The boobs just don’t do it for me, so I keep looking outward for confirmation that I am, indeed, a woman. Last Thursday at the theater where I go with J to do concessions, I got a very stereotypical validation.
As I was counting the bills, I happened to catch movement out the corner of my eye. I look down only to see the eyes of a very small, brown mouse peering up from under the refrigerator not two feet away.
I launched myself about two feet into the air, bump backwards into the J, who is propelled into the counter, and emit the time honored dance of shrieking, jumping, and pointing. J, undisturbed beyond being shoved and immune to most of my antics, just stared at me.
“What the hell?”
Gasping and pointing, “Mouse!”
He slowly looks over, “That’s a stain on the tile.”
Resident Mouse then precedes to come out from the other side of the fridge to look at both J and I. I point, shriek more, and utterly terrify the mouse who skids back under the fridge. My sounds echoing off the empty theater walls, J says, “So there is a mouse. Huh.”
More nervous, repressed yelps from me as we try to catch him with a bag and a few kernels of popcorn so that we can transfer him outside. Resident Mouse, however, does not fall for it, dashes into the bag, pulls out a kernel and runs back under the fridge. But before the theater opened, I was able to stifle my screaming with murmurs of “How cute” as he bravely dashed back into the nether regions of the pantry, not to be seen again.
J kept shaking his head. “It must be a woman thing.”
“You and your noises.”
He sighed, “You owned a mouse once silly.”
Um, yeah. I did.
He was my very first pet. His name was Jon-Jon. I got him my second year of college, a “Stick to the Man” sort of thing where I was upset at the fact that I could not have pets at the on campus apartments. I saved him at a pet shop in the mall when I saw a man picking live mice to feed to his snake. I gave an all too audible, “Oh my GAWD!”, as my lip quivered, and the girlfriend of snake boy socked him on the arm and said, “Let her take one of your mice.”
Jon-Jon was the one who hopped into my hand. He never bit me and I always think it’s because he knew I saved his sorry little mouse butt from a nasty end. He would follow me around my apartments in his little plastic rolling ball and probably had the best mouse habitat that a girl with empty toilet rolls, duct tape, and entirely too much free time could create. Good heavens, he was stinky though.
He died about a year later peacefully in his sleep and J and I buried him next to the pool of my apartment complex.
“I didn’t expect to see Resident Mouse,” I say.
J shakes his head.
“I mean, it’s not like this is a pet shop. This is the WILD.”