I’m currently staying at Judy’s fabulous palace in Sausalito, and while perfect and flawless and very fun to play in, on windy rainy nights, when I’m there alone and now sadly, without Emma, my late and protective canine security force, I get a little scared. Last night, I’m curled up in bed reading some book about the decline of journalism and I hear something or someone clearly and loudly moving around at the top of the driveway, a driveway I should point out, one must effortfully hike up to get anywhere within earshot of the highly paranoid me.
I glance at the clock to discover it is 1:14am, as the noises loudly continue. Hoping that it’s Judy’s son Pete, appearing in the middle of the night as he occasionally does, or a drunken friend, showing up with thoughts of snacks and a cozy bed, I slowly get up and peer out the office window. While I can see the perfect and twinkling skyline of San Francisco, the driveway offers pure blackness. Shit.
It sounds as if someone is moving trash cans, going through recycling or preparing a chainsaw with which to chop me up. Either way, it’s 1:14am and they’re freaking me out. Far too chicken to go downstairs to the front door and open it and far too frightened to even walk out on the deck and inquire, I decided to simply wait out the noise and/or my impending death. But the noise not only continues, it gets louder and more violent until, as if in a dramatic and highly designed climax, a metal trashcan goes clamoring down the driveway.
Screw this. If I’m going to get brutally mutilated by a deranged serial killer, I’m going down swinging. I throw on a huge fur-trimmed parka and flip flops, stomp downstairs in an attempt to sound intimidating and angry and flick on the lights.
Much like the scene from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, I rip open the door to discover seemingly thousands of animals, all guiltily frozen mid-action. My eyes adjusted to find approximately 5-7 raccoons wildly ravaging the trash cans, creating a mess unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Garbage and food and wine bottles and coffee grounds and newspapers were everywhere. Everywhere!
The raccoons scattered and I stood in the rain, admiring their handiwork and wondering what the fuck to do. Obviously, I had to clean this shit up. But in the middle of the night? In the rain?
Yes, Beth. In the middle of the night and in the rain.
It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re shivering in a pink caftan, gold flip flops and a huge ski jacket, collecting chicken bones in the rain at 1:30 in the morning. But it’s even harder to feel good about yourself when you wake up to find that you’ve slept the entire night with a piece of deli meat stuck to the back of your leg…