~Meniscus Archives~
Winter 2004
Issue #6
Past, Present & Future

Issue #6 Home


Beaver Moon
Sarah Benjamin
We were kind of making out, and then...I said,"Let's step out on the balcony and look at the moon!" Ivy said "Yeah!"

Cows in the Road
Dan Berthiaume
Ramshackle wire fencing surrounded a wide yard full of grass that stood close to a foot high, except in ragged patches that Bob assumed were chewed by a goat he saw pacing back and forth against the fencing

Summer's Freckles
Wesley Ratko
And then before him, as though by magic, Emma was there. She was lithe and beautiful, her skin freckly and pale, her red hair blowing in the breeze that carried the mist of the field sprinkler across their faces. Arthur was awestruck, surprised by the bevy of emotion that erupted from within him.


Beaver Moon

Sarah B
Published 12/18/04



It took a long time to get our Thanksgiving plans figured out. My family kept changing their minds as to what they wanted/needed, and so we were off and on going to Baltimore to see my sister. One advantage of that plan was that Ivy would get halfway back to North Carolina. Both of my sisters are notorious for changing their minds, so to make a long story short, I got super-frustrated with my family and their indecision.

The night before Thanksgiving I figured we would leave for Baltimore and drive about halfway down (it's 8 hrs total), stay at a hotel and go the rest of the way on Thursday. Well the weather was rainy and crappy and not predicted to get any better. Ivy's car is great but not the most rain-friendly, so it's better to drive it on dry days. With all these considerations and Ivy expressing that she didn't need to have a driving buddy back to NC, we decided to just get away from my frustrating family and have Thanksgiving on the Cape. The fam was fine with that, so instead of driving South we drove East out to lovely Cape Cod.

We arrived there on Wednesday night, and relaxed. It was nice to only drive those two hours and not any longer. We had some wine and watched a little TV (unusual), and basically enjoyed our privacy.

We slept late on Thanksgiving, until around noon. Then I flipped on the TV again to see if we could catch a glimpse of the parade but it was over. I was about to turn it off when we happened upon the dog show. So we watched the first few categories, terriers, working dogs, and we laughed a lot at the absurdity of the whole thing. Some of the dogs were cute, and others not at all! We missed the toy dog category because we were all wrapped up in each other instead. Good thing because Ivy is not into Pugs.

Well we got up, had some breakfast and then decided to go exploring the wetlands behind my house. I put on my heavy duty coveralls - a one piece green suit that zips up the front. Ivy wore a raincoat and rain pants. Then we trekked around the wetlands as much as we could without waders. It was rather stormy that day, wet and grey. The temperatures were ok though, probably low 50s.

The walk had some high points like appreciating the springy moss, walking up to the bay where the waves were whipped up by the wind, cruising along a pine-needle covered trail that had a steep decline and an immediate incline that I tried to race down and up but ended up bailing as it began the incline. I fell flat on my face with my arms stretched out in
front of me. Then the scary ominous feeling that hit when we walked out to the point and found a dead seal all white and freaky looking. That kind of tripped us both out a little. It's all part of the cycle of life, but it's still hard to see.

Then we went back inside and began cooking our Thanksgiving meal. We made quinoa with roasted root vegetables (turnips, beets, sweet potatoes, onions) and a hearty vegetable soup. It felt like the perfect Thanksgiving.

I had always wanted to have a buddy who wanted to explore the wetlands and make vegetables instead of turkey! It felt like finally my life was the way I had wished it would be.
After dinner we cleared the plates and poured another glass of wine. We weren't drunk, but slightly buzzed. We went upstairs.


We were kind of making out, and then…
I said, “Let's step out on the balcony and look at the moon!”
Ivy said, “Yeah!”
So we step outside in just our shirts (no pants, panties, socks or shoes) but I grabbed a towel to stand on. Well, we closed the door behind us and it locked!!! This is totally weird because that door has had problems locking before and usually has to be slammed to get it to lock at all, but this time it just locked. We didn't realize it for a couple minutes as we admired the full moon, but then when we tried to get back in we couldn't.

It's about 8:30pm, and it's windy, the clouds are moving quickly past the moon. The lighting keeps changing as the clouds pass. We rattle the door. It seems to open just a crack on the top, but the bottom is stuck. We try and try to tilt it different ways and really shake it (this is all quite funny to be doing with no pants) but it won't open.

