Saturday, January 31, 2009

"All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again."

I put my pet mouse in the ground last night. Some time Wednesday night Lenny crawled out from under her little fleece blanket she loved to burrow in, curled up in the corner, and died.
I didn't see her until I was picking up my bag to go to work, so I had to wait all day through work until I could take care of her. When I got home, i wrapped her in the little fleece blanket I'd given her when she was sick, we gathered up the last of the tequila, and went outside. Everything is frozen right now, so I put her in a hole in the earth on the side of the house and covered her with stones. Then, just because it's a habit of mine to leave offerings for the dead, we poured tequila out for her. I just can't beat the feeling that if she'd been human, she would've been a tequila kinda gal.
Before going inside we stopped to watch ice chips slide down the gentle slope of the frozen backyard and admire the reflection of the lights on the solid ice everywhere. We lit the candle that's been sitting outside since the summer and let it burn the whole way out after we went inside.
She never let me pet her, and would jump and hide when I tried. But as Bob reminded me, she was always ever the fierce survival mouse, and it didn't change the fact that she beat up my pet snake, earning her the right to live through to old age like she did. Truth be told, she was snuffling a lot and sneezed quite often the last little bit, and I got the impression it might've been hard for her to breathe. So at least she isn't struggling anymore.
At this point, you are probably very aware that death tends to be a profound occurrence, despite the fact that it's guaranteed daily. I'm sad, but not debilitated. Just excessively ponderous on it.
Today was an interesting counterpoint. The morning was beautiful, with a crystal clear sunrise. The ice was still glittering and gleaming, reflecting the rose and light blue of the sky. The air was brisk but not freezing. And I drove to work.
The day was mostly uneventful. I'm dying under the tickets and the lack of energy for the last few days since Snowmaggedon.
I wasn't ready at all for what happened on the way home. Bob warned me of it in a text, but even with that I still didn't expect what occurred.
The knot of us driving along on the turnpike drove suddenly in to a snow squall and amid the sudden flash of red break lights I got a moment in the slowed traffic to take a look around at what was happening. It was a sudden nearly blinding flurry of white flakes that swirled around us. In spite of this, the sun still showed through in a faint golden glow, and the whole world was made of the pink and gold light and the whiteness of the snow. It was so beautiful I felt a pang in my chest the way that sometimes happens when you know you're seeing a rare moment that might not come again. Then in a matter of a few short minutes it was gone and there was nothing left but a setting sun and my exit ramp. But it was still a perfect moment, and I'm smiling just to think on it. Something about it's brevity and how it dropped in to my day just seemed very ~right~.
This evening Bob and I tried the new barbecue place that opened down the way. The owners are incredibly friendly, going around often to ask how people are enjoying themselves. The pork and brisket are wonderful. The chicken is not bad, but from here on out I'll be ordering other things. We really liked it, and we'll be headed back. No one else has a shop like it in the area, and I wish them luck while things are in a downturn.
Delaware yielded its usual load of beverages, although they were light on the framboise this time around and we had to make due with two smaller bottles instead of one big one. Oh darn. I think I'll make do either way. :)
We also grabbed some Sapporo and some Kirin Ichiban beer.... you know, for the purpose of research for Japan. We gotta know what they drink at the bars there!
And with that, my Friday is over and I'm tired and cold. Time to retire to bed. Daisy is curled up behind me and Chaucer is to my right .I almost don't want to move, but my feet are freezing down here and I need to go to bed.
G'night Lenny. Enjoy your freedom.

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