Sunday, December 04, 2011
This is what I've been doing.
Hi. I've obviously been a bad blogger, but more on that after a story of good intentions and mouse murder.
One morning a month or so ago, as I prepared to start my day, I heard a faint squeaking coming from the corner of the garage. Because I was curious and late for work, I waded through empty flower pots and my landlord's plastic-sheathed 80s pop artwork to find a lone baby mouse. We stared at each other for a minute before parting ways. And by parting ways, I mean before I jumped in the car and left. The mouse wasn't going anywhere in an "I've eaten poison" or "I like it here behind this mildewed poster of a splatter-painted heart" sort of way.
When I returned that night, I was about to drive full-speed into the garage in the way I do where I fantasize about breaking through the brick wall and surprising the barking weimaraners that live behind us, when my headlights honed in on something small and sickly wading around in an a puddle of motor oil. Sure enough, it was the mouse. I scooted it out of my path with an old New Yorker. The next morning, it was waiting for me just behind one of my tires. And this time, it pointed a frail whisker in the direction of its brother, who was standing a few feet away, covered in cobwebs. I found myself consumed by the desire-the need-to rescue these orphan mice from a bleak future of Valvoline baths, magazine spiders and the landlord's poison traps that lurk behind every rusty shovel. So I went back inside, got a shoebox, stocked a corner of it with iceberg lettuce and cheerios, and gave them the home they'd been looking for all along- someplace warm, safe and filled with indigestible foods. Then I put the box under a tree in the backyard (it was still relatively warm outside at this point), folded down a side in case they wanted to get some exercise, and left for work with a warm heart and hands covered in bubonic plague.
The mice were probably eaten by birds, their lettuce feast eaten by squirrels, the cardboard box eaten by the neighbor's dogs. But the point is, I'd helped them in some way... maybe. Whatever. I say whatever because a few days ago, with one quick surge of brick-breaking power, I erased all of the goodwill and good karma I'd established with mousekind. I ran one over. I'm sure it was quick and painless, but it was also messy. And until Matt finally got the hint and peeled said mouse off of the concrete with a snow shovel, it served as a gruesome twice-daily reminder of how quickly the bridges we build can be burned, or flattened, as the case may be.
In other, less vermony news, I'm almost 39 weeks pregnant and feeling crazy. But I'd like to reflect on my pregnancy before it transitions to parenthood and I forget all of the little details, big discoveries, cloying discomforts and irrational anxieties that have become my friends over the past months. I'd segue into that now, but I'm tired, and you have things to do.
P.S. Doing a Google image search for "baby mice" was the worst decision I've made all day. And that's saying a lot because I also wore pajamas to Target and tried making an eggnog milkshake.