So I was awakened at around 1:10 this morning by an unusual noise. It was an electric-sounding crackle, which is usually not good. I raised my head out of bed, but didn't hear anything. Naturally when I went back to my pillow I heard it again. It seemed to be coming from the wastebasket near my desk.
So I turned on the light...didn't see anything out of the ordinary. But there was an empty Tostitos bag in the basket, that was sort of sticking up out of it. As I looked at it through the bleary, zombie-like eyes of someone who had trouble falling asleep and had only just achieved it to be awakened by unusual noises, I thought...I think it's just the wind rustling the curtains and they're brushing against the top of the bag.
But then I moved the curtain and noticed it was clearing the bag by a good 2 or 3 inches. And the window was closed. Just then the bag made the noise again. I'd like to be able to say I didn't shriek like Vera Miles at the end of Psycho and leap backwards, flailing my arms like a sheet in a hurricane, but I think that's an apt description.
Collecting myself once again, I poked the bag. Nothing. Poked again. Nothing. Po-- Damn, there it goes again! To borrow a timeless phrase from Princess Leia, "There's something alive in here."
Gingerly I lifted the bag...nothing seemed to be attached to it, and there was nothing in it except some tostito crumbs. I set the bag on the floor, and peered inside. To my horror, I saw...10-15 wadded up kleenexes. And nothing else.
So I shook the basket again. Then I saw him.
I had a mouse. Who, conveniently, had already thrown himself out.
He was trying desperately to scale the sides of my Rubbermaid 2805 Trashmaster, but he couldn't get a grip on the smooth, chocolate brown walls. He tried leaping...which might have been kind of cute had he not come so close to succeeding. One lucky leap and I'd have had him loose in my bedroom, and then what? What to do, what to do...I was still practically sleepwalking through this experience, and I thought -- as I always do when I have a problem I can't solve -- "I'll call Mom!" But then I thought better of that because, while getting her on the phone usually isn't too hard, hanging up is another issue altogether, and I wanted to go back to bed.
So I slipped on some jeans and flip flops, threw a towel over the rim of the wastebasket, and carried him down the stairs, carefully avoiding the bi-polar lady on the 2nd floor by hiding in the stairwell as she came out of the elevator. At last I made it to the street, where I removed the towel, and tipped over the garbage can. Nothing. Sigh. So I picked up the garbage can and dumped out the contents...10-15 white blobby things, and 1 dark blobby thing which quickly scurried away into the darkness. I thought, "Boy, is that mouse lucky he picked my apartment!"
So now I'm picking up used kleenexes off the sidewalk and putting them back in the garbage. Naturally two transvestites coming home from The Monkey Room are passing by just at this moment. "Honey, what are you doing?" said one of them, in Dominican-accented English.
"You wouldn't believe it if I told you," I said.