We scope out the surroundings...

Now, keep in mind that we're in my parent's house. It was built about 5 years ago and still feels pretty new. I'm really lucky to have parents who can have a house on the Cape, and I try not to take it for granted. My bedroom there is on the 2nd floor and has a small balcony that looks out at the backyard. That's the balcony we were on. On either side of the balcony are separate roofs that are pretty slanted, the one on the right has skylights over the living room and the one on the left goes up vertically to the top of the house. It slightly overhangs a lower roof that leads to the bedroom window.

We took turns getting out on the really slanted roof that leads to the other one to the bedroom window. I am thinking that window probably isn't locked, but still, it's closed so we weren't sure we could open it. I won't get into the details of the architecture and how the windows are, but lets just say they aren't easy to open.

I freaked when I was out on that slanted roof. It was wet, and the drop would've been deathly had I lost my footing. I came in quickly. Ivy tried and got up higher than me but also freaked out and didn't think we could make it to the roof below, which accesses the window. I almost had a heart attack watching her coming back down that part of the roof. If she had fallen I would've never forgiven myself for the stupidity of the whole thing.

So now we're freaked, we huddle together shivering with the towel wrapped around our legs. "Let's think clearly," we said. We ran through the options: 1) scream for neighbors, 2) break the doors, 3) climb the roof to the window, 4) drop down to the porch below - probably 12 foot, or 5) wait it out.

Well the waiting it out thing seemed ridiculous because it was getting colder and we didn't see what waiting would get us except maybe better access to neighbors.

We tried screaming. Shouting, screaming like bloody murder was happening, yelling "Neighbors, we need help!" No response. The neighbor’s houses are pretty spread out and while there were lights on at the closest one, we didn't think they were home. We took turns screaming and banging on the doors.

I knew I had locked all the doors below. I remembered turning the deadbolt in the kitchen after dinner. We were going to have to break something somewhere to get in, so we decided to just try to shatter the sliding glass door that had locked. First we punched it with our fists. Nothing. We kicked it with our bare feet. Hard. Nothing. No sign of it failing. I removed the light fixture from the side of the house, unscrewed the light bulb and then a metal piece. We tried hitting the door with the metal piece. Nothing. We took the rest of the light fixture and smashed the whole thing against the door... that shattered the fixture but still nothing. No damage to the door at all. There was no way we could break the doors. Even the glass window above the door seemed impenetrable.
Now the options were pretty much reduced to either climbing the roof or dropping down. We huddled together again, Ivy cried and apologized because she was too afraid to drop down.
I said, "It's ok... I'll do it."

I figured if we could tie the towel on the railing and I could shimmy down the towel then the drop would be about 5 feet, which sucks, but its not deathly. We tested that, it seemed ok. Then I said, wait, I'm going to tie my sweater to the towel. So I tied them together with a sheet-bend, a sailing knot used to tie ropes of different thicknesses. So I tied that tight and pulled as hard as I could and they didn't slip, so I figured that would hold. Then I wrapped the towel around the railing at the corner of the balcony. Ivy wanted to tie it in a knot but it took up too much of the towel (I thought) so I wrapped it around once and told her to stand on the very end. She thought she wouldn't be able to hold it, but I said, no, believe me, you will. And then I climbed over the railing, kissed her passionately and hung off the railing. Once I had dropped my feet off the edge and I really was hanging, I got scared. I didn't know how to transfer my hands from the railing to the towel. I said to Ivy, "I don't know what to do now!!!" She just looked at me, like, FUCK! Then I wrapped my legs tight around the towel and squeezed my thighs together, let go with my hands and grabbed the towel. It worked and I slid down the towel to the sweater, felt it stretch under the weight but as it did I kept sliding and felt the porch under my feet - no drop at all! I yelled, "I'm down, I'm down"! Ivy cheered and we had a faggy moment of exuberance.
So then, she said, “Go to the car, I think I have a spare key you can use to open the car and get more clothes.”

So I did that, found a sleeping bag and a jacket, shoes, and jeans. I put on the jeans which were too small so I couldn't zip or button them. And then I put on the shoes and jacket. I brought Ivy the sleeping bag. She said, "Make sure you check all the doors!"...
I walked around and checked the back doors and then started looking under the stairs and statue and plants for a spare key. I didn't think we had one, but figured maybe my parents just hadn't mentioned it. No key. I went back and told Ivy that I would go to the neighbors house to use the phone.

