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First he painted the walls and then she chose the curtains, then he picked the bookshelves and the desk, while she selected the bed, and it looked more like two rooms having a fight than one room in a new house.  The crib was supposed to tie it all together, but she put a stuffed pink bear in it and he hung a signed poster of the cast of “Alphas” on the wall, and he stayed up late nights and she got up early and by the time the doctors said something was wrong they were ready to quit.  He kept the house, which still needed a lot of work;  she took the bear and the poster – she’d come to think of the show as a dirty pleasure – and the crib was put on the compost pile, where a group of baby raccoons use it as a playground every night.


Benjamin Wachs has written for Village Voice Media,, and NPR among other venues.  He archives his work at

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