Life presents an opportunity to realize that mice are only cute when animated or riding tiny motorcycles.*
The other night, I was winding down with some Netflix. The Dick Van Dyke Show, to be exact. (Really, how can anything in the world possibly go wrong when you’re curled up with the Petries?**) I was lying on my side, head propped up on my right hand. The window was open a crack, and every now and then a cold breeze would blow strands of my hair into my peripheral vision.
Sally made some crack about finding a husband, Buddy disagreed with the producer, and Rob tumbled over an ottoman: the usual. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a little twitching, a little movement of hair, which was curiously lacking in the reddish tint that came out of my familiar Garnier box. I turned slightly to confront the twitching.
Not three inches from my face, sharing the mattress with me, was a mouse.
I went from lying to standing in 0.2 seconds. Some obscenity or another may have escaped my lips as I frantically kicked my trunk, trying to get the little guy to emerge so I could chase him out. Despite knowing that it would do no actual good, I set up a pillow barrier around my head that night, imagining that I was barricading myself against intrusion by rodents in order to sleep.
This little lesson has convinced me that I need to get out of this apartment, move to a magical land where beds have frames and mattresses are raised off of the ground. Soon and very soon.
*I loved Ralph. But that's probably because I was in third grade and stop-motion animated mice were decidedly less real.
**The day that Dick Van Dyke leaves this world, everyone will die a little bit inside, and I’m convinced that childhood will no longer be possible.