Dante DuBois will heretofore be known as Dante Demolition Derby DuBois. Walking through a room with a dog so happy to walk with you, so driven to be close to you, so devoted, leaves sixty pounds of pitty bumping your feet, or legs, or calves. Depending where your legs are while walking. Misstep is dicey.
I've a new laptop thanks to my CTO, SaturDAD. My art studio has a writing studio area. Dante makes sure I'm comfortable by laying on my foot to fall asleep. I had given him the rug that was under my desk for my toes, to him. He then laid under my desk on my feet. So we agreed to agree. I moved the rug out to my left. Place my left foot, socked but unshod, on the rug as a pillow for him. He falls asleep without pause. Every other twitch he'll scoot his body closer to my foot. After a dozen twitches there's a Dante donut half way up my calf, covering my foot, and snoring like a teeny tiny rhino. If rhinos were teeny tiny in real life. I do not mind being pushed around. I do not mind making myself smaller so another can stretch out.
An empty lot, one house north of us (other side of Weirdo Neighboring) has been purchased. It's been empty since the great depression of '09. It was demoed and left without city services a few years after it was lost to a bank. Nature said thank you, and grew wild and free in and around the property. This year this lot and all it's trees housed four pair of blue jay, one opossum, one raccoon, two pair of dove, offered rest to our bald eagles in the very tall, very old pine tree pair, and the ground itself fed all the foragers with grasses, weeds, and wild flowering shrubs. One homeless person found a home there. Creating a private, dark sanctuary inside the belly of the wild and wild things. I walk Dante down the length of the field behind our house, which also runs behind the houses of weirdo and the lot. We enjoy all the wild things. The wild, life. Dragon flies to bees to butterflies and all else. I pick up garbage caught there by the trees. Left there by the winds and the homeless man. And humans that don't care. Mostly I just enjoyed the wild things. And the wild, life.
The new owners have plans. Currently, removing all the wild things. They took one of the two very old pines. May or may not take the other. Punk trees, large green flowering shrubs. All of it is expendable. Gone and going. One palm is left, as well. Maybe. Who knows end of day. Last night Cali walked Angus to watch the progress and walk a dog. He saw a man with a backpack standing near the white pickup truck that brought the equipment to flatten the wild things. Being homeless is being a wild thing.
This morning with one side of the lot wiped clean, our backyard sounded different. I know how it should sound. I spend time each morning listening. Open to the voices of the wild life and wild things. Tomorrow will sound more different as they go about their contract's line item. All hail progress without pity! I shouldn't be too upset. This isn't Lake Okeechobee level destruction. This isn't Miami/Dade blight. It's just a thing that weighs on me a bit. You can clear property carefully, to leave the wild things a slice of wild life. Or not. Humans like "or not". It's cheaper. Faster. Gets a homo sapien down the treeless road. Get's the homeless into someone else's backyard. Efficient you might say.
My mom told me I feel things deeply. I asked her and dad to read 76 pages of my book, High Ceilings. To see if my memories were real or ridiculous. She said she always knew I felt things deeply.
I feel for the homeless man that lost a moment's rest and comfort. He probably walked many roads and miles to find just a bit of sanctuary inside a world that tossed him aside. I feel for the wild things having created a wild life out of land tossed aside by a bank. It's value lost inside a grifter's investment portfolio of bad debt. I feel for us as humans. We are so internally strung up for selfish self-abusing behavior. Damn the torpedos and bees. Full speed ahead. Where? We do not know, but it better make money.
Dante is asleep on his bed to my right. Felix is yawning on his tree stand near me, but behind. He likes looking out the window and pretending he's not paying attention to me. Our ducks are wandering front and back having eaten at my hand. One duck, Waddles, is injured. She limps badly. Has for two years now. She can fly well. Her landing is bumpy. I don't ask her to travel far to eat. I bring her meal to wherever she's decided to rest and wait for me. I don't mind making room for her, and her needs.
That's the trick of it. Needs are not wants. Someone wanted those trees gone. Some wild things needed them to stay. I feel all that deeply.