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Guest Entry Today

Sister K has penned a journal entry, but she has no journal in which to post it, so now, without further ado (oh, all right: ado! Ado!) I present:

Pieces of Meeses
(note: That's my title. Sorry, K)

I am a shareholder in a large metropolitan law firm. I represent insurance
companies and, consequently, am rational, pragmatic and relatively
imperturbable. I am not given to sentimental outpourings or hysterical
ravings, and my range of emotions throughout any given work day tends to run
the gamut from sullen and resentful to bored and indifferent.

Why is it then, that when a mouse ran across the floor of my colleague's
office this morning, I shrieked like a banshee and catapulted myself out of
my chair and out into the hallway, where I proceeded to stand, wild-eyed and
shaking, until I could summon up the courage to dart back in, grab my coffee
mug, and hightail it back to my own office down the hall? This is not a
rational reaction. It's not like the mouse was wielding a knife. It was
not, like Grendel, obviously "maddening for blood, pacing the length of the
patterned floor with his loathsome tread, while a baleful light, flame more
than light, flared from his eyes." (I've been reading the Seamus Heaney
translation). Instead, it was because I was convinced (as I am permanently
convinced) that the mouse would run up my leg.

Why would it do this? I believe I come by this irrational fear naturally,
as one of my most vivid memories of my youth is my mother - an eminently
capable woman, rational, mechanically inclined - shrieking on the staircase
at the sight of a mouse and racing down the stairs to perch on the coffee
table in front of the sofa. This absolutely baffled me. How could she
possibly come so unglued over such a little thing, I wondered. I believe she
may have mentioned at the time that she was afraid the mouse would run up
her leg, thus planting the idea in my susceptible little mind. I found out
later that she had also possessed another irrational fear when I was a baby
and we were living in a small ranch-style house in the foothills: she was
convinced that a deer would come galloping down the hill behind our house,
crash through the picture window, and kill me (or more generally just wreak
havoc). When she told me this story, I must have been 10 or so and we had
moved to a completely different house with no picture windows. I thought
she was insane. Or more accurately, I thought she was a wonderful, capable
woman with some strange and irrational, but relatively harmless, fears.

Years later, I found out that after we had moved out the house in the
foothills, a deer had come crashing through our next-door neighbor's picture
window and thrashed about, wounded, throughout the house, destroying
furniture and getting blood all over the place.

Just like, one of these days, the mouse actually will run up my leg.

11:10 p.m. - 2005-09-27


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