The way a narrative can change

So, that I lose things is well known. Recently, it was a blue plastic dog grooming glove. PFFFT – just vanished.

I’d bought it at the behest of Infiltration Advertisement and I loved it! The ads were true! It pulled off fur super effectively while offering the dog a calming petting session. Since Finn is shedding the equivalent of an entire vacuum canister of fur per floor per day, I was thrilled.

I’d last used the glove outside. It was a pleasure to watch the fur float in clumps toward the street, knowing it wouldn’t be gathering along the base of the bookcases or at the bottom of the stairs.

That was before the weekend. I spent Saturday and Sunday looking for it. Had I dropped the glove in the garage, perhaps? Had it joined a coterie of gardening gloves near the back door – a place it likes to socialize now and then? No. And no. It wasn’t in the mudroom or near the side door, either, where other dog things are.

I kept looking out at the front lawn. Hadn’t I, in fact, left it outside?

On our Wednesday walk, to my utter astonishment, I found the very distinctive glove on the road around the block and down the street a little.

It was baffling.

When I found another pair of gloves a few yards away, I thought, “maybe not so weird?” but really — still weird. And then a dead squirrel caught my attention.

Still enfurred, but with skeleton exposed — was it a victim of a car accident or an attack?

Finn and I continued on. Coming back up Daniel Street, Finn was eager and curious about the telephone pole in front of The Ocher House. It didn’t seem that unusual — after all, dogs spend a good portion of every walk taking a rigorous smell inventory.

But then I found out otherwise. Pausing to talk the occupant of The Ocher House, a man I’ve never before spoken to in spite of being neighbors for over 25 years, I offered, “Too bad about the pine.” This was in reference to the recent loss of a majestic 40′ spruce after the house next door changed hands.

He was philosophical, “Yeah we were bummed, but then realized it could’ve been worse. Developers could’ve bought the place, torn it down, and built a McMansion.” Such things are not unusual around here. I then shared how my disappointment about the loss of two neighboring mature oaks had turned into gratitude now that we’d been able to plant a beautiful pine in that corner.

And then, it got interesting.

“I noticed your dog sniffing around the telephone pole,” he began. “Coyotes killed our cat there a couple of nights ago.” Turns out, he’s been tracking their movements for years. Recommended I not walk without a large stick, “or at the very least, an umbrella.”

“Ive seen them too,” I said, but then noted how they don’t come in our yard because of a four foot fence. “Not that they couldn’t jump it. They just don’t.”

Tiring of the coyotes tracking through his backyard, my neighbor had a four foot fence installed along the rear lot line. He described how this actually may’ve contributed to his cat’s demise, because it foreclosed some of her hiding spots.

You could spend a lifetime worrying about unintended consequences. My most recent and morbid version — imagining flying C from California to help his brother in Colorado move next month, only to have both of them die in a car accident. (DAMN YOU JOHN IRVING! See, ‘A Widow for One Year’).

Please don’t worry about me. But these next two morbid thoughts will bring us closer to connecting coyotes, dead squirrels, and Helsinki.

One, I sometimes worry in an abstract and almost self-pitying kind of way that I might not live long enough to meet my grandchildren. Two, I also sometimes worry in an eager and tense sort of way that I might not live long enough to see the full results of the Mueller investigation.

Because I am on the edge of my seat. Trust me!

Here’s what I concluded after my neighbor’s testimony: coyotes strolled through my front yard, smelled Finn on the shedding glove, mouthed it for a while, and carried it around the corner. At the prospect of killing a squirrel or nosing an already dead one, they dropped it in disinterest. Then, they perhaps dashed away at the sight of a cat down the block.

Just knowing what happened at that telephone pole in front of the Ocher House allowed me to construct a plausible narrative for an otherwise inexplicable finding (the glove on the road).

Barring obscene violence or successful anti-democratic acts (i.e. impeaching Rod Rosenstein), Robert Mueller will produce more indictments. There WILL be a report. Manafort’s two trials will take place. Flynn will be sentenced. Maria Butina’s going NOWHERE. Cohen has more tapes. We WILL hear them. Carter Page’s role, the Deustch Bank money, the Alfa Bank communications with Trump Tower, Kushner’s debt and pressure on Qatar, the involvement of the Saudis, Erik Prince and George Nadler, the money laundering Russian oligarchs — it will all come to light. The pee tapes are the least of it. A side show. But someday we’re gonna know a lot of what Mueller knows.

We know corrupt and craven acts took place. We know trump owes no allegiance to any one but himself. But someday we will better understand the whole destructive mess on a coherent time line. How the glove got around the corner and deposited in the middle of the road, in other words.

Mitch McConnell will go down in infamy. Paul Ryan will skunk away, never to reappear. Giuliani will shut up (well, maybe not). There will be such a run on orange poly-cotton blends!

Even though so MUCH is going down the tubes — civil liberties, environmental protections, the soy bean industry, consumer protections, necessary bank regulations, freedom of the press, the possibility of a non-partisan Supreme Court, allegiance to fact, voting rights, American diplomacy, alliances built after WWII and sustained for decades, national parks — I really, really do believe that at some point we will know what happened. Who, what, when and where.

When I learned about coyotes killing a neighbor’s cat, the strange misplacement of our blue glove suddenly made sense. Similarly, our special prosecutor and other attorneys are going to help us construct a narrative.

I can’t wait.

14 thoughts on “The way a narrative can change

  1. Liz A

    Fascinating but of sleuthing …

    And I, too am more than ready to know what Mueller knows …

    1. deemallon

      Part of me wonders what all we’ll do when it’s over (it will be over at some point, right?).

      1. Liz A

        You mean no more “breaking news” every five minutes on MSNBC? There’s a part of me that craves the long-lost tranquility that came with knowing the government was getting more things right than not. The other part now realizes we need to stay alert forever more lest this be allowed to happen again (those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it).

        1. deemallon

          I’m more of a tweet reader and regular Maddow watcher at night. I know people that put CNN on every time there’s breaking news. I’ll do that for some but not all things. It’s weird to be this plugged in after a life time of casual disregard for the news. You’re right about : never again.

        2. Nancy

          Dee, yes to almost this exactly (minus the tweet thing). I’ll add CNN does more weather disaster and MSNBC is all politics most of the time! lol

    1. deemallon

      It was so odd to see the glove there. And then so satisfying to talk with a neighbor I’ve never talked to before and have him reveal critical

  2. Angie Shipley

    My husband is also an attorney, and desperately wants Mueller to be allowed to finish the investigation and to hear his findings. Having said that, he has no faith that the investigation will be allowed to run it’s full course or that we the public will ever know the full findings and ramifications. That it will all only come out years from now…..😐 It’s been a long, nerve-wracking, miserable year and a half.😖

    1. deemallon

      I only think optimistically about this about 2/3 of the time. It does seem like it’s a race between a thorough investigation by a prosecutor who works carefully and the demise of our institutions. So much rides on the midterm elections and we already know that Russia’s hacking some races.

  3. Nancy

    Top to Bottom:
    I love how Finney is looking at it, like, “Oh there it is!” As a child, I lost and found the same TINY ID bracelet, gifted by my Godmother, 3 times!! How did THAT happen? haha
    I ‘worry’ about strange things less and less these days. I (and please don’t worry about me either) feel more like: I came, I did what I needed to do, I can go. Much of what I ‘did’ has not turned out the way I thought it would anyway.
    The paragraph that starts “Barring obscene violence or successful …” overwhelms me, as does much of the news world these days!
    I love reading your stories and thoughts 🙂 xo


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