I was doing laundry in the quiet basement of my building when I heard the crinkly sound of a plastic bag. I looked up wondering who was there to see a little brown mouse sitting on a paint tray stacked on things next to the table across from the washer. I stood, frozen, staring at the rodent. It sat, blatantly staring at me in defiance. I continued loading the washer, never taking my eyes off the mouse. I twitched its nose, and sat there, a small blob of brown fur on the white background of the paint tray. I had visions of this mouse leaping from the tray and eating my face. Riddling me with disease. This mouse could be the start of the zombie invasion and I’d be undead instantly. I had to get away before it leaped at me with its fangs.
I finished loading the washer (still staring at the disgusting infested mouse) and ran upstairs. Hoping it would be gone when I went back down to continue my laundry. I watched the latest episode of CSI hoping it would go away. After an hour, I knew I had to face my fear and finish washing my clothes.
I went back to the basement, swung the door open and flipped the light switch from the doorway. The mouse was on the floor in front of the dryer. It sat there taunting me. I stood in the doorway feeling the heebie-jeebies crawling all over my body. All I could think was, “ew ew ew ew eeewwww!” The mouse started to move, incredibly slowly. Lifting one leg, then another and then it fell on its side. It rolled back upright and stopped, balling itself up tightly. I stood in the doorway not moving. The mouse lifted its head, twitched its nose and tried walking again. I stood in the doorway watching the mouse for 15 minutes as it moved away from the dryer toward the middle of the basement floor. As soon as I felt I could get to the washer and dryer safely, without getting too close to the mouse. I removed my clothes from the dryer but I still had a load in the washer that needed to be moved. I took as many articles of clothing out of the washer as I could planning to just hang them to dry. I threw the rest in the dryer and placed my laundry basket on top of the dryer just in case that mouse had plans to climb in. I looked over at the mouse and it had turned to look at me. It tried walking toward me but it fell over again and just sat in place. Clearly this mouse was dying and full of disease.
I ran upstairs and tried texting my sister, but no reply. I sent a text to a friend and again, no reply. I called another friend, she answered.
Me: There is a mouse in my basement.
Her: Ick! Filthy disease filled beasts.
Me: It’s creeping me the fuck out. It’s sickly and dying. It tries to walk but it falls over. It moves very very slow.
Her: Have you called your landlord?
Me: No, I feel like I only call him when something is wrong. I want to call him with good news for once.
Her: Well, that kind of is the nature of his job, but I understand. At least it’s not a rat.
Me: Yeah, ick. I didn’t realize how much mice creep me out. But this one is really gross and, just ew. It’s got some disease and it’s in my house.
Her: Maybe there’s some kinda poison down there? Have you seen that D-con commercial with the guy in the mouse costume?
Me: (in voice of mouse costume guy) “Prove it.” Yeah he grosses me out too.
Her: I’ll refrain then from telling you all the diseases mice carry.
Me: You are too kind, thank you.
We talk some more and when I’ve got my wits about me again I go back down to the basement to check on my laundry and that evil mouse. I open the door and flip on the light stand in the doorway and see the mouse making it’s way toward the door. I stand there staring at it. This is one time when living alone sucks. I wish there was someone I could shout for who will come and save me. I continue to stand in the doorway for 20 minutes watching this mouse struggle as it moves in circles very slowly. I’m hoping one of the guys in the building will come in the door and I can go all girly on him and have him take care of this mouse for me. No one comes in the door. I grab a spade from the wall next too the door. I have no idea what I’m going to do. Flashes of the mouse scurrying up the spade handle and gnawing on my face, filling me with its disease, come to my mind. I poke at it like a child. It rolls around on the floor. I go back to my laundry, it’s still not dry. I drop in more quarters and go back upstairs, avoiding the mouse and replacing the spade.
As I type this I heard the guy upstairs go down into the basement. I have also heard the scraping of the spade on the cement floor. I heard him walk up the stairs from the basement and go outside. I’m pretty sure I’ve also just heard him smash the mouse with the shovel. He is no longer “guy upstairs.” He is now my hero.