stepping back from obsession

Okay, I have been deliberately not writing about the raccoon in the hollow of the tree outside the window. I have deliberately stopped looking for her in the early to middle afternoon. I have stopped talking about the raccoon and I have stopped talking to the raccoon.

Dennis threatened to shoot the raccoon. He says I am obsessed with the raccoon. He said this Thursday afternoon when I told him he had to stop mowing the lawn so the raccoon could come down from the tree and go do whatever the raccoon does when she isn’t in the hollow. Dennis was not amused. He was even less amused when he found out (I told him) I have been bringing Macarthur inside in the afternoon and evening so he isn’t sleeping in the flower bed near the tree when the raccoon comes out. I didn’t tell Dennis I have been making sure I am home in the late afternoon so I can monitor the raccoon’s whereabouts and actions.
It does sound a little obsessive. So I am trying to be less obvious about my obsession. It is possibly a pathetic cry for help, find me something to do in the afternoons to distract me. It is the raccoon or Gordon Ramsey. Surely you can see my dilemma here.
To occupy my time I have been reading. I picked up this curious “young adult” book by Cassandra Clare called City of Bones. Turns out it is the first in the “Mortal Instrument” series. So I picked up the second City of Ashes and now I have the last City of Glass. Its full of vampires, werewolves, wizards, warlocks, demons and fairies, good guys and bad guys, conflict and magic, love and teenage angst, and of course good and evil. Its not a bad set of characters and the premise is no more ridiculous than Hogwarts or the prolific teenage vampire stories. What is it with the sudden, it seems sudden, surge of vampire/ werewolf interest? Is this another cycle of the Dark Shadows world that I remember from my teenage years (Dates me doesn’t it)? No matter, reading is a pretty harmless pastime.
And before you start thinking I am wasting my time with trivial teenage fantasy, I have also been reading Chet Raymo, Bill Holms, and all sorts of other “nature” writers. Okay, another kind of fantasy world, but certainly not harmful. And these books are part of my independent study for the summer, which I should start working on. I think I promised to write four or five essays. And the clock is ticking.
So I guess, with all this reading and writing I won’t have much time for the raccoon in the hollow. So it would seem.
But then last night there was such a scurry of noise and drama out by the tree that I am just too curious to let it go. I got up (this was about 2 a.m., a time I am generally asleep) and tried to see what was happening down there on the ground. Of course it was pitch dark- no moon and no house lights. And I didn’t have my glasses on, which makes seeing, especially in the dark, impossible. I think I detected at least two different animal voices- one young and one pissed. I am projecting the raccoon and one of her kits having some sort of disagreement. Since I have no evidence of kits this is conjecture. Tonight I plan to be ready with a flashlight. Just in case the audible drama wakes me. I will have light and my glasses and I will try to find out just what is going on in and around that tree.
And now, on this bright sunshiny day I’m going to take my mortal instrument book and sit on the deck and read. I’m not going to check on the raccoon or stop Dennis from mowing. I can show them I am not obsessed.