It is raining- after two days of the clearest warm skies (with nothing in them! as if nothing ever WAS in them!) this feels like tragedy- like the heaviest bag of sand. Or maybe I just spent too much time on the internet today- my neighbor’s wifi, was, for once, accessible (the signal is stronger on cloudy days) and so I was free to tumble in the lottery-ball cage of the public consciousness, as opposed to only being able to access gmail and facebook on my phone. I learned several things, while stumbling around on the internet, instead of working on my book- that the world is ending, and that no-one knows what to do. And it turns out, when the world is ending, that things feel pretty much the same as they always do- only people are more emotionally honest, as if they have just survived a brutal car accident and realize, for the first time, that they are alive. And yet if there are no nuclear disasters for a moment we will, of course, forget that the world is ending, and we will, in our vanity, once again complain about the weather and the price of Brussels sprouts, as if we are destined to live forever.
I forget what I was originally going to write about when I started this post. My guts have been all f-ed up today, which makes me feel like shit, and all I want to do is cuddle my dog in bed and read old New Yorkers. I was doing just that this afternoon, and my dog started barking at nothing, out the window, and then she ran into the kitchen and caught a mouse. She broke the mouse’s leg, and I flung it over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. That’s the third one we’ve caught in my apartment, and I feel awful every time. No matter how humane I try and be, they always die awful deaths. The first one I caught in a live trap, and I carried it half a mile and released it into a jumble of rocks next to the road. I realized, after I had released it, that it had no cache of food, and that if it didn’t starve, another animal would kill it very soon. The second mouse found its way into the live trap while I was out of town for the weekend, and, by the time I returned, the live trap had been turned into a sensory-deprivation starvation trap, and the small thing, after eating all the almond-butter bait, had died in a pool of its own vomit. And then Nik-Nik, my chihuahua, breaks the third mouse’s leg. To her credit, she did not enjoy toying with the mouse the way that cats do. The mouse confused her- the fact that it was living and not a stuffed toy, the fact that it wriggled when she picked it up. I think that I will get some good, old-fashioned, spine-snapping mouse traps, and be done with this suffering business. Mice are small and soft and they harm no-one, they only want to eat bits of rice and tea, and to proliferate rapidly in the walls. I want to stop their proliferating, but seeing them suffer, even though they are just mice, reminds me of all of the other kinds suffering in the world, magnified out and out like a kaleidoscope, and so in this way they have become much more than Just Mice- my humanity towards their kind has become a small, symbolic, meaningless thing I can do to make myself feel better about doing absolutely nothing to stop the suffering of the planet on a larger scale.