My friend once told me that his favorite animal as a kid was the raccoon, although he’d never seen one in real life. Raccoons are technically pests in many parts of California and it is not uncommon to some across one, even in dense urban environments. After years of them slipping past the corners of his vision, years of hoping in anticipation that he would see one scurrying away as he took out the trash for his mother, finally, he had his encounter. It was at sixteen, on the walk to work at his first job at the downtown Cinedome. There it was, freshly dead on the side of the road, two crows picking the eyeballs out from its natural domino mask.