Entering Week 11 and I grow weary, as if I’m stumbling around inside an Edgar Allen Poe tale.
I know not which days are which and since I haven’t watched network television shows in some 10 years or so, I can’t count on that as a calendar.
“Seinfeld” was on Thursdays, right?
Everything I do, see or hear is jumbled.
Is it garbage day?
I hear a car slow in front of my house and I peak through the window. I haven’t gotten mail in a week and it’s too early for the delivery, anyway.
OOOOOOH! Maybe it’s the Beer Fairy.
Suddenly, a crash.
That’s right. I have squirrels and they are rattling their cage. I ignore them and look out the window.
It’s UPS and I watch with a wary eye as he approaches my porch and throws down a big envelope.
I scurry outside after he leaves, grab my envelope and dart back in.
The sunlight hurts my eyes.
I slice an apple, carefully cutting away the peel.
“Here,” I say as Coco and Peanut poke their noses through the cage and clamp down on the apple.
What day was that again? Where I thought I lost my eyeball?
I was standing in my daughter Jenna’s room. Coco, (or was it Peanut?) was sitting on the dresser peeing into an open colored pencil case.
I was cleaning the cage. I stood and turned and all I saw was a furry gray blur flying at my face.
I could do nothing, despite my cat-like reflexes.
For but a brief mini-second, a half-grown squirrel was attached to my eye, it’s needle-thin claws digging into my forehead and eye.
He darted away and my hand clasped over my eye and I screamed in pain. Jenna nearly fainted as blood poured from the wounds.
I ran to the bathroom and all I felt was a stinging pain in my eye and what felt horribly like an eyeball dangling onto my cheek.
It would be two hours before I could open my eye without searing pain.
Fortunately, I could see. The claw had barely penetrated the white of my eye.
Jenna and I now wear our glasses whenever we take the squirrels out.
Where was I?
I didn’t hear this car stop. I know I was home. Where else would I be?
When, then, did someone drop off a 30-pack of beer?
Two days later, I did hear a car, a door close and then, seconds later, the car leaving.
Gotta love fairies.
It’s sometime after midnight and my friend Todd left hours ago and there’s a box full of empties and the fire rages on.
Rosie, the cartoon dog, is munching on a log.
“Boom Boom” comes raging out of my speakers. It’s The Animals version of the John Lee Hooker song.
“This,” I announce to Rosie and whoever may be lurking in the woods, “could be the greatest rock song ever.”
It’s snowing for the third time in May. I blame it on coronavirus.
I’m turning the page again and Rose the Hat is angry that all the members of The True Knot are gone and it’s nearing the climax of a great Stephen King novel and ...my phone dings. And dings. And dings.
It’s Jenna, who had gone for a walk in the woods.
“In the mud.”
“I’m stuck next to a dead deer.”
She sends me a picture and, yes, she is stuck next to a dead deer.
“Where are you?”
Well, I’m laughing but I don’t tell her that.
The phone rings.
“DAAAADDD!! Are you coming? It’s smells.”
I put on my boots and trudge back to the woods and I find her, off the beaten path and stuck in a slushy hole of mud between two small trees.The deer is certainly dead and has been since winter, I imagine.
I pull her out and we trudge back to the house.
The next day I’m finishing the novel and my phone dings five times.
Two photos are of Jenna’s boots stuck deep in another mud pit.
“I’m still very stuck.”
“I can’t get out.”
I ignore her. I told her not to get stuck again.
My phone dings.
Me, too. I don’t think I can take all this weirdness for much longer.
Scott DeSmit is a general assignment reporter for The Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org