May 2007 Archives

Two nights ago, in that daze between sleep and consciousness, I heard something fall inside of the wall. Several thoughts raced through my confused cranium as I switched on the light and looked around. After curiously staring (from bed) at an uneven chunk of plaster that I'd never noticed in my closet, I closed my eyes and surrendered to the blissful black.

Sometime, later that night, I heard a noise that woke me. I again had this strange idea that the sound was eminating from within the wall. Shaking my head, I got up to use the bathroom and heard Jarrett's dog stirring in the other room. Mystery solved, I slept through the night.

Yesterday afternoon, while tieing my shoe laces, I noticed that one of the cones of saltines that lives in the nether regions of my night stand was open. I thought to myself... 'I don't remember opening that. I'll bet those crackers are st-ale.' (stuh-ale.

Last night, while trying vainly to fall asleep, finally to the aforementioned purgatory of quasi-sleep, the sound from the wall repeated. I grudgingly turned on the light, reached for my glasses, and shined my lamp in the direction of the sound. I could see no evident source for the noise, but upon further searching, I noticed something queer. The package of crackers, previously open but full, was now half-empty... and suddenly, all the warnings compiled into the dreaded conclusion that my mind was refusing to consider. A mouse.

Comically as I investigated further, I found a broken cracker behind my nightstand. Guck.

I suppose if I'd been fully rested, the idea of a mouse coming into my darkened bedroom and snacking on my saltines would have been enough to send me to the couch for the rest of the night, but I was very tired. So, I binned the broken cracker, the half empty opened-but-unopened package of saltines, and the other two cones - for good measure.

That lovely task accomplished, I returned to my mattress, turned out the light, and tried to fall asleep. Scratch, scratch. Light on. Nothing. No sound. Light off. Scratch, scratch. Rinse, lather, repeat half a dozen times. Still like a sleep deprived moron, the idea of abandoning my pillow-topped mattress for the couch never even presented itself.

Several fitful hours of sleep later, I awoke.

Patter, patter. Patter, patter. Oh My God! My mattress is moving! Oh My God! Patter, patter. Please God, Don't let it be a rat. Patter, patter. Why can't I move? Why am I afraid? It's a mouse or a rat at worse... oh God, why am I frozen in place. Jeepers, I'm tired. I should close my eyes. Mmmm. Sleep, come back here, you temptress. Patter, patter. Oh God! Did I almost fall back asleep? Patter, Patter. I think it's between the mattress and the wall. Patter, patter. I should make sure I see it. Can't move just yet, still frozen with fear. Need a plan. Patter, patter. I should get my glasses first, put them on, reach for the lamp, unhook it, shine it at the sound, and surprise the mouse/rat. Patter, patter. Why can't I move? What is there to be afraid of. Patter, patter. Reach for the glasses. Put them on. Now I can see the darkness in full detail. Patter, patter. Reach for the lamp. Scamper, scamper, scamper. Light! Light! Light! Dammit, it got away! What was I gonna hit it with? Oh God! There was a mouse on my bed! Oh God! What if it was a rat! MOVING NOW! Dressed and out the door. So what if it's only eight. I've got to pick up all this stuff at Home Depot. So what if I got only four hours of mouse/rat disturbed sleep. I'm sure they sell mouse traps at the Home Despot. Oh God! Mouse! Bed! Please don't let it be a rat!

So that's how it came to be that I pulled into the Home Depot parking lot at 8:10 a.m. on Memorial day. Even though I had a list of things I needed, my first stop was the mouse-trap aisle, before swinging through hardware, tools, and lumber to assemble the (hopefully) last shopping cart full of home improvement solutions needed to finish my Murphy Bed.

When I returned, I baited the mouse traps with peanut butter and placed three around my room. I spent the rest of the afternoon sanding countless pieces of wood for the Murphy bed, and periodically checking my traps. No luck.

I cleaned up around eight p.m. and the traps were still empty. I watched some Law and Order in the basement, and came up around 9:40. I checked the traps. They were empty. Jarrett, Catherine, and the Knoxes were having Giordanos. They invited me to join them, so I did. It was 10:30 and I wanted to go to sleep. The Knoxes have first dips on the couches in the basement. Our entire apartment is full of Jarrett and Catherine's stuff, which the Knoxes brought up from TN. The couches could be cleared. I could grab my pillow and blanket and turn in on the couch. They'd probably never even see me there. Absolutely can't sleep in my bed. Not the one with the mouse trail.

I popped into my room and began unplugging cords. I'm gonna need an alarm clock. Damnit! The cord tripped the mouse trap. I'm gonna have peanut butter on the floor! Yarrgh! Reset-the trap. Watch your finger. Set it down on the ground gently. Crikes! Look at the other track. You didn't even check it! MOUSE, MOUSE... it's dead. Don't look. Don't look. Little beady eyes. Not moving. Been dead a while, now. Go find a bag. Make that a double bag. Reach for the mouse and trap. There's no rescuing that trap. It served it's purpose. A mouse trap for all mouse traps to aspire to. One and done. That's the motto, right? Double bagged mouse has a really long tail. Double bagged mouse is in the garbage.

Byron (cryptically): "We're not the only one's who had dinner."
Jarrett: "Huh?"
Byron (again cryptically because his personality will never let him just say what he means): "Catherine doesn't have to sit on the counter any more."
Jarrett: "Oh! The mouse." (too polite to roll eyes at very bizarre roommate.
Byron: "It sprung one of the traps while we were eating."
Jarrett: "Where is it?"
Byron: "Garbage."
Jarrett: "What? I told you I wanted to see it."