The Dirt Smelled Like Dirt

There are things that cannot be made okay. There was no insulation in the crawlspace under our house, hundreds of feet of exposed black pipe leading to the convectors. I lined each of them with foam, wrapping each linear foot with all-weather duct-tape. A main trunk down the center took all of one cold Saturday in February. I re-acquainted myself with the spider crickets. Deep in one corner they sounded like rain falling onto the plastic vapor barrier covering the dirt. The dirt smelled like dirt.

Henry helped. In camo-coveralls, he crowded me, minded the flashlight, examined the spider carcasses hanging by their webs from the joists, he said he wasn't scared. He worried about the crickets. For two whole days I had him with me, in the dark belly of our home.