May 29, 2015: A third installment of the my game of Rat and Mouse, picking up within days of our last episode:

It didn’t take long for mouse-ness to re-infiltrate the garage—now, from the sound of the busy chewing and scampering, on desert no-doze, making it hard to tell if there was one or more. It never conclusively felt or sounded like they were in my vehicle. So, I moved inside the next night mostly so I wouldn’t be awakened so often.

Later that week, Lola came up for an overnight at the house, so I ceded the garage to her sports car—seniority: uptown metallic blue trumps matronly slate green. After dark I went out and opened the hood of the van, but rain later lured me out to close it. Mistake. 

I slept inside, as support for Lola. We’d both been having a tough week. When I rose in the morning, I was contending with more than my standard share of psychic flack. Some matching picture with Lola was amplifying the energy in me, and its accompanying undigested rage was sidling both of us. I found my way out to the deck for a very edgy mantra recital. Simultaneously, I moved through a series of yoga poses, to channel the ire into body poetry, punctuated by an occasional roar to discharge over-flow. This politely ignored by Jim over on his deck across the acre of desert between us. Even his sheltie, McKenzie, seemed to know better than to bark at me this morning.

Once I’d balanced things a bit, I ventured out to the car, to remove the mothballs from the engine compartment. When I opened the hood, I found myself staring at an impressive new hole in the insulation lining the hood. It was the size of my face, and elicited a near involuntary, “Oh, my Lord.” I hadn’t even been aware there was insulation there to chew!

I later showed it to Lola, who was equally impressed, not just with the hole but with this strange, persistent Karma I had with the rodents. There was nothing she could do, of course, except to recommend duct tape, which I later administered like