08.20.20

my little sister and her family have a fist-sized turtle named taco, a little creature that came into my brother-in-law's life when he was a boy. he is not the most exciting pet, and they have not-joked since before my nephew was born that they would present him to their children one day as a new addition: "oh hey, theo, look, you have a turtle to take care of now!" taco is famously introverted, but he came out of his hollowed-out log in their guest room in los angeles to perform a clackety dance in the wee hours of the morning when same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015. same, taco, i thought.

her family left their home in santa cruz when they lost power this weekend, and they learned they couldn't go back to it the other night when wildfires emptied the neighborhood. she and her husband and kids are safe, thank goodness, and a neighbor managed to get their cats to a hotel room where he'd corralled pets from all over their area; yesterday afternoon they reunited with my fur-niece and -nephew. but spot-fires have been hopscotching through the area, the neighbor has been going back up the hill to try to prepare his house and douse what he can, and it looks like he and my sister might both lose their houses. she gave him a short list of things to save if he could make it back to their home: rings, baby books, a picture, and taco. i've been fixated on that detail since she texted it to me, the idea of this endless animate paperweight hunched among pine shavings as flames lick the sides of his terrarium. i am not interested in using that twist of fate to explore the contours of another; in fact, i keep thinking about exactly what that situation would feel like, if i was a fist-sized turtle named taco. the air graying out, and the pine blooming.

4 comments:

LPC said...

One of my favorite kinds of Lauren-writing. And I really hope Taco's spot is spared, and him too.

Laramie said...

oh taco. ��



my fam in Davenport has evacuated too.

lauren said...

rooting for your family too, cookies!

furiousmuse said...

i really hope taco will be okay. <3