My son killed a mouse today. He hit it hard with a broom. I learned what he’d done upon returning from the supermarket. My bags were overflowing, filled with the items on my mother’s grocery list. I’d planned on making a quick trip to the store. Perhaps if I hadn’t mentioned to her where I was going, the mouse would still be alive.
Going down the aisles of the supermarket — it’s the weekend, and the store was packed with panicked, territorial shoppers — searching for my mother’s items, I felt my face underneath my mask go ugly with impatience. I’ve bickered with my mom about her shopping lists before. Around Easter, she gave me a list that included digestive biscuits, Cadbury crunchies, and other items from the foreign food aisle. The supermarket where I shop doesn’t have a foreign food aisle. I felt like I was on a coronavirus scavenger hunt.
My mother hasn’t left the house since the beginning of March. She’s in her seventies. She hasn’t experienced much of this firsthand, only heard about it what it’s like outside from me, who, in the past, could be a bit of a drama queen. I want to scream, THERE ARE NO DRAMA QUEENS IN A PANDEMIC!
The mice problem started on Wednesday. The pipe problem started on Thursday. After watching RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 for the 46th time, I went into the bathroom to wash my face, and my socks were soaked with water. I was able to use the tape that I bought for the mouse problem to jerry-rig the pipe problem, so there was some nice issue overlay. A real fix for both issues will have to wait.
I suspect the mouse my son killed was half dead anyway. I don’t think mice are supposed to come out during the day, and this one did. I’ve placed poison in strategic locations throughout the house. I was just surprised that my son had it in him.
An AIDS activist that I admire posted something on Facebook this week that really resonated with me. He wrote that at the height of the AIDS crisis, he never wished death for Ronald Reagan, but due to Trump’s terminal, willful incompetence, he wishes Trump would get COVID-19. I used to think wishing harm for Donald Trump undermined any argument I was trying to make about his lack of humanity, but pandemic living has shown me that in times of calamity, the moral high ground is especially fluid.
Which brings me to November. Joe Biden is not the ideal candidate, but bearing some celestial deus ex machina, he’s the only candidate. The only option for something different, no matter how incremental. To anyone who wouldn’t vote for him based on idealism, I implore you, compromise your ethics. You either grasp at the potential for something different or continue to take the worst that there is.
A few years ago, my son would insist upon blessing every animal he had regular contact with at night before he went to bed. God bless Stella, Bella, Sid, Chachi. After hearing the names of the animals for so many nights, I can still remember them. Sid was a mouse.