November 10th, 2007

hug

kafka's revenge, part two

A young mouse died in my living room sometime last night. I found it curled up into a ball on the living room carpet, its body dark and cold.

Most mice dying of nonviolent causes will prefer to die in hiding. Given the choice, they will find a little hidey hole where they can pass on with dignity, and lie in peace until some human tears away the drywall. But this little dude never had the chance. He didn't go to the radiator, where it was warm. He didn't go to the pantry, where there was food. He passed away right in the middle of my rug, right out in the open, by my PlayStation controllers and my iPod, where any predator in the apartment could see him. It was like it was his last little fuck-you to the world.

If this isn't a sign from God, I don't know what is.

I wanted to bury him, but I couldn't bring myself to put a city mouse in the wet, cold earth. So I gently lifted him up with a dustpan, put him in a brand-new trash bag, and took the trash out early. He will be cremated by the sanitation department, surrounded by more pizza crusts and half-finished takeout boxes than he could have ever imagined in life. I can't imagine he would want it any other way.

My hands, after several washings, still smell of death.
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