As soon as I saw the mouse I called my roommate. She reacted calmly and was trying not to laugh, so I hung up with her and got my landlord on the phone. Part of the reason I adore him is because he treats us like his own daughters, and that means he drives his van right over when I pretend to cry. He showed up that night with glue traps, and promised he’d be back the next day to do more. That was fine with me. There are some things that men should do. When he came back, Brandon was here. They stuffed steel wool into the space behind our oven that gets very hot, or Mouse Hell as I used to call it. Any mouse thinking of living here better find a new place to spend the winter. I mean what I say. And I say what I mean.
My Dad asked me how everything was going, about the weather, and asked how my apartment was holding up. I had my Dad visit me this February for the first time since I’ve lived here, and he was really impressed that I’d found such a great place to live. Spacious, hardwood floors, a brick wall in the kitchen, and I have my own bathroom. But he also knew we’d had some leaks when Hurricane Irene paid us a visit. I opened my mouth and I said, “Well, um, this apartment is…is…an answered prayer and a roof over my head.” He told me that was great, and went right into a story about the local high school football team. I wanted to tell him that my apartment had a mouse that was yet to be caught, and that my shower had a crack in it that was leaking water onto the floor, making we want to stop showering altogether. But the idea of complaining and using my words to make the situation worse is the wrong way to go. Our words are little seeds that we are planting when we speak them. So the ones I use are usually crafted in a way that are going to bring me more of what I want, not less.
I planted good words about our apartment, and guess what I got? Good results, that’s what. The door had barely shut behind me before Amber yelled out from the couch that she caught the mouse. Said she’d heard it squeaking from a glue trap, and already gotten rid of the intruder. Of course, it didn’t end well for the mouse. In an effort to be humane, she placed the trap inside of a plastic bag before tying it tightly. I think the idea was that it’d suffocate peacefully, and not be smashed to death in the garbage truck. I wanted it gone, but it makes me feel a little badly to think of that tiny mouse shivering and suffocating on a cold New York night. There’s nothing I can do about it, or would do about it if given the opportunity, so I’ll make it up to the animal kingdom by feeding some birds tomorrow. Or not kicking my shoe at pigeons that are crowding the sidewalk. But in that case, the pigeons need to move when I ask them to move.
I mean what I say. And I say what I mean.