Well, I have been here almost two whole years, in that time I have seen a pests. Most of the were human and living outside my window, screaming, shouting, doing up their Cal Fire, and then stomping their way to a bad time in search of a good one. Fights, mental screaming breakdowns, parties, loud music making my walls shake, fireworks and gunshots – those are my usual annoyances. Not now. Now I have a bigger problem. I have a mouse.
I am obsessively clean. I wash dishes immediately, I put food away. I take my trash out twice a day. I sweep up and vacuum and disinfect my floors. I am neat and tidy. The basement, however, is a shit show – it is a communal unused area apart from the trash cans which serve all the apartments. It is not clean, and it is not my job to clean it. I pretend it doesn’t exist. I am not well. I cannot clean up an entire basement because the landlord is too dirty and too mean to do so. It should be cleaned weekly. That does not happen.
So I was sitting here when a mouse ran across the floor. It seems to like it here. It is fat and jolly, and an absolute pain in the fucking ass. It runs around, it shits on my worktops, it ruined food. In short, the mouse is giving me more of a breakdown than the criminal activity outside. I can’t handle it. I have set traps, I have bought them chocolate to put in the damn traps. I have humane ones and not humane ones. They can do this the easy way…or the cheesy way. To be frank, I am at the point where I hope they choose the cheesy way, even though I am happy to walk three miles to the Presidio National Park, to let the mouse out there to live his little dirty mousey life.
Oh my dirty life and times! Warren Zevon would understand. It is all filth and mostly misery, apart from a few bright spots contained in the moments I spend with people I love. Even then, I suspect I am now a burden and everyone is better off without me. I come to my senses and remember I am loved, but I have been running a marathon of pain and suffering and hardship for over twenty years and I am tired and disheartened, and have been so very unwell.
The little mouse keeps on staring at me, peeking from around the kitchen door trying to creep into the living room to sit with me and the Boy. He managed to steal cheese off a trap, setting off the trap, but not getting hurt in the process. I have mouse hotels, little clear tubes with a bait section at the end, which humanely trap them. I have old fashioned mouse traps that are so dangerous to fingers to set up. I sit here, hunting quietly, like an old mother cat, wondering if I can beat the mouse to death with my shoe, before it ruins more food and gives me a breakdown. I simply have not enough left to be humane or reasonable about this. That pest needs to make its way to the Big Cheese in the sky, before I have a damn heart attack.
One thing I have learnt from my years on this planet is that people rarely want to do things the easy way. They generally choose the hard way: harder for them, harder for everyone around them. It is just the nature of things which are alive to not take the easy route. We are not like water, we do not take the path of least resistance. Animals with any degree of intelligence are naturally rebellious. It is the flip side of curiosity, wondering if we don’t do it the right way, if we try a new way, if we push boundaries and try it the hard way, then perhaps we find something new. In fact most of the time all we find are new ways to suffer and to cause suffering. If only we were less like that mouse, and took the easy way, the gentle way, and didn’t insist on the biting traps of all the things out there that can cause us pain!
The mouse is not in the slightest bit interested in being taken to a nice park where he can live out his mousey days. He will insist on the lethal mouse traps and I will cry my heart out with both relief and sadness.
I just hope he jumps soon, because I really can’t take much more suffering. There was no easy way open to me, and everything is made as hard as it possibly can be time after time after time. I will crawl into the easy traps and let life take me where it will. I don’t have the strength left to get up and take more of the hard way, even if I made it work for a while, against all odds.
If anyone sees the pied piper out there, send him my way. I have some mice that need to go dancing down the street. If only San Francisco would clean up its trash. It is getting absolutely disgusting out there, and in turn is making it fucking disgusting in here too.