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Ground zero.

The contractors are here. Our house is under siege according to Huck. There are men in orange crawling all over the exterior pulling off 80 years of siding and ill-conceived choices. Drive and stealth. They work efficiently before the heat comes. They are neat and tidy in their destruction.

A sign posted for the lead,

cones to indicate demolition,

a tarp to capture the debris.

My guy is named Dio.

He makes eye contact and shakes my hand.

He has been fair, humble, and competent.

He stands up straight and gives clear instructions to his team.

He says Huck will be okay. They can handle Cujo.

Huck agrees as long as they stay out of his house.

A few days ago, Dave asked me to complete a credit application for a new car.

The first questions were easy.

First name. Last name. DOB.

Check. Check. Check.

He had warned me that I would be angry with the application as it had employed poor design features. (I'm a usability nerd.) I appreciated the forewarning and patiently navigated the faulty dropdowns.

A model of zen until I reached Gross Monthly Income.

I stared at the box.

Then stared some more.

My COVID fever pulsing.

Tears burning my eyes.


For the first time since I was a teenager, I have not made money.

There is no box for what has replaced it.

  • joining multiple boards of directors.

  • business strategy calls.

  • shuttling my kids and others' kids.

  • listening to my kids and others' kids.

  • finding of a psychiatrist who successfully muted Justin's extra voices. (Really, this just happened. The voices aren't yelling at him right now.)

  • growing our mountain bike team

  • writing a grant to bring cycling to our middle school

  • daily yoga

  • writing

  • mowing my weeds, I mean, my yard.

  • hiring Dio

This all sounds well and good, doesn't it?

But that empty box.

What to do with that empty box?

I could have negotiated world peace and that empty box would still haunt me.

We are taught from an early age that we are what we do and how much money we make for this doing.

We use this to compare and contrast

To decide levels of worthiness

And power.

Even when we don't subscribe, it's there lurking in the murkiness of our social pecking.

Micro-aggressions we don't know how to counter for fear of being preachy and indignant.

But we are, if anything, indignant.

My house is under siege and all the falsehoods it holds.

I am not neat or tidy in its destruction.

There is no warning sign

or cones to indicate demolition.

But it's all coming down and I will rebuild with a firm handshake and steady gaze

Leaving the hackles to Huck.


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