Monday, November 30, 2009


To look at a crow is to know how deadly and dangerous it is. It is much, much larger than any other city bird. It can fly up from the ground quickly, and it can fly down to the ground from the top of a tree just as easily as I might have bent down to tie my shoe. They are completely black, and you can’t see their faces. They are loud, and make unearthly noises. They gather in large groups in the winter, and they know how to get into a trashcan. I have seen a Seattle crow go into a trashcan with a covered lid, come out with a Dick’s bag, and open the bag and take out the orange foil from a burger, all in the time it takes for a traffic light to change. Crows eat all sorts of strange things, and they do strange things, too. Sometimes they will spend a lot of time pulling moss off of trees and letting it drop to the ground. Perhaps they are looking for food or gathering nest-making materials, but whatever it is, it’s frightening.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


In those days, kids walked to school, and walked by themselves, even if they were tiny girls with skinny arms and skinny legs like me. I was expected to walk through the neighborhood behind our house, which was thoroughly haunted from end to end. It had grotesque trees that were ready to catch you up in their limbs and crush you if only they could reach you. The houses were all different from each other, not little variations on a theme as it was in my neighborhood, where all the houses were brick. No, on Polo Drive there were houses that looked like castles, and houses with circular driveways, and Tudor houses with crooked timbers and crazy crooked bricks. Some of the houses looked big enough to be schools or hospitals. Clearly, most of them were haunted: you never saw cars, or people going in or out. There weren’t any nasty loose Schnauzers trying to bite you, like there were on Davis Drive. There were gaping sidewalk cracks showing just where the trolls were hiding, just there underground. The sidewalks were not straight and square like there were in my neighborhood. They were curved. It seemed all wrong. Even the street signs used a scary, gothic, unreadable font, as if to let you know how haunted it was. Absolutely worst of all, there were the crows.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


When I was little, I had thick dark hair, cut in bangs, dark eyes and a dark glare. I was afraid of too many things in my world (the basement, the crows in the neighborhood behind our house, my grandparents, mixtures of food), and I know I cried a lot. If I complained too, I don’t remember it. I just remember crying.