Anyone who’s lived for a significant period of time in NYC has a mouse story. I have three, but let me tell you about my most recent (and triumphant!) encounter:
I was woken up at 2am by rustling noises, covered in sweat (probably from the Nyquil i took before bed). Immediately, i thought it was the mouse that i’d been hearing at nights, so i braced myself, stood on my bed, stepped onto the top of my drawers (to avoid stepping on the floor and getting bitten by the mouse in case it scurried across it) and turned my lamp on. Then i sat back on the bed and kept my eyes peeled. After a few moments, i saw it: it was in the garbage bag hanging from my radiator. It came up to the top of the garbage for a split second and plunged back down. My heart skipped a beat and i started sweating even more, so i hastily put my hair up. But honestly, i was so scared that i’d forgotten if the mouse was still in the bag or if it had leapt out and gone into my tote bag, which was hanging in front of the garbage bag, from the same hook on the radiator. And when i realized the possibility of it being somewhere other than the garbage bag, i leapt into the corner chair and just stood there helplessly for about a minute. Then i thought, “This is ridiculous,” so i sat back on the bed, but as far away as possible from the radiator. And then i noticed a piece of easter grass on the bed where my back would be, and i started having a panic attack, cos i thought maybe the mouse trailed it up there from the floor and it had actually been in my bed and crawling all over me while i was passed out from the Nyquil and maybe that was the real reason i woke up and maybe the struggle with the mouse was what had made me sweat! I knew it was possible because if that mouse could climb into my garbage bag, it could have climbed ANYWHERE. That meant any surface or object in my room could have been contaminated! Then i shook off these bad thoughts and tried to focus on the situation at hand. I tried to think back to when i saw the mouse and came to a pretty firm conclusion that it was still in the garbage bag. I had several options:
1. Tie off the garbage bag (ha, yeah, not happening);
2. Run down to the security guard and ask him to tie it off (he probably can’t leave his post; besides, he’d think i’m crazy);
3. Take my last sticky trap from inside the girl scouts cookie box on the floor and throw it in the bag and hope that the mouse will eventually get caught in it (would take too long and most likely not even work);
4. Sit in bed until morning and do nothing (yeah, even i had too much dignity for this).
Meanwhile, the mouse wasn’t moving at all, which made me even more unsure if it was actually in the bag. I knew what i had to do first: take the tote bag off the hook and remove it from the radiator. So i took five minutes to brace myself and tried to make as much noise as possible to intimidate the mouse and make it stay in the bag. I put polyurethane gloves on (in case it jumped out and tried to bite me) and took a chopstick from my drawer to lift the bags with. Then i realized that i might have to run out into the hallway and into the garbage room if the mouse started moving around in the bag, so i put on my bathrobe. Then i changed from my slippers into my sneakers for better foot protection, in case the mouse jumped out of the bag and onto the floor. Then i sized up the two bags and concluded that they might be too heavy for the skinny, cheap, and curved (defective) chopstick i was holding, so i wielded my thickest knitting needle instead. I was still too scared to approach the bag, especially scared that the mouse would try to leap out, so i took the sticky trap and threw it on top of the garbage as a (fairly weak) safety measure. When i noticed that the trap, which had been out for two weeks, was pristine with the bait still intact, i realized how smart this mouse was and the confidence i had managed to build over the 15 minutes prior to this point just crumbled.
In preparation for the disposal of the garbage bag, i opened my bedroom door wide and pulled out the dead bolt from my front door so that it wouldn’t lock if i ran out to the garbage chute. By the time i was finally ready, i was nauseated. Then i took another five minutes to actually approach the two bags, but i managed to get the tote bag off. Still no movement in the garbage bag. Then after another five minutes, i threaded my needle through the garbage bag handle that was hanging on the hook, and when i lifted the bag, it was opening towards me, which made me feel unsafe, so i set the bag back on the hook to pick it up from the other handle instead. Still no movement. On my second attempt, i managed to get the bag off and opening away from me, and there was still no movement (had this mouse gorged himself to sleep?!).
I walked backwards out of my bedroom and as slowly as possible so as to not disrupt the mouse. Still no movement! I succeeded in getting the bag down the chute. And then i celebrated by having the last of my baklava.
One thing’s for sure: I slept soundly that night.