Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Departure of a Lizard

Sometimes you're faced with situations that, well, it's likely no one you know will ever have to face themselves. And sometimes those things are life-changing. And other times they're just freakin' weird.

Case in point: Walked into my back yard Saturday afternoon and found a four-foot lizard. An iguana named Iggy, to be more precise. Unfortunately, Iggy was deceased. And unfortunately, I had to figure out what to do with Iggy before @ also discovered this little bit of Wild Kingdom (brought to you by Mutual of Omaha) in the back yard. Where's that safari jacket when I need it?

After the WTF moment passed, I removed said reptile from the lawn and fairly nicely packaged it for the neighbor so that, when she returned from her latest experimentation with mind-altering chemicals, she could bond with her green friend before disposing of it.

I considered a few alternatives, including leaving it on the hood of her car, but realized that the car has actually been missing for a week or so. And the porch wasn't an option because it's really not in her 87-year-old grandmother's best interest to discover a lizard carcass on the porch (although, obviously, the thought crossed my mind). Tweaker girl thoughtfully buried the thing pretty much on the property line under my bedroom window. Fabulous.

It escapes me how someone -- chemically "enhanced" or not -- thinks iguanas should have the same free-range status as chickens in Petaluma. And then how that person is surprised that the week-long AWOL iguana is deceased after entering a yard with two eighty-pound dogs (who, to their credit, did not maul it, but definitely had a foreleg in its departure from this realm).

Add it to my list of weird skills: chocolate souffle creation, chainsaw operation, baseboard installation, and now, lizard disposal(ation).

Monday, October 1, 2007


@ and I have a running commentary about chickens. When I don't know how to answer him, I bring in the chickens. He likes me to incorporate chickens into his bedtime stories. Sometimes he makes it very clear that I am, indeed, a "big mean chicken." When he barks, I cluck back at him and he generally replies with, "Quit bok-bokking mama!" (So then I meow and wind up going through a litany of other animal noises until I give up and return to the rusted trusted barnyard fowl.)

With @'s brother, it's hawks. The relationship is different. I don't get to play the verbal games. But I see hawks in odd places. Or, it's possible the hawks were always there and I didn't see them.

Shortly after the boys were born, a young hawk moved into in our neighborhood -- in the mix of Silicon Valley's freeways, expressways, and Starbucks. At first he seemed to spend a lot of time going from tree to tree as if trying to find other hawks or get his bearings. Eventually he settled into a routine and in the early evenings would spend time in the front-yard mulberry tree or a nearby neighbor's tree before moving on. I haven't seen him in a couple of years, but it was nice to have him around.
  • I found feathers while I was pregnant.
  • When X and I got married, a red-tailed hawk circled above us at the end of the ceremony.
  • A pair of hawks live in the eucalyptus trees that border the parking lot at work and I had my desk reconfigured so I can face that way.
And then there are the random hawks that just seem to be "around." As soon as the boys were born, I had an unexplained feeling that feathers and N were connected. And it eventually evolved to hawks.

For N's birthday, I got a hawk of my own. It's a tattoo. He's already always with me in my heart, but he has no grave, no memorial. I wear a necklace that represents both @ and N. But I've always needed something that marked N's impact -- gave him a greater presence than my internal grief. Some people might think it's drastic or odd, but there's something truly comforting about having him as part of me again, physically.