Here Sign

I hang the clothes thinking about my first garden. The rabbits are eating everything. Except the pumpkins, Roseanna reminds me. She planted them, and they are doing fine. I try not to lose heart. Instead I dream up an episode showing us making a meal out of rabbit. I'm afraid I don't have the chutzpah to pull it off. Andrew just laughs at the prospect. But the neighbor is immediately on board. He gets a trap from his garage. I film him bating it with an apple and setting it in our yard.

Then, we go to a friend's house for dinner. The friend asks how episode 8 is coming along. I tell him I just started filming, that I'm primed to get it done this week, confident we have a good start. I excuse myself to use the bathroom. While pulling up my pants, my camera lands in the toilet. Have I stepped into a Charlie Kaufman movie? I reach in. My instinct says, "Rinse," so I do. My instinct says, "Try turning it on," so I do.  I rejoin my friends and sit in silence waiting for the courage to tell what happened. The first thing Jim says, "Whatever you do, don't try turning it on." Already done. A dozen times. Jim says, put it in a bag of rice anyway. That was Saturday night. Still no sign of life.

Maybe it's a portent, that I need to upgrade my equipment.

Though I know there are some who would prefer I see it as a sign to forget the videos altogether and return to something more reasonable.

This morning, the apple is gone from the still set trap. What more sign do we need than that?

Photo taken with the neighbor's phone.


  1. oh joanna. you poor thing. something so sad and disheartening and still you made it interesting to read. your writing is so good that someday they will be tripping themselves to pay you for it and the cost of new camera equipment will be a drop in the bucket!
    love you!!

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Phyllis!

  2. love this post, joanna. mark, too, has joked about eating rabbit, especially after i complain about them eating my favorite plants. (although he's joked about that less recently and gently tells me about the lesson on impermanence.) i like your Charlie Kaufman reference. sometimes life feels like that. thanks for sharing.

    1. I'm realizing we might get into some trouble with the surrounding vegetarians. We might need your backup.

    2. the apple was indeed delicious. many thanks.

  3. I do a lot of thinking about rabbits while I hang out the wash. Lately a baby bunny has been keeping me company while I am pegging on the line. Usually the rhythm of the pegging and the innocence of the little bunny eating only grass and creeping Charlie makes the anger of losing my best perennials fade away by the time the last sock is hung.

    Once I set a live trap and after having no luck catching anything, failed to look at it for a few days. When finally I did check it I found a small bunny had been caught and died trying to get out. I felt sad and ashamed.

    The sunlight in the alley is beautiful this morning as one side of the sky is light and the other dark with malevolent-looking clouds.

    There is a new toddler expressing himself for his parents and the neighbors to hear through open windows at your former house.

    On the North side of the block two young families are making their own mark on the landscape of the side-by-side lawns. The arborvitae boundary is gone and a shared fire pit has appeared.

    I saw the bad cat yesterday.

    I am glad you are hanging out your wash.

    1. Dear NDL,

      You remain my inspiration for laundry hanging, even though I no longer have the pleasure of watching your clothes blow in the the wind.

      Thanks for the slice of life from the old neighborhood. It's always good to hear about tales (tails?) from the alley.

      Happy Summer Days,