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--- B .  D I E T R I C H

I have to wonder why I'm not more surprised at this, the latest intrusion. It's not as if I'd been expecting relatives to swing by, but going down to the basement felt like coming home, all pounce and prehensile madness. They must've been there for quite a while, hooting it up, brachiating like long-limbed laurels-hardy, hungry, full of dark and Darwin. Their fingerprints stucco the nickel plating like whorled dimes, and banana peels, funky with silt, saliva, age, drape from each elbow joint.

This is why I haven't been able to take a bath in days, why I've grown fragrant, unkempt, wild. I keep finding strange leavings in the drain. Hairballs, steaming monkey business. Everything below - the waste, what crap we've amassed in vast domestic intestines - has turned to jungle. Worse, every time I descend, I can't help but think they've multiplied. Now I know they're not a serious bother, nothing like finding, say, a clutch of classics scholars lurking lunatic behind the furnace, but lemurs (in the suburbs!) this must mean something.

I tried, of course, believing in them at first. Feeding them. Leaving the garbage downstairs. But this just made them mad. Attempts at bonding, an utter cluster fuck. So I was left, then, with leaving them alone...that, or prayer. Now I no longer know what goes on down there. I'm sure there's more, there's always more. But beyond that, beyond the certainty of a cellar settling in to its own unsettling circus, beyond the fear of small black hands prying their way up into this world, I only know this: I have to keep them out.

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