I was driving home and passing through my favorite spot, rolling hills and green trees on one side, salt marsh and water on the other, and I thought to myself, hey, this is where I usually see an eagle. I wonder if the eagle is around. I stuck my head out the window and immediately heard a high pitched, birdlike screech. I pulled my head in quickly and imagined a scene; one in which the resident eagle mistook my head for some furry rodent and suddenly attacked. I pictured my scalp lacerated by the large talons and my car crashing into the stone pylons of the public boat access area. I pictured my wife identifying the body and mistaking the wounds in my head for bullet holes, and wondering who would do this. I rolled up my window and kept driving.
The fox came back and attacked our chickens again. We went out for dinner and thought, ah, we can put them in their coop later, we’ll be home before dark. And we were. But that didn’t stop the fox from claiming one of our last two big hens. Scarlet, the New Hampshire red, was lying dead on the lawn when we came home. The girls were sad. We couldn’t find Mavis, the leghorn, anywhere, and figured she was gone for good. She showed up this morning, unscathed.
I have a high butt cheek scrape. I don’t know how it happened, but I can’t stop scratching it, and it’s making it worse. Exercise chafes it, the wound opens up again, and it bleeds. The other night, it was itching so bad, the girls asked me what was wrong. I turned my butt to show them, and they completely lost it. They ran to tell their mother. She asked me what happened, and I showed her. She told me I was displaying like three inches of crack to my children. I apologized. I’ve never seen my father’s ass.
My boss asked if anyone wanted the newspapers that have accumulated in stacks around the office. I said I’d take them, I could use them to start fires in the fall. He said piles this size or bigger show up every week. I said that was fine, I go through a lot of paper in the cold months. He grabbed a bunch and threw them next to my desk. The pile is now about three feet high. He looked at me this morning with a devious look in his eye, dropped more newspapers next to my chair and told me I would regret this. It’s like some kind of weird game of chicken. Who will blink first, the dumper or the dumpee?
Today is my son’s birthday. It’s hard to explain in a few short sentences what his life has been like, what his daily existence means, the fact that he’s been here for six years now. Every day is a gift, every milestone is something to celebrate. His growth has been steady, sometimes slow, and easier to see from a distance. He’s getting smarter, bigger, stronger, his personality solidifying all the time. He will be going into first grade, which doesn’t seem possible, but first, he has to go to summer school. I told him to tell Mark Harmon hi for me. He didn’t get the joke, but he laughed anyway. Kid, you’ve come a long way.