Thursday, February 27, 2014


Mice shouldn’t live in an office. No one should live in an office, but sometimes they do.

I don’t know what color our mice are. Grey, or maybe albino – visibly pink under the fur, making them more vulnerable to pain.

I found out about the mice because of the breakfast rolls in my desk, which seemed to be disintegrating. To investigate, I lay on the floor, and saw the tunnel up into the drawers.

It comes to this: our boss says not to keep food in the office. Some express outrage, less about the dictate than the fact of the mice. It’s a scandal, as if the mice have run us three rungs down the ladder.

Mice excel at hiding. Sometimes they hide by staying still. I would like to touch their feet. I imagine the toes like the teeth of a small, broken comb. 

One day I see a mouse rush out from under a desk. I tell you – it isn’t fear or revulsion that makes a person scream. It’s surprise, an underrated discomfort.

Our technician is put in charge of doing away with the mice. This seems cliché, I know, but he resents it.

The technician sets traps and the outrage spreads. Suddenly, worse than the fact of mice is the fact of the mice’s death. Some resent being exposed to the whole experience, and blame the company.

But the company is irrelevant. The boss tries to tell them that. Which company people work for has nothing to do with it.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Ah, mice.... Random coincidii: 1) I just read about humane mousetraps (mouse houses) in a novel 2) my parents do an annual tally of dead mice (farmhouse/cornfields).

(It's always a very high number.)

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