chasing the hanta


If I lived out West, the thought of the hantavirus would be a total freakout.

A      T…O….T…A…L…F…R….E…A….K….O….U…..T.


But….we live out in the green and moist “East”….so the thought of the deadly, rodent-born virus is only a partial freakout.

What I don’t understand makes me stronger.

Ignorance makes me bulletproof.

We’re cleaning out the old barn on the property we bought….trying to get over the disconcertion of seeing decades worth of crap….literally and figuratively….that’s piled in and around the old place.

How does that happen?

How do people live like that?

Maybe it’s just that it’s hard to get to a landfill.

Maybe it’s just that, when you live on a bunch of land, anything that’s not right next to the house is your own private landfill?

What could be better? “Your own private landfill”?!!

The thing about it that’s disappointing is that most of the crap is just crummy crap.

I’m a crap connoisseur….I know my stuff….I like cool old crap….but this stuff is just old crap.

It’s not so cool.

Maybe it’s been cherry picked over the years….all the good stuff is gone already.

That’s why it’s exciting to dig down through all the layers of detritus and mouse poop to see what nobody else was willing to risk excavating?

Did I say “exciting”? I meant something else.

Jenny said that she thought she saw a rat scurry across the top part of the barn yesterday.

That’s the more benign of the possibilities.

My imagination could conjure much worse options.

Maybe the rat isn’t so benign if he messes up our respiratory systems with his diseased poop vapors?

There’s always something to worry about, I suppose….but it’s a pain to have to worry about all the bad things that can happen from stirring up the dust in the old barn.

It’s nasty enough to just clean it up without worrying about dying because of some fermented feces.

And….don’t even get me started on all the junk down in the creek bed….the one down the steep bank….the one that’s hard to get to.

I think that junk is the junk that hides the snakes.

But….but….but….you know? In its way….it’s all beautiful.

The trash is nasty.

Nasty, nasty, nasty.

But it’s really pretty out there if you hold your head right….pretty if you don’t look at the trash pile.

Maybe a better way to say that would be to say that it’s really pretty if you don’t hold your head wrong? It’s all so pretty…beautiful….if you don’t get your head in the wrong place. Maybe…..

What a victory it will be to clean it up and NOT GET THE HANTAVIRUS!!!

I can’t make any promises about that….only the one where I say that I’m going to do my best to keep my family out of the rat poop.

I can’t really understand what I can’t see, anyway.  Bacteria eludes me.

I do know that I’m going to make my kids wash their hands…. a lot.

I’m going to pack that dumpster out and get my money’s worth out of my rental, too.

We’re going to beat this rap….come out the other side….smiling.

Stupid hantavirus….making me worry about even more than I usually do.

“the mystery” Idaho


About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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