I went up the street and arrived at the closest neighbor with lights on... the Burdicks. I had baby-sat for them a few years ago and also went sailing once with the grandma - the owner of the house. I could see from outside that there were a bunch of people in the living room. I knocked on the door. The adult son let me in and I walked into the living room. I said, "Hi, I'm so sorry to bother you on Thanksgiving, but I got locked out of my house. Could I borrow the phone?" Sure, they went to get it, then asked if it was long distance, it was, so I had to use a cell phone... But as they were getting the phone, I made sure they knew I really was Sarah from down the street. It took the grandma a minute to remember, but then she said "oh yes, you baby-sat for us a couple times". Yes. As this went on, I'm standing facing the room. There were probably 10 adults sitting around the coffee table drinking wine and playing a board game. They were all quiet as this interaction was taking place. Then I noticed one of the old men staring at my crotch. I glanced at the others. Another woman was staring at it too! I slid my hand across my front, trying to pull my jacket down discreetly. I brushed against my PUBS! AHHH... I'm exposed! It was PUBE

A man handed me the cell phone and I sat down in another room right off the living room. I was so embarrassed. The pants hadn't zippered, but I thought I pulled them up enough to cover the pubs and the jacket down over that... well I hadn't. The jacket wouldn't go that far down and the pants wouldn't go that far up! So embarrassing.

I made some calls to my sister here at home. She didn't know how to contact my parents who were in NY for Thanksgiving. She flipped through my dad's Rolodex and found the number of the guy who checks on our house while we're not there. So we paged him. He said he'd come in 45 minutes. I got up and thanked the family for letting me use the phone.

I had tried to adjust my outfit before approaching them again, but there was still a triangle of pubes showing! I couldn't fix it. So I said, "Sorry again for barging in on your Thanksgiving! And sorry also for the pants - they're not mine, it's a long story, but hopefully this will just be one of those funny Thanksgiving things." And with that, and the look of their shocked faces and them sputtering, "it's ok", I turned for the door. I almost walked right through the glass storm door I was so embarrassed. I made it out though, and walked back. I returned to Ivy (still on the balcony) and told her the story. We laughed hard! Especially when I said, "It was pube city!!!"

After the comedy and laughter subsided, I said I would go wait for Peter in front. I was sitting on the front porch just looking around when I spotted my KEYS hanging in the Door Knob!!! How stupid am I!? I hadn't checked the front door!! I had gotten sidetracked looking for the extra key, and that motion of turning the deadbolt was clear in my head so I knew that door was locked, but I didn't realize that my keys were in the outside knob!!! So I unlocked the door, tried to call my sister to re-page the guy and tell him not to come, as I walked upstairs and opened the door for Ivy. It was chaotic, my sister on the phone saying she was in bed and wouldn't go get the number, that the guy was almost there anyway, Ivy coming back inside and rolling up the sleeping bag, and the whole life-or-death situation seeming absolutely ridiculous.

Peter came a few minutes later and I wiggled out of Ivy's pants into some of my own when I heard the doorbell. I went down and apologized profusely for having him come out on Thanksgiving. I tried to give him a bottle of wine but he wouldn't take it, just said, "These things happen, it's ok". So, at least he was friendly about it.

We didn't know what to do to calm down, so we had a little more wine and watched a movie. But really, it was hard to understand how we were trapped on a balcony one minute and sitting drinking wine and watching a movie the next. Weird. We watched Blue Crush, which was upbeat and easy on the eyes. Then we went to bed, still shook up.

The next morning we realized we were pretty sore... I guess the adrenaline had kicked in the night before, but that next day we felt out of it and achy. We went for a long walk on the beach and recounted the event on our tape recorder for posterity.
It really was quite a Thanksgiving.

The next day I talked to my dad, and he said, “Did you see the moon!?”
“Yes dad, that's how we got in the whole situation.”
Then he goes, “Did you know it's called the Beaver Moon?”
“Ha ha ha”. I didn't tell him the part of the story that we were pants and panty-less, so he didn't realize how funny that was. But we thought it was hilarious that our beavers were magnetized to the Beaver Moon.

— Sarah B


Meniscus Magazine © 2004. All material is property of respective artists.