Basements are for Boys

For about three weeks I’ve been hearing a beep from the basement. I rent a third of a house. It’s two floors and a basement (a cellar if you’re talking to MA-accent toting landlord). The basement has three parts. The first is where my oil tank and my washer and dryer are. No big. When I have a warm Saturday I hope to sweep is out and clean it so it’s a little less icky. The next part is my boiler (I think?) and hot water tank (which I only just learned was definitely the hot water tank) and the circuit breaker (I’ve only had to use that twice, and only once did I need a flashlight because the basement light was on the blown). This second part is ickier but again cleanable. I hope. Then there’s a third part. And before I start on that scary, icky, nasty section, let me disclose this. Bugs are coming.
I have a bit of a bug problem in my apartment. Apparently I have the type of basement that attracts bugs. And they crawl upstairs. And they aren’t tiny cute little bugs. Ok. I know. None of them are tiny or cute, but most of them I can manage. In fact, as a child, I was the household bug killer. This is the downside to being packed with some bravery and having a brother who is three years younger (and holds less bravery). As I’ve gotten older I’ve grown a little more squeamish but mostly I can handle a bug situation. Except centipedes. If you don’t know centipedes, feel lucky. They can be big, squishy, have lots and lots of nasty legs, and move insanely fast. Even typing that sentence makes me nauseated. But I can still kill them. And can usually recover within a couple of hours (they’re just so gross). I know I have them because I have an old basement and I’m going to go see the guys at the hardware store to maybe solve this problem. But until then I hope and pray no more bugs sneak upstairs and I can exist in blissful denial.
Tonight? Denial was just a river in Egypt. Because the beeping from the basement is becoming more bothersome.  I put on my I’m-an-independent-single-woman-who-is-completely-capable-of-taking-care-of-herself pants and decided to investigate when I heard it for the third time tonight. Except, it still only beeps once every 20-30-40 minutes. I don’t really pay attention so I wasn’t exactly sure how to investigate. I started by going downstairs to see if any lights were flashing. They weren’t. Investigate then became hanging out next to the washing machine with a beer and some work files until whatever is beeping beeped again. (rocket science, I know!) I stood with my beer and my work and waited. And then after 5 minutes had passed I was bored. And then it occurred to me. Maybe it wasn’t the dryer, water heater, boiler (or whatever that thing is. Oil burner?). Maybe it was something in the creepy part of the basement (cellar). Back in that third part it’s kind of dirty. And filled with all sorts of bits and pieces of home repair/demolition/rebuild stuff (my landlord’s a contractor or something [sounds sketchy, but he works with my Dad so it’s not, I swear]). I ventured back there and noticed the big white Verizon box that I have for FiOS (such fast internet!!!) had an extra light lit. It was the “change battery” light. Except the thing is plugged into an outlet. So I don’t really understand what the heck it needs a battery for. But I don’t like to judge. As I’m trying to figure out how to open the thing to find out what type of battery it needs and I notice the spider. Oh wait. Not spider.


So. Many. Spiders. Everywhere. And not those little gray ones. Nasty jet black ones. And not dainty little daddy long legs. I was looking at a daddy long legs that I think was large enough to enroll in kindergarten. No joke, the body of that thing is the size of a small peanut. A PEANUT! And then I look around a little more and that whole section of the basement is just one huge ass spider web. And here’s where I started to freak out a little. I found a hammer handle and brushed off the box. And managed to pry it open. And it needs a battery the size of a small house. Which means I’ll have to call Verizon and have them bring me one (what a dumb system). Once I realized there isn’t any thing I can do about the battery tonight I hauled ass out of that basement. And now I feel as though a thousand tiny legs are crawling all over me. And I’m going to leave you with that thought. While I go attempt to shower off any potential spider. And honestly, if a spider washes out of my hair, I just might possibly pass out. I promise I’m not usually this easily creeped but they were EVERYWHERE. And these are the nights that I don’t mind if the Y chromosome let’s my male co-workers eat fried chicken everyday and not gain weight. That Y chromosome makes them perfect for basements. Screw feminism. I think that one daddy long legs was old enough to vote! THE SIZE OF A PEANUT. That’s horror movie stuff.

Hearts and bug killer


This is from last Tuesday. I wrote it while waiting in line at the stores while I was running errands.

Driving home tonight, my windows are rolled down. Technically the moon roof is rolled back. And really, aren’t all windows electric now, so really there’s no rolling. Regardless, the windows were open. The air blowing in the windows breezes across my skin. My skin that is so happy to be in short sleeves in mid March. Kenny Chesney is ripping chords on the live version of “She Think’s My Tractor’s Sexy” (which I do).  My sunglasses are on. I smile while I belt out the chorus with Kenny. Tonight is a night to be celebrated. Tonight the sun is still out and I can have the windows down leaving my Massachussets based office. I’ve got a short drive to run an errand and a sexy tractor driver to keep me company. I turn the volume up a bit more as a little stream of sun peaks into my rearview mirror. Life is good.

Driving through town I see dozens of people out and about running, roller blading (who knew people still roller bladed?!), walking, and playing. Halfway to my destinaion I’m driving up a hill. I see a mother walking along the sidewalk, a toddler‘s hand tightly in her own. The toddler is very small and looks as though she’s still working out the walking thing. A single ponytail sticks up from the top of her head. I wonder why they are walking along the sidewalk and not in a park or a yard somewhere. They have no stroller or diaper bag and I think to myself, maybe it’s just so nice they wanted to leave the back yard for a little walk around the neighborhood. We crest the hill together and then I pass them. Walking towards them, presumably from the train that has just left the commuter station up ahead, is a man in his early 30s dressed in a smart suit and sunglasses, a messenger bag across his shoulder, iPhone in hand. At first I think nothing of it as there are people in business attire walking along the opposite sidewalk. And then I discover that mother and daughter were journeying up the sidewalk. This man in the serious suit suddenly breaks out into a mile wide smile and does a goofy two handed wave that a father only does for his little girl. And for a moment my heart sighs. It sighs over the sweetness of a mother bringing her little girl toddling up the street to meet her daddy. It sighs over a man who is so clearly over the moon to see his family walking to meet him. And mostly my heart sighs with yearing, hoping one day to be a part of such a simple joy as a commute home to a family.