Time of Day: 5:38 AM.
Location: Car.
More specifically: 2002 Hyundai Elantra Hatchback.
Headed to: Crack of dawn work shift in the suburbs.
Headed from: Apartment in the South Bronx.
Status: Newly married, cohabitating blissfully.
When it popped out of my bag I: Screamed.
Number of legs: Four.
Genus: Mus musicales.
In plain English, a: Mouse.
Who’d been: Slumbering in, or hiding in, or rifling through my bag.
And was now: Sprinting laps inside my car while I tried to not crash.
My approximate heart rate: 74,000 beats per minute.
What I discovered about the interior lights of my car: They didn’t shed any light on the floor.
What I discovered about screaming: It didn’t help.
What I discovered about the seats of my car: I couldn’t jump up onto them in order to save myself.
One good thing: With my quad muscles and glutes I was able to lift my butt up off the seats.
This had: No purpose.
And: I did it anyway.
What I discovered about my driving skills while under duress: A++
Miraculously: I didn’t slam on the brakes and somehow didn’t zigzag across all lanes. I did not
crash into another car, any signs, or any nearby buildings.
For this: I would like a medal, perhaps from NASCAR or from my high school Driver’s Ed
I did, however: Speed up.
Because: I wanted to get to my workplace faster.
Which was: A first.
I could have instead: Pulled over somewhere.
But: It was still dark out.
I needed: A familiar location where I could turn off the ignition and restart my life.
At my destination: I popped out of the car then sprinted in circles, not unlike my passenger only seconds before.
The sound I emitted in the parking lot could best be described as: Yelping.
Upon inspecting my vehicle: There was no interloper to be found.
Conclusion: This was some kind of waking nightmare.
It: Never happened.
Or: He/she/it/they bolted out of the car as soon as I did and headed to their own workplace.
Or: It was still hiding in there.
I’ve heard that: Little critters are more afraid of us than we are of them.
I suspect that’s: Bullshit.
After I finished work I: Set my car on fire then walked the 30 miles back home while wearing Tina Turner’s steel dress from Mad Max as the smoke from the explosion expanded in my wake.
Okay, what I really did was: Drive back to the South Bronx, jumpy and paranoid, wondering for several weeks if I had company.
I recommend: Not leaving bags on the floor of your residence if there have been sightings of Mus musicales.
Bags, totes, backpacks, and satchels of all kinds can so easily become: Cradles or nests.
Perhaps: Hang them from a pulley system on the ceiling.
For added security: Install a padlock on the zipper and change the code frequently.
And come on: Even if your new spouse thinks mousetraps are inhumane, and you respect this, perhaps even love it about them…immediately agree to some kind of workaround on this issue.
Because: What happened here was also inhumane.
Please understand: I’m a fan of ride-share.
It’s good to: Partner up with other commuters.
Ideally: Homo sapiens.