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Recurring Nightmares October 31, 2012

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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Sometime over the summer, I was reading my college alumni magazine when I noticed an announcement that the student mailboxes were to be replaced and that the old ones were being offered for sale (the front of the mailbox nicely framed). “You tell us your mailbox number and we’ll have it mounted and shipped (first come first served) to you,” it said. Well, what with my recurring nightmares about that very mailbox, I was totally in.

“Thank you so much for your order!,” read my e-mail from the college. “Mailbox #1052 was available and you got it!”

Of course, it took a couple of months to fulfill this order—there are inevitably delays with projects like this. But a week or so ago I got a package with the right return address, and I rushed home to open it up.

It’s a lovely frame. It looks very nice. But when I looked closely, there was something strange about how the 1052 looked.

I searched for the blurry photo I had posted of my mailbox on this blog (see link above). I looked at that number and the one on the box that was sent.

It was a decidedly different font.

I e-mailed a friend who works at the college (who also happens to be the copyeditor of the journal I edit). I explained my suspicions, asking if she could find out if the college had actually changed fonts on the boxes sometime in the last three years (and why would they if they were going to replace them?) or if they were just putting numbers on old mailboxes to make sales? In other words, Is this really my mailbox?

Like she has time for this stuff.

Eventually, though, she got an answer and relayed to me: “A number of mailboxes were damaged in the process of extricating them from their decades-old perches, and [he] said that a whole bunch in the middle just weren’t found or recovered when the mailboxes were brought over to Alumni. Some of the boxes did not have numbers (for flexibility), so you probably got one that didn’t have a number during summer 2012, and they put your number on it. Without knowing your exact box #, he couldn’t tell me for sure. But if the typeface doesn’t match the one you took a picture of then it was either 1) damaged, or 2) ‘lost.’”

So this mailbox that I bought because it was my mailbox almost certainly is not my mailbox but a pretty symbol of my mailbox.

It upsets me, though, that after discovering they couldn’t send me my mailbox, they didn’t bother to tell me. To me, it shows that they assume that no one would ever notice or care. (And likely there are very few people who would.) However, I probably wouldn’t have purchased something advertised as one of the mailbox fronts with the number of my choice slapped on it.

Sometimes life’s recurring nightmares are simply disappointments—from the small, insignificant ones like this to the bigger ones that actually count.

Sigh. I wanted my mailbox.

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Mouse 7 October 31, 2012

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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Yesterday, after the hurricane scare, I noticed that—at long last—I could no longer smell the dead mouse in the kitchen.

I rarely see mouse droppings anymore.

The killings have gradually slowed from more than one per day to about one per day to one every couplethree days.

There was one yesterday.

When I stare at their lifeless mouse bodies, I feel, oddly, nothing. I have built that brick wall around my heart.

It is so much less disturbing than discovering them drowned in the soapy dishwater.

Mouse 6 October 19, 2012

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Every night we set four traps. The first night, we killed three mice. I know this because I asked. Tim is officially on trap duty.

That said, I noted a couple of dead mice in traps this week as I made regular rounds. The count is up to at least a half dozen that I know about.

When I asked Tim about the death toll, he said he’d chosen not to count.

Last night our book group host told of someone who claims to have killed 174.

Mouse 5 October 18, 2012

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I see my beak-geek buddy Lang at the annual bonfire-as-big-as-your-house party down the way. We talk about birds, and he mentions that his family’s motion-activated night camera caught an image of a mouse. I ask if they had mice in their house. He first says no, then corrects himself. Yes. His mother found mouse poop on her keyboard!

Mouse poop is appearing all sorts of places where no mouse poop should be.

Mouse 4 October 17, 2012

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Dear Mouse Who Expired in Some Unfindable, Inaccessible Spot in My Kitchen:

I think I hate you most of all.

Mouse 3 October 17, 2012

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A mouse chewed through the lid of my Gomasio Sesame Seeds and Sea Salt. Bastard.

Mouse 2 October 16, 2012

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The mice catch a break because October is out of control, with no time to do anything at home, what with all the scheduled activities and events and travel. But Saturday, Tim drops me off at my work event and does our errands—including the purchase of some Jawz traps. The woman at the hardware store says they should have a huge sign on the floor, because mousetraps are all that anyone is looking for these days.

I am sad that it has come to this. I don’t want to kill them. But I’m tired of them destroying my stuff. And I’m tired of their telltale signs.

Mouse 1 October 15, 2012

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I buy my regular 40-pound bag of bird seed. The conversation turns, as it does often with everyone lately, to mice. What a year we’ve been having. They are everywhere. It’s because we had such a mild winter last year, Randy tells me. Didn’t kill enough of them. I admit I’m still live trapping, which I know is ridiculous. He tells me about Jawz, a trap that kills instantly, and you never have to touch the mouse.

He is ringing me up, but there’s a slight delay. I’m the first customer, in early, and he admits that he is doing a cash-register chore he should have done last night before closing, but he had to get to a board meeting. “What board are you on?” I ask. Second Chance, he says, which is an animal shelter. “But not for mice,” I say. He laughs. “But not for mice.”