I’m raking the front yard when I notice a hole in the ground the size of a squash ball. I rake rocks into it. Then some more. Completely covered one second, it’s a hole the next. I look down at the squash ball. What’s down there? On my knees, I take a closer look. With one one eye closed, I peek in like it’s a microscope. It’s dark and I can’t see much. But I hear something. A scurry. Not a dig. Maybe a whisper.

Who’s down there? I ask. Did I bury a being? 

By trying to fill the hole did I kill the mole?


I'm care-taking the house of a friend of mine. It's not a big deal. He lives close by. I walk my dog there in the mornings. I was told  to water the beds before it gets hot.

The house is out my side door, left onto Stanton, right on Rodney and Rodney to Beech. Over a few blocks from Rodney, and across Vancouver. If you are taking this path, I should note that Rodney jogs at Fremont between Martin Luther King Jr. and Williams. Early, crossing Fremont is not an issue, however, during rush hour, the single, westbound lane backs up. A car once drove right at me, into oncoming traffic to turn down Rodney. I should be dead. But the car turned right before it got to me.

Vancouver is a busy all morning. It's oneway and goes toward downtown. There's a crosswalk on Beech and Vancouver but cars don't seem to mind it. Cars coming from Rodney's direction, and turning onto Vancouver turn here. Once when this happened, a man driving made eye contact with me before turning in front of me, and while he was turning I held up my middle finger out to him. I'm not proud. I know I can't take it back.

You must trust me with this story thus far. I want to be honest with you. What I am about to tell you may leave you asking questions. And I am prepared to answer those questions to the best of my ability should they come up.

During my three weeks of care-taking–It's not housesitting if you're not sleeping there– I noticed patterns. During the summer days the house would stuff up and become hot. I made it part of my routine to open window and door in the cool mornings and air out. The home is old but there are modern amenities, including a digital thermostat and a sophisticated alarm. The house is wired at everywhere. And there are motion sensors, something I was unaware of. No, my friend never mentioned the alarm system, and I didn't mean to arm it.

This afternoon I was opening the doors and windows, trying to cool the house down when one or both the alarm system or thermostat started beeping. The thermostat and alarm panel are located on the same wall.  The battery in the thermostat was dying and the windows were open–I didn't know thermostats had batteries. I replaced it with a battery I took out of the Comcast remote and that seemed to take care of it.

I heard a beep, but went about my chores, watering the garden boxes, stacking mail, and airing out the house. Before I left, I made sure all the windows and doors were closed and locked except for the door I left from. That door was open. Still, I was hearing all sorts of beeping and couldn't tell if it was thermostat or alarm panel related. I went over to the wall and started pushing negative worded buttons: OFF, CANCEL, EXIT. A screen on the alarm panel said alarm armed. Leave house. And the reminder beep turned into a countdown beep. I armed the house. And didn't know the password. It was time to EXIT.