It’s not really cold. A low of eight degrees overnight, the temperature climbing to 14-15 degrees by noon. A gorgeous, perfect fall day. I start it by the fire wrapped in a blanket—you suggest that I would be more productive sitting at my desk, but what do you know? Chairs are uncomfortable, and Truman Capote, for one, wrote everything lying prone on bed, and also, didn’t you just tell me I have to be kind to myself?
This happens yesterday:
Flora: Apparently there was a real lockdown at school but it was period 4 so I was home but you might get a email or something
Jane: I did. There was an “intruder.” How are you feeling?
Flora: Sad. I missed something interesting. Like what the hell! I wanna feel like an American student
Life today and its moments. The day before, this:
Flora: Can you take me to a taxidermy store so I can raid its dumpster?
Jane: what mother does not dream of a request like that
Is there a taxidermy store in Calgary?
Flora: More than you’d think
Jane: cool, ok, choose one, and we can go after school or after your nap, or tomorrow
…and yes, I am the mother who takes my 15-year-old dumpster diving behind a taxidermist’s after school, except that it turns out that the taxidermist works out of his house, and his street does not have a back alley, so going through his garbage would involve, essentially, breaking into his garage, and neither Flora nor I have quite the chutzpah for that.
Jane: Surely, there must be a taxidermist who works out of one of those creepy little strip malls in one of the industrials areas. Maybe we should go raid their dumpster. What are we looking for, anyway?
(A sane person might have, I grant you, asked that question before driving to the taxidermist’s home address.)
Jane: Do you think they just throw bones and shit into the regular garbage? Aren’t there rules, bylaws about the disposal of biological matter? I mean, if your cat or dog dies, you can’t just toss the corpse into the dumpster.
Flora: Can’t you?
We don’t know.
We could google it, but I’m driving and she’s hungry, so we go to Subway instead.
Today, I want to want to work, very much so, and that feels pretty good. But I’m also going to spend some time with Julia Cameron, and have lunch with a fascinating human, walk the dogs, and watch Ender play dinosaur LEGO army with the growing army of homeschooled neighbourhood kids—maybe go buy his birthday present, and…
Flora: Take me to another taxidermy store?
Jane: Maybe. Let’s make sure this one is NOT in someone’s house. Did you ever find out if they’re just allowed to throw bones into the trash?
Flora: No. I figured we’d just find out when we get there.
(The above conversation took place entirely in my head, by the way, but odds are good it will unfold more or less like this, via text, this afternoon.)
The fire roars. My nose drips. Allergies, I insist, and not the plague—anyway, I know it can’t be COVID, because Cinder and his Dad both just tested negative, and they’re my proxy test.
Today will be a good day. I feel it in my cold toes and dripping nose.
Flora: Excited about that taxidermy dumpster diving experience?
Jane: You’d better believe it.