was always at my feet when I was the last one up. She was the one I could let off the leash. She could wait an hour to eat a biscuit, until you gave the command. She could chase the hell out of a tennis ball. She was by my side during the home part of both my labors. She loved my babies. She took the backseat when they arrived without complaint. She protected us and was loyal to the very end. This morning, dehydrated and weak from being unable to eat for the past few days, she got up off her bed and walked a few feet out to the dining room, because that’s where we all were, and that’s where she wanted to be.
It was the last time she got up.
These moments in life when you realize the things and people (and animals) you take for granted won’t always be there are bittersweet. It hurts like hell, but also makes you take stock of and be grateful for the good times.
She was always there and just like that, she’s gone.
My heart is in my heels. With a big fucking hole in it.
Am scrambling to re-baby-proof the house today, because miss Valentine started crawling on Friday. So exciting! And so much work. You really forget this shit, completely.
Anyway, cleaning out the coffee table drawers after I found her relieving her gums on some sort of primitive tool (or possibly a piece of meteorite?) that found its way from Sash’s car into the coffee table. (I have no idea what this thing is despite having asked several times, but it was in the console of his Subaru for several years so am assigning some significance to it, and therefore am scared to throw it out.) Amazing how much crap can accumulate in drawers. I swear I cleaned these out sometime last year… However, I just came across a list of quotes about love I put together while writing something for a friend’s wedding many years ago. So, maybe not.
These made me smile:
“There is always some madness is love.
But there is always some reason in madness.”
“Where there is great love, there are always wishes.”
Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve:
“Tell me who admires you and loves you, and I will tell you who you are.”
Oh, hi. Hi there. How are you? Sorry, didn’t see you there. Forgot you were here, actually. Almost forgot I was here, truth be told. Forgot I was, you know, doing things, going places. Forgot I had some goals, ambitions. Some hopes. You know, before I had kids, that is, and became the sad, sleep-deprived individual I am now, who can be completely fucking derailed for an entire week (and counting) by a bloody cold.
Not just any cold, mind you. We have managed - all four of us - to catch the cold of the fucking century. I have blown my body weight in snot out of my nose in the last week, while listening to my each and every heartbeat in my blocked yet oddly swollen eardrums. I’ve had a headache for days. When I bend over to pick something up (like each and every pea I try to feed to Billie, after it hits the floor, hopefully before it is ground into the carpet and/or floorboards by a passerby, four-legged or two), my teeth hurt. (Should I be worried about this? AM I ABOUT TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK?) Last night I put Mila to bed at 8:03 and emerged from her room at 9:37 (oh, the dual Sleep Sheep lullaby is too too much to resist!), bleary-eyed and not entirely sure what continent I was on. Minutes ago, I went into the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth, and watched myself in the mirror as I blew my nose into my fingers. For real, I am not making it up. I have no fucking idea why I did that. The shower wasn’t even on, and there was a box of tissues right in front of me.
Billie just figured out she can reach stuff on the dining room table from her Elmo walker, if she parks herself underneath it and stands on her tippy toes.
Know the first thing her wee pudgy fingers went for?
Yep, startin young. She’s gumming on a credit card as I type…