Ok, that title might be a bit of an exaggeration. But it seems everyone who moves to New York has that moment when they just want to throw in the towel and head back to their fly over state (although I really don’t think Arkansas is a fly over state. I mean where would you by flying? From Memphis to Dallas?). That morning you are running late for a huge presentation and get stuck underground on the E train because someone just had to have a knife fight during rush hour. Or being broken up with over brunch. Before you food comes. Or being splashed by a bus that has your face on it. That last one is actually the opening credits of Sex and the City, but you get the idea.
Mine happened last Tuesday as I was getting ready to go to a fiction reading. My apartment has been having problems with mice. And by problems I meant that they have learned to outsmart all of the traps and no longer fear my screaming. But as they have been mostly confined to the kitchen, I have been able to somewhat cope with their presence. So back to Tuesday night, I was pulling on my tights, as I saw a brown body scamper along the wall of my room. It rustled behind some plastic bags I had on my floor and continued under my dresser.
I just lost it. With my tights half-on, I jumped onto my desk chair crying and screaming at the mouse. It kept moving through my room. I called my roommate Jesse first and left a garbled voice mail about how scared I was. Hopefully that recording won’t be auto-tuned and put on YouTube. But in order to do that, the words probably have to be decipherable. Still in gargoyle position on the chair, I called my friend Sarah. She talked me down off the chair. Metaphorically. I was still afraid to get my feet anywhere near the floor. It was still somewhere in the room.
Luckily my roommate came home shortly after I called. Jesse talked me down off the chair and came into my room, broom in hand, to chase the mouse out. It managed to make a circle of the room before it finally ran out. The picture above is not what I actually saw, but a picture I found on the internet that pretty accurately represents it. The mouse in my room was nearly my breaking point. The moment I wanted to throw in the towel and head back. But, Jesse offered to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I had a reading to get to. I just have to keep reminding myself that even though it is tough to live in the city, there are so many opportunities here for great friends and great adventures. I ended up meeting two incredible authors and getting their books signed for their collection. With good friends and good books, I think I could survive just about anything. Or at least a mouse attack.