I recently moved. You may have seen me mention it elsewhere on the internet.
My new apartment is lovely. It’s a one bedroom in a gentrifying neighborhood of Brooklyn and is within walking distance of two of my favorite coffee spots in the borough. What more could I really ask for except the couch I’m really hoping to buy tomorrow? My lovely apartment comes with a small problem though. It’s a problem smaller than my thumb.
You see, my lovely building is surrounded by construction sites. The plots of land on either side of it are being turned into apartment complexes from the ground up. With my apartment on the ground floor, this has led to an influx of small furry creatures with very twitchy noses.
Now let me just say: I like mice. And I’m definitely one of those people who catches the intruding creature and releases it into the wild rather than smash it with a blunt object. I can’t. I just can’t feel its tiny little heartbeat and tiny little bones quaking underneath my hands and then squash it. It’s not me.
So when I found my crunchy peanut butter Clif bar nibbled on in my purse on Saturday, I thought to myself: I guess I’ll have to be more careful about where I leave the sweets in this house. It’s not like I’m living on the 3rd floor anymore, away from all the fauna.
I went about my business and thought nothing of it past that.
I emptied my purse. I shook the lining out over the trash can to make sure that each and every single crumb in the bottom of it – and $3 in quarters and change #WINNING – were no longer there to entice my furry roommates. If I stay spotlessly clean, they will stay away, right?
Monday morning dawned bright and clear. I got up and packed my bag for work. I dumped my purse on the stove top and threw a Tupperware container of lunch, a reusable coffee cup, a book and my keys into it. I went on my normal commute to work. It was an hour door-to-door.
I can only imagine the trauma and terror the little guy was experiencing BUT IT WAS HIS OWN FAULT.
I got to work. I shed my sweater, kicked off my flip flops and unloaded my lunch into the fridge. The lights flickered on. A window was opened. The morning was beautiful. I sat down at my desk and started reading through a backlog of emails from the weekend.
Don’t judge me. It’s important to unplug.
All was quiet.
Nothing was stirring.
Until it was.
I heard a rustle.
My purse moved.
I glanced to the side and saw it was sitting in the crevice between two desks. Perhaps the leather handle was just weighing it down and forcing it to move, I thought to myself. I picked it up and resettled it on the desk next to me.
Then it really moved. The nylon bulged towards me.
I knew. I knew right then. I had brought my furry little companion to work with me. Oh I had seen the nibbled holes in the purple lining of my bag but I hadn’t really thought anything of it. The bag had been upended and shaken out and moved all around, and there was no way that a mouse was still in that bag through the entire commute from Brooklyn to Hell’s Kitchen.
I lifted the bag and shook it. Nothing happened. I pulled the cloth lining out of the bag and upended it again, shaking to see if I could see something heavier in the cloth that I hadn’t before. THERE WAS NOTHING I TELL YOU.
Until there was. His twitchy little face emerged from the second largest hole in the lining. His whiskers quivered. He leapt from what I’m sure he felt was his death trap of a dungeon and landed on the carpet.
I won’t lie. I squealed like a child and jumped, one foot in the air after another, and got as far out of the way as possible.
My little visitor was no longer than my thumb. He was brown and had a lovely tail. I feel bad that he’s been forcibly separated from his family and taken as far from home as a building in Hell’s Kitchen. A small part of me wonders if he is traversing the walls and beams of the city, wearing a tiny blue hat and singing about the moon.
I just hope he doesn’t have a lady-mouse friend here in Brooklyn he will try desperately to get back to now that I’ve deported him from the borough.