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January 10, 2005

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Dale, who writes the comics.

This is how I will deal with this mouse.

A mouse is crawling between the wires beneath my computer. He hides behind the radiator for warmth. Why don't you come out mouse? He can't possibly hear what I'm typing. This will be my trick for him. The next time he comes out here I will offer him a recording contract he can't refuse. Mouse women, mouse drugs, a tiny mouse limited edition sports car (how its small engine will throb!), drinks mixed in a nutshell, dark sun glasses made of movie film cellophane. Soon he will request to be clothed only in original scenes from classic movies. A dark suit jacket cut from The Sun Also Rises, a heavy overcoat from Double Indemnity, shoes from Gentleman Prefer Blondes, and a tie which will be a colorful ribbon from Diamonds are Forever. These extravagant tastes will soon outstrip his enormously tiny mouse fortunes, every mouse dollar, the sliver of a fingernail clipping, will be spent until his slim mouse model wife leaves him and throws paint over his precious possessions. Why? Because a reservoir of vengeful feelings jostles inside her as she moves toward the door, for all the things he did to her that she can no longer name. From those things, she has saved the anger.

He will come home from a hard day at the recording studio. He’ll push his roaring coupe up his meandering driveway to his art deco house lying atop a tubby hill. As he opens the glass door he finds the paint running from fine clothes made from fine films he's never seen, and the note, and he knows she’s gone for good. His record collection floats in the swimming pool.

In the great room, beside a minimalist armoire lies an immense wooden panel. On top, a complication of wires is screwed in. There are strange red designs tracing lines around its edge. On its very tip a large soft block of something yellow lies. Its aroma has filled the room and reaches the mouse’s nose. He strips off his expensive clothing. His underwear, sliced from a delicate moment in The Great Gatsby, is the last portion of his outfit. The liberation he feels is enormous. He is finally an animal again. His bleary eyes come to focus on that block. His senses turn toward it. He knows where he must go and what lies at the center. He wants to be fulfilled again. He wants to be a creature that uses his legs and can fit into small places. He has a demand to be real, and insists on it. He creeps beside the device, scraping his claws along its edge. He pokes the thick block with his nose and a portion of its aroma is smeared there to overwhelm him. His white whiskers bend against it. What about caution? What about everything. He can't feel himself. He can't trace the thoughts in his head. He knows where he wants to be, and tilts there, like a skier on a hill. His small frame slides up the side and embraces the block. It seems brighter than ever. It seems like a new sun in the sky, filled with orange expediency, with a sense of place, and potential, and raw orange power. He knows it is what he wants and it is waiting there for him to be happy.

Just then, with a large THWACK, the metal wire is released smacking his body hard and heavily. His tiny rockstar bones break, his delicate flesh rends. He screams in tiny pain. His teeth ache with the scream. He can not settle himself. He can not get comfortable. He is numb but feels pains. He is excited and sleepy at the same time. He squeaks and squeaks. The pink space in his mouth is revealed. It spreads wide. Slowly, his dim vision grows dimmer. It blurs as if coming to a conclusion. He hears a distant sound. Where is the sound of what he wants to hear? There his thoughts smear with his vision. The dust in his brain begins to settle and the beam of sunlight that breaks through his curtain dims with a passing cloud. He dies, emitting no sound but the scratching of claws softly on the grain of that wood that is a percussion instrument played once, his final note sounding loudly.

This is how I will deal with this mouse.


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David, who draws the comics.

A disappointing poem:

[Finally removed]

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(c) David Hellman and Dale Beran 2005