Little brown thing with a white stripe down its back, pokes its cute little black nose up at the air from his hole in the ground, frantically glancing back and forth at the sound of that garbage truck. What an impossible concept for that creature to grasp, that there is this big motorized monster that would surely crush him, this power unanswered, there to do a job that it will never comprehend. All he knows is it’s loud, and scary, and vibrating his subterranean domain. It is one of my potential predators he must keep in mind if he wishes to go another day eating little nuts and berries, and whatever other scraps come his way, discarded by any and all creatures within his little ecosystem. Ducking back down into the dirt, his heartbeat trembles with such ferocity, it just sounds like a baby drum roll. He waits for the quiet, and eventually gets it; Until the birds’ song can be heard again, and the rustle of leaves and branches in the breeze. Shooting up like a cannon from below, he scampers across the grass looking for friends now – and finds one. These two dart and encircle each other, happily chipping and chatting away. Their terrain is a strange one, one shared with humans and their large huts and metal rumbles. But today, this backyard can be enough, and so it must be.
Chip and Dale pancake breakfast, Walt Disney World off-site, non-affiliated offshoot. Picture it: Orlando, 1994, 5, or 6. Character Breakfast. Crying child. Scared for the picture. Not excited about it, but feeling like I should be happy for it. Those memories are now stored in the subconscious of this house. In large, plastic Rubbermaid storage bins, scattered and in disarray. Proof of the trip, proof of the breakfast. Proof. Stored near bottles of alcohol, which display their proof both before and after drinking. Imbibing. Inhale the helium and talk like a chipmunk. Alvin too. Simon, Theodore. Timeless cartoons, yet also maybe ancient. Post-modernist cycle traps that spin cycle clockwise. Endless until self-destruction. The rules of the game. The ruler to measure height and pray that it’s right.