Saturday, January 15, 2011

Domestic affairs

"Like the drip, drip, drip of the [you] stand against the wall," goes the elided and somewhat reordered introduction to Cole Porter's "Night and Day." That's what I heard at 8:30 this morning, with my ear against the spot on the wall that yesterday bulged with unwanted fluids. Somewhere, deep inside the wall, there is an irregular flow of water from (presumably) the shower in apartment 5I, just above us, that threatens to one day burst forth and drown the world. Or slightly moisten our living room. Either way, it's not good.

I had imagined that the leak in the wall was a replacement for the plague of mice that (for want of a better word) plagued us for the last several weeks (months?), until I discovered last night that we had yet to exorcise those demons. I had lost one mouse trap; I found it. It had long since done its job. The smell was abominable, as was the entirely unexpected squeak that emerged from the trash can as I compacted the refuse to tie the bag shut. Can a weeks-dead mouse still squeak? Or had someone else thrown out a dog toy? The world may never know, but let me tell you that was the fastest I have ever carried a trash bag outside in my life. No commentary from dead rodents can ruin my winter cleaning, thank you very much.

Now my room is clean, free of the scents of dead mouse and dirty hedgehog bedding and smelling instead of vanilla. This new aroma, in case you didn't know, is much better than those.

The hedgehog, of course, was furious that I was cleaning. Keeping a light on at night? Moving things around? Sacrilege! However, his newly scoured and rearranged habitat seems to have mollified him somewhat; he ran on his wheel until nearly 7 AM. Hopefully he is happy enough that he won't be completely petrified when I give him a bath today...but that's unlikely. Bath time is scary.

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