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Yesterday’s Mars/Saturn conjunction docked just a degree and a half away from my natal Pluto, and I’ve spent the last two days … trapped.

– Trapped by my plumber (Pluto!), who has been trying for days to close the deal on relocating our gas water heater from indoors to outdoors. As Joe has found to his everlasting despair, there is something flypaper/quicksand-like about this house: it absolutely consumes and ultimately, defeats anyone who would repair, maintain, or amend it in any way. It is a stubborn, stubborn house. Anyway, most of the work was going on outside, but there was a certain amount of access that needed to be granted to the inner sanctum as well; and while Joe seems like a good sort, I don’t feel comfortable leaving my home open to workmen when I’m not around. And so… stuck. And simultaneously…

… Trapped by my commitment to deliver a taped reading to a client yesterday, despite the banging and drilling that has been going on ten feet from my computer chair for three days. Finishing it at home was out of the question, so I finally broke down and told Joe I’d be gone for an hour, locked up, and defected to the pastoral garden of a vacationing neighbor, where I chatted away happily into my digital recorder, accompanied only by tweeting birds and whatnot.

– Trapped, later that evening, in the screened porch of the same neighbor – by a marauding skunk. Let me run it down for you. At twilight, I wander over to see how my neighbor’s fine, sleek, black cats are doing. I flop on the sofa, switch on the TV, and prepare to pass a little quality time hanging with the felines. I’ve left the screen door ajar to allow their easy ingress; one enters, and then, some time later, I catch a glimpse of something else small and black edging though the doorway. A tiny skunk with the most spectacular tail you’ve ever seen scratches his way across the room and toward the huge, inviting bowl of catfood.

(Tangentially, I’ve never seen a skunk do this before – I think it’s something they do when they’re feeling wary – but this guy kind of scratched and moonwalked his way across the room toward the catfood bowl. He looked for all the world like John Belushi in that scene in Animal House when he’s casing the sorority house, darting madly from side to side in a demented caricature of stealth.)

So. Cute, right? Fascinating in a Crocodile Hunter/Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom kind of way. However, one of the cats is perched on a cabinet staring down at the intruder, and he looks kind of twitchy, and all I need is for the cat to pounce on this damn skunk and detonate it. Meanwhile the other cat has become alive to the situation and is pacing nervously outside the door. And I’m stuck in the opposite corner of the room, afraid to make any sudden moves.

Because when a skunk sprays, it’s never good news. But this neighbor is the most fastidious housekeeper I’ve ever met. Martha Stewart is a slattern compared to this woman. If her sofas and carpeting – not to mention her cats – are reeking of skunk when she returns from her vacation, someone is not going to be speaking to her well-intentioned but ineffectual neighbor. Or, possibly, to the cats.

So everyone sits completely still – me, the cat on the cabinet, even the cat outside. Everyone but this freakishly hungry skunk. He chomped for a good, solid 20 minutes before I got the nerve to begin inching my way toward the door – a sitcom-worthy wacky neighbor, an ersatz Lucy Ricardo. Free at last, I fled home and spilled the sordid tale to my patient spouse. He followed me to the neighbor’s house with a large flashlight, shone it on the skunk, and tapped the window. Chastened – or perhaps just sated – the small fellow obediently cheesed it, disappearing into the shadows of the back yard while I sprang forward and sealed up the house behind him.

– Trapped, today, waiting for a building inspector who has, of course, utterly failed to appear.

How’s Mars/Saturn treating you?

7 comments to " Trapped. "

  • OMG, April, what a story! I can feel the tension of being trapped in the neighbor’s house with the skunk, not wanting to do anything that would detonate the poor lost fellow(ette). I am glad you and Jonny were able to shoo it to more suitable pastures, and your neighbor was none the wiser. Alas, I suppose the only way to prove to the neighbor the skunk actually did visit would be for it to have sprayed; let us hope she is the type of neighbor who will not require any sort of story back up for proof :-). Whew…I hope you are feeling a little less trapped now. I’m feeling trapped in what is probably the most detail-requiring (Virgo) and rigorous class of my graduate program so far, Seminar in an Author-Shakespeare. But I’m enjoying the rigor as well; sometimes it’s nice to have one’s brain challenged and impatient Aries tendencies focused on metrical feet in Elizabethan sonnets! Cheers, Natori

  • I warned you about Shakespeare scholars, Natori: they’re demanding! Ack, sonnets – are you studying any plays?

  • You definitely had a happier ending with your skunk than my pal Christa did with hers:

    In case you didn’t know, both Microsoft and ZoneAlarm got hit with a horrid snafu on the 9th that made hundreds of thousands of users lose Internet connectivity. If you look at my blog around that time, you’ll see it hit me. What a pain in the ass! I’m always amazed that those XP updates don’t kill more things on my computer. The Mars/Saturn conj. in Virgo is just incredibly perfect.

  • Mars Saturn is bringing in a time of great productivity to me! It DOES mean a bit of “entrapment” (if I look at it that way) as I must present myself to some training all this next week, meaning ALL my time is taken up, I’ll be on the freeway more than I like, but– it’s a very practical and career oriented venture I am beginning and I am liking it.

    I feel very busy. very directed. energetic but with SOMEWHERE TO DIRECT THE ENERGY. I was floundering for quite a while but it feels as if that cycle is over..

    anyone else getting a GOOD kick in the pants???

  • Hi April – We are studying some of the plays….luckily not all of them in a month…lol.

  • Ivana

    Hello April, hope you don’t mind an inarticulate newcomer to take part…
    I felt the tension with you reading about the skunk in the livingroom 🙂 how awful that must have been. I am glad we don’t have any skunks around here.
    I was going to have a busy day on the day of the conjunction but two appointments got cancelled.
    But how about this,1000000189,39446764,00.htm chaos in London today. Could that be Mercury firing losening conjunction?

  • Kathryn

    Oh, little skunky sounds cute, and sounds like a little pluto floating around. Ted Andrews in “Animal Speak” says skunk is about learning about self respect.

    Awww….he did not hurt you….he just wanted his food too. 🙂


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