Thursday, April 30, 2015
Our dark secrets
One of the shameful secrets of our life in Topanga has been the mess in our basement. Our basement is full of boxes that include books and papers we moved here from Seattle in 1996 and never opened, obsolete computer equipment, broken furniture, boxes of discarded children's toys, things we meant to donate to Goodwill but didn't, old paint, and panes of window glass from old windows.
We've rented a dumpster and are starting to tackle all this. It's been both alarming and embarrassing - I thumbed through a box of old photographs of my 30 years-ago self, soiled and stuck together by rat droppings. I found a stack of my old vinyl record albums from the '70s, still wrapped in bubble wrap.
The rat droppings is a theme. Our rural habitat is a very hospitable home to roof rats, also known as black rats or rattus rattus. While we've finally managed to get them out of our living spaces, they've moved right into the basement, slipping under doors and gnawing through window screens. This is going to be a dirty job.