night noise

the other night, a sound came from above. it was an immediate thump, and then a sequence of smaller bumps, accelerating from one part of the ceiling towards the window. after a gap, a bass thud rang a finality.

on the flat roof under the bedroom window, i plucked a small, heavy clod; it could be dirt, it could be a chunk of the chimney, it could be a rotten seed pod.

'owl pellet, maybe?'

in second grade, my teacher didn't know how to handle my boredom, so she passed me off to an upper level science teacher on breaks to entertain me. i was given owl pellets, tweezers, and elmer's glue; i pulled the dried hairs apart and extracted tiny bones, reconstructing mice in the hour before lunch. i'd start with jawbones; often, there would be three or four lower jaws, but not enough skulls to fill the blanks, and too few femurs or rib cages.

'maybe the owl doesn't eat the whole mice,' i'd report to the teacher. i haven't disassembled an owl pellet since.

25 April 2018 22:40

earthsaver's club

they said, 'you can't fault someone for wanting to live a comfortable life,' defensively, in the middle of a discussion about our individual responsibilities as human participants in a system contributing to disproportionate damages to the world and its inhabitants.

no, i can't fault you for that. i can't fault your desires that come from expectations you've learned from your environment, from your baked in habits about how to live, from your assumed rights and powers. these are, of course, things outside your control.

but i can certainly fault you for decisions you make in spite of your knowledge, decisions you make to choose immediate convenience at the price of delayed, detached destruction. i can fault you for not even trying, i can fault you for making excuses for trying, i can fault you for refusing to move past denial.

and i can wait for you to break free from this trap so we can all move forward.

'you know,' my mother suggested casually, 'there are lots of groceries you can buy online fairly cheaply, and even places with free shipping.'

'oh, i can't really justify spending the gasoline on that if i can get it from the corner shop, mom.'

'no seriously, though, free shipping.'

'it might be free for my pocket, but it's fuel from, you know, the planet. everyone's planet. but if the gas has already been spent to move it to the shop, and i'm perfectly capable of walking down to the shop to pick it up, i'd rather not have it driven directly to my doorstep.'

'oh. oh! you're saving the planet! okay, i get you.'

24 April 2018 22:56