On my way to work this morning I passed what I'm pretty sure was our raccoon house guest. He hasn't been coming around since I boarded up the cat door, and now I'm sure he won't be coming around. I looked long enough to make sure it was a raccoon, and saw his brains on the pavement. Sadness plopped in my lap like an 80 year old pole dancer. I was reading about raccoons yesterday. In captivity, they typically live up to 20 years. In urban settings, about 1.5 years. It turns out my landlady was familiar with him: did he have a limp? she asked. So, he (or she) had been around for at least 3 years. People: we're hell on everything. I felt that implicit guilt driving into work, even though it wasn't my car that ran him over. A long while back, when returning from a day trip to a lake, my boyfriend and I passed a giant buck deer that had been murdered on the freeway. I cried all the way home until finally my boyfriend got irritated with me. The next day I told my boss, a German Virgo, about the buck, and said I felt guilty, just for being a human. She thought about this for a moment and said: kind of like being a German. Yes, like that.