Friday, May 18, 2012

In which the rabbit is just as horny as ever

It's been a couple weeks, and Pipkin still hasn't been neutered. Nor has his obsession with the female Pepper waned. We often hear his soft grunting song of yearning, as he hops around sniffing all the places that Pepper has touched. He has hopped into my lap of his own accord more than once--after I had held Pepper and thus scented myself with her irresistible perfume.

Pepper, for her part, is growing up fast. She hops in and out of her cage now, and doesn't slide around so much when we put her on the tiled bathroom floor. Even more impressively, she is now as big as Pipkin, and will surpass him soon, I'm sure. (Before we went to California, we weighed her: 900g. Ten days later, we returned and were shocked to see how much bigger she had gotten: she weighs 1200g.)

Now that Pepper is spending a lot of her time out of her cage on the roof of Pipkin's crate, like so--

--Pipkin is spending a lot of his time in his crate (which we have outfitted with a loft). He doesn't nap on the rug anymore. He hangs out on the upper story of his crate and pines after Pepper, standing up and straining to touch his nose to the edge of the ceiling. He also likes to stand on the bucket and stare at her. She usually ignores him.

Poor Pipkin. He seems to be going crazy with frustration. And so I am learning a lesson from my rabbits. Here for the first time, I see sexual desire in its unvarnished biological form. Pipkin is obsessed, no doubt about it. He is a man on a mission, as O. put it. And the mission is: get to Pepper, and get it on. I am beginning to understand the power of the sex drive. For Pipkin, there isn't some overarching narrative of psychological satisfaction or self-actualization to fulfill. It's just the plain biology of the thing, and it's clearly overwhelming to him.

So this is what it's like for boys all the time? Things begin to make more sense...

For Pipkin, though, the solution is going to be abrupt and simple. On Monday, he has an appointment. Snip snip. Until then:

Friday, May 11, 2012


I am briefly in the place I still call home: my parents' house in California, where the tangerine tree blossoms in the backyard, and the gardenia blooms breathe out memories of my mother breathing in their scent, and pausing, happy.

Here, the lettuce on the dinner table comes from the garden. Here, I look at a spot in the land and I remember the way it used to be--when the hydrangea bush that looms over the path was a small shriveled thing, a potted plant commemorating a father's death; when the tangerine tree was neighbored by an orange tree that never produced any fruit; when the patio was a pad of concrete hemmed in by a redwood fence, and we would corner the dog there to bathe him.

There are ghosts here. I see shadows of the dog, Duke, who weighed more than my sister for the first year or so after we got him, and who destroyed things (plastic cups stolen from the dishwasher, stuffed animals that smelled like us, laundry torn down from the line), and who worshiped us, and loved life. He owned our hearts. My father cried when he died. And I hear echoes of the girls that my sister and I used to be--running feet, hair past our waists, putting on plays for our parents and enacting whole societies with ceramic miniatures. I almost feel my first kiss again, on the front porch on a summer evening. The couch is drenched with midnight memories, times we stayed up til dawn talking about nothing.

California is the place of memories, and the place of hope. Here, a hummingbird appears in the garden, flickering in the flowers. It vanishes. I hold my breath. It comes back for a second, shimmers in the shadows of the tangerine tree, and then it's gone again. The moment ends but the moment stays with me, vibrating in my chest.

Here, morning is cool and so is evening, but the day is warm and the sky is clear. California is the place of promise. The sky is trustworthy. It is empty, it lets the sun through. The air is dry and it never tries to stifle me.

Here. California is the place. The place of placeness, for me. This is the place I want to be, the place that I can be. Oh God, is it sinful to long to return here and never leave? to plant a garden and see the trees grow, and eat their fruit year after year? to have children and let them grow up in one house, knowing their neighbors, not making them wander through the desert before they reach the promised land?

This is the place, the house, the land. We were banished but we came back home, to the land of peaches and honey, almonds and hummingbirds. (Here there is land. In the other place, my house with O., the land is gone, consumed by endless city, cars that never stop moving.) This is home. Bring me back here. I never want to leave.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring Life

The day began with rain and chill, but as evening approaches, the sky is clear. The sun is so bright it bleaches the blue out of the heavens. Behind the houses, the trees have filled out their foliage. They are no longer skeletons, but living bodies; no longer ink sketches on a white sky, but a moving painting, green and gold and amber, and all the shades in between. In the evening breeze, the leaves shimmer, shadows shifting. The windows are open, and neighborhood chatter drifts in from the sidewalk, women's voices, exchanging news in Spanish.

When the sun falls through the window like this--, when Spanish chatters on the breeze like this,-- when the sky is cloudless like this: I feel at home. This is my home, the sunlight. This is my home, the sky. These are my myriad homes, the shifting leaves, with evening light gilding them. Sometimes this city feels like exile, and this winter, mild as it was, felt like death. But spring is come again, the sun is shining again, the sky gives itself to me again, and this, this feels like life.