Day 305: Lara In the Woods

by Lara.

Well, it’s been a highly eventful two days. Or really, not at all.

In fact, I have not left my house in two days. Literally. I went grocery shopping a couple days ago, a lot of snow fell, and then I just sort of didn’t leave again. This was odd, as it also means that I did not see anyone for two days, since my parents were out of town. My parents have a tendency for houses at the end of roads so in my little exile I was truly without interruption. This was not exactly Into the Wild, however, as cell phones are haunted things that do not allow us to ever be really alone. And I say cell phones because in mid-move as my family is, our Boston house does not have a landline. But it does have truly horrific reception, so my cellphone won’t ring for hours and then suddenly I have four angry messages from people who believe I am screening them. For the record, I was not.

It all felt very Little House on the Prairie. If the Little House had unreliable Wi-Fi and TV. And if the Little House girls had short curly hair rather than two plaits down their back. I knew I had hit a low point and had to leave the house when I realized that I had spent twenty-five blissfully uninterrupted minutes brushing my hair in a way to make sure every single hair stood on end in an effort to achieve the “just stuck my finger in an electrical outlet look.” I don’t know why I was going for this, in retrospect, but at the time it seemed important. And I did a really good job.

But in the end, I wasn’t really alone, as even though it is the cold cold winter and our house is quite modern and un-house on prairie-ish, there are lots of animals running around. I keep hoping when I see them running in the woods that it is actually a coyote or something interesting, but it is always just deer coming to eat our rhododendron bushes.

My parents and I like to regale each other with such sightings, as if suburban deer prove we have returned to nature and are actually quite rugged from our centrally-heated home. We act as if it is a brush with something extraordinary, and our phone calls often turn into catalogues of what we have seen or even what tracks or remnants we have found as proof that other things are out there. With my parents living at the end of a rural road in New Hampshire, they often have something actually interesting to report: moose or bear etc. However, I do the same thing, and as I said before, it is always just deer. I am left to wonder if my parents took such interest in their neighbors when they were younger, hipper and lived in cities. But I doubt it. The fun part about the sighting of animals is not even the animal itself, but what it says about you that you live in a place with animals. Neighbors do not provide such a cloak of importance.

But while I like to report on these deer, and my parents like to sound interested because it proves we are rugged in all our animal-sighting glory, I am afraid this one particularly absurd sighting ruined the thrill for me forever.

As I was “working” late one night, I rented the epic chick flick “You’ve Got Mail” because I had never seen it before and because I figured it would be mindless enough for me to work in front of. I was right. And my editing and internet surfing work was quite productive.

But halfway through, I had the sudden feeling I was not alone. My mother’s office (where I was watching) has huge glass windows dominating one of the walls. I used to fear axe-murderers in such a house, because, as I pointed out to my parents, at night people can see in through our big glass walls, but you cannot see out. Horrifying thought that my parents countered by pointing out that there was no one around to see in. I one-upped them by stating that this made it scarier since if people were seeing you, they were working hard to do so. My parents had nothing to say in return. But ensconced in my blanket with neurotic Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, I did not think axe murderers when I had this “not alone” presentiment. I slowly turned my head to look at the window, and see not an axe murderer but a deer close enough to the window to be seen in the weak TV glow.

I just sort of sat there watching the deer to see what it was doing. It seemed to be…looking at the TV. And lo and behold, it was the appeal of Meg Ryan held this deer captivated at my window. It took a couple minutes, but eventually the deer apparently also had the “not alone” feeling, and it looked at me looking at it, and scampered away. I watched the rest of the movie alone.

Clearly, I had chosen the right movie that night. But now I live with the knowledge that these are not wild, but strictly suburban deer, and that the mass appeal of Nora Ephron movies is not species-specific.


Stickler said...

Awsome... I would have screamed like a little girl if I and turned my head to see that. It sounds like the new house is the beginning of all scary movies, good luck!

on a totally unrelated note, Ladies in two weeks I leave for Nepal...Any words of wisdom?

claire said...

Stickler's going to Nepal!!

Go to the main mexican restaurant in downtown Kathmandu. It has flourescent lights and is "pure" Mexican, as opposed to the Tex Mex outfit.

Will you hike?
Whattya doin' there???

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