There was a visitor in the night. Or at least, we heard foreign rustling sounds on the opposite end of the townhouse. Naturally, Ben sends me first. I flip the switch, illuminating the room. There wasn’t a burglar or a large tiger, so I listened intently, before shutting off the light. Once in the warm sanctity of the bed, the noise returned. It was the more like a tapping noise. Ben wrenches the blanket off his body, and faces the noise with two important ingredients, a flashlight and a baseball bat. He returns from the war unscathed, but with news of having seen…something. Like a rat. “Those bastards could chew your arm off”, he says. “Well, yes, but I’m sure you’d have the proclivity to wrench it free from your arm before it did any damage”. And then we laid in the dark, as the purple dawn of morning began to creep towards the windows. We drift off. The sound returns. We explore the room together.
Ben loves this kind of thing. His face is deadly serious as he explores dark corners with his flashlight. This makes me think of “The Sound of Music”, when the von Trapp family are hiding from the Nazis. I picture the mice hidden in their little mouse traveling clothes, holding their breath, waiting for the deathly light to skim past their shadows.
Wait…I guess that makes us the Nazis in this scenerio?
No matter, we search the house, Ben wielding the baseball bat, muttering under his breath, “where are you you bastard?” While Ben was refusing to give up on the mouse-hunting. I was tired, and didn’t care quite are as much. Ben reckoned that they were after my leftover Twizzlers in my purse from our night at the cinema. And so, based on this hunch, he sacrificed the pack, by placing it in the middle of the floor with a wheat cracker placed on top.
We were awoken at nine a.m by a phone call. We remembered the mysterious noises, and emerged from our bedroom together. There is a large hutch in the living room that holds the radio/record player, as well as all our cocktails glasses and liquor bottles. I keep all my records in this hutch. Naturally, the mouse wants to hang in the coolest spot in the house, sandwiched between a variety of genres.
Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Cream of the Crop”…
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”…
Barbra Streisand, “The Broadway Album”…
And the last record, a gift from my brother, was Black Market’s “Changing of the Guard”. Under this man’s face, was the mouse. Which, according to my husband was the size of a small dog.
Ben, armed with his orange Home Depot bucket, a brush and shovel set, a flashlight, and a baseball bat, is ready to take on the mouse. He exhales, and nods his head slowly. “Okay, lift the record”. I slide “Changing of the Guard”, and the mouse leaps towards freedom. He darts this way and that, and dashes towards the tiny crack in the fireplace, presumably on his way to Switzerland. Ben decides that the only remedy was expandable foam. And so he left me with the flashlight, to guard the fireplace “in case that son of a bitch comes back”. He went to the shop, and I watched the fireplace, imagining the mouse in little lederhosen, trudging along the mountains, searching for a safer place to call home.