Squirrels In My House
There are squirrels in my house.
There is a giant gap in my roof where they’ve been getting into. I don’t know how long it has been that big. I don’t know when they started coming in. But for the past few weeks they’ve been running around in the ceiling of my living room and around where my bathtub is. I can hear them gnaw on the ceiling, wondering when one of the ingrates is going to crash through and have to find a way out.
People are freaking about COVID-19, about Coronavirus, about their supposed personal freedoms being obstructed by the request to stay inside and isolate until the curve of a virus comes down and allows the least amount of people to die. People want to cut their hair like it fucking means something. People want other people to take care of them and do things for them because they’ve spent too much of their life expecting it. These same people previously scoffed when those who weren’t abled needed things done for them. And now they want to act like they are being enslaved. Because they have to stay in.
Well I am staying in. And in my house, squirrels run around inside my walls.
I sometimes can’t be in my living room anymore because the running drives me insane. More times than I should admit I’ve taken a broom and knocked on my ceiling tiles in hopes of scaring them away. It sometimes work. But it also means my floor and couch is now covered in small pieces of debris that used to be my ceiling. I’m handling this pretty well all things considered. I know people who’ve tried to be cute to break this. Hanging out in parks with people, “BUT I’M SIX FEET APART GUVNA!” bullshit. I skipped on my friends birthday, something I never like to do. And I still feel bad about it. I had friends skip my birthday for no reason and it was one of the worst days of my life. I’ve always tried to make birthdays I’m invited to because of that. And this time I could have made it, but it was best I didn’t.
Instead I stayed home. With the squirrels who have invaded my home.
Lots of people have already tried to say, “Oh all you folks saying you could live on a deserted island are getting exposed!” but guess what? I deal with people more than ever. Count all the people I go by on my way to work and the people I used to deal with on the phones. It doesn’t compare to how many people I deal with now. The responsibilities on my job have increased, and the amount of people I talk to every day has risen high. I used to get up a lot at work. Now my back seizes up and is sore after every shift because I don’t get up enough. I can’t get up enough. There’s too many calls, too many emails, too many orders. I didn’t get to live on a deserted island with 24 hours to scavenge for food and to build shelter. I spend 8 hours being emotionally drained at my job on a chair and then I’m expected to do something with myself after. I hardly can. All I can do is eat and sleep.
Did I say sleep? Ha. Not with the squirrels running and threatening to attack me at night.
I’ve been trying to befriend a cat in my neighbourhood. It loves my red chair more than I do. It used to sleep in it on my front porch and I moved the chair to the back because it has gotten dirty. The cat still sleeps on it. I don’t like bothering it. I wave to it at times. I bring it water. It always runs away. But it’s all I really need. I still talk to my friends every day (I sometimes forget to contact people, sorry about that, I’ll try to do better) and I try talking to family and see how they are doing. How am I doing? I’m doing good. A cat feels safe on my porch during a pandemic.
Little does it know my house is being ransacked by squirrels who will one day eat electrical wires and cause the whole place to burn to the ground.
I’m being melodramatic for effect. I can afford to be since I’m doing fine for the most part. When I’m not working I feel good enough to work out and do things. I read new things. I see new things. Work days are harder. The fact I’m writing this, the first writing I’ve done since December? That’s a huge step. Do you know what pushed me to get to writing? It isn’t hard to guess.
Have you been paying attention?
IT’S THE FUCKING SQUIRRELS.
THE SQUIRRELS IN MY CEILING ARE ONCE AGAIN GNAWING AT THE TILES. ONCE AGAIN CHASING DEBRIS UP IN MY CEILING WHILE I TRIED TO WATCH SOMETHING. You might now start think I’m making these squirrels up since I keep saying I’m okay then keep mentioning the fucking squirrels, and I absolutely could be. But why would I make up squirrels in my wall when I’m still committed to staying inside? Oh. Didn’t think about that one did you?
They say we will remember this time for the rest of our lives like we remembered 9/11. What were you doing October 5th, 2001? Oh that’s right. You only recall a few things, and your memory might be playing with you. We won’t remember much from this. We’ll forget how stupid people were and once again any time someone does something stupid we’ll say, “What’s happened to people?” as if there was a time they were smart and sensible. We’ll forget how polite we had been and considerate of others, though I hope I’m wrong there. We’ll forget most of the the Zoom’s and Google Hangouts. We’ll forget the memes. I keep forgetting which day I left the office to work from home and it’s only mid May. We’ll probably remember the days things open up more than anything, since people are going to take it too far. People are going to act like Make-A-Wish kids meeting John Cena. We’re gonna hustle, baby. And it’ll create memories far more lasting than the moments we spent at home. The moments we were expected to wear gloves and sanitize our hands. The moments we had to wear masks AND DIDN’T IMMEDIATELY THINK WE WERE NINJAS WITH THE MASKS ON. CAN YOU BELIEVE NOBODY THINKS THEY ARE A NINJA RIGHT NOW? WE LOOK LIKE NINJAS FOLKS!
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there are moments we won’t ever forget. I have friends who will one day get to tell their kids that when their mom was pregnant? The world stopped. Imagine how that kid will comprehend that. We got tons of photos and will have archives and when we want to think back, it will be easy to ask ourselves, “What happened in 2020 again?” after all of this is over and we’re back to the days being the same with nobody telling us they have to be the same. I’ll think about the cat. I’ll think about the birthday I missed. I’ll think about the ninjas we didn’t realize we became.
Or at least I hope to. The squirrels still have plenty of chances to kill me before that roof gets fixed. Here’s to survival. Hope to see you soon.
“Here’s to faces of our memory
To reprimanded attitudes
To forgetting all the pretense
To all the people that we knew
We’ll all get drunk and celebrate
Here’s to me and here’s to you”
— The Naked and Famous “A Small Reunion”