Dangerous Compassions

siren test

sired test

“Oh hey.  There’s a siren test,” I said to Ming.

“Siren test?” he asked.

“Yeah!  Like a warning for tsunami.  The sign says Saturday at 12 and 12:30.”  We were in Los Osos, right by the beach.  “Wow, I never heard it before.  I’d like to hear it!”

“Sirens?  You mean like a Steller’s sea cow?” Ming asked.

“What?” I asked.  “Oh!  You mean like a homicidal mermaid?  Wow!”

I had a three second fantasy of a place where sirens got tested, like standardized tests for sirens.  How well they can temp and kill sailors.  For their siren certification.

“Yeah, I want to hear those sirens,” Ming said.

“No!” I said.  “You don’t wanna hear those.”  We were pulling into the driveway of our airbnb.


We had arrived at the airbnb some hours before.  The dogs barked for our first hour here.

I had an exchange with the airbnb host–she apologized a lot.  She was out of town for the day.  Then Ming took a nap, and the dogs stopped.

Then I was watching this performance by Laurie Anderson.  I find it hilarious, so I would burst out laughing.

When I laughed, the dogs would start barking again.  It was driving me crazy.  I had my headphones on, but it didn’t matter.  I thought they should run out of voice.

Finally Ming convinced me we should go out, to dodge the dogs.  We decided to visit the Elfin Forest.  So I went pee, put on my shoes, ached and moaned out of bed–I’ve been in extra pain for days, since the two hour tour of the Lotusland garden, then walking in Santa Barbara afterward.

Elfin Forest

So right when we left the airbnb to get in our car and drive to the Elfin Forest, that’s when the host pulled up from her out of town travels.

She got out of her car and introduced herself to me.  She apologized about the barking dogs again.

“How was your journey?” I asked.

“It was good,” she said.  “We were at UC Santa Barbara, looking at colleges for my son.”

“Yeah, I went to UCSB for my undergrad,” I said.  “I like it there.”

Funny we had been in Santa Barbara earlier the same day–we stopped by Chaucer’s and bought a book about how computers were made.  I had a whole emotional experience there, looking at journals and stationery, as strong memories from my youth flooded me.

singing to flowers

Near the Elfin Forest, I was singing to these naked ladies.  It was interspecies communication for sure.  Interkingdom in fact.

Later I asked Ming, “When I was talking to that landlord in the driveway, was I cuddling Bunny?”

“Yes!” Ming said.

“Oh my god.  I was wearing headphones plugged into nothing and cuddling my stuffed animal.  I’m a grown-ass woman.  Oh crap!” I said.

We were laughing.  It was a hard day.  Bunny is really my pretend emotional support animal, in addition to being my pretend family member.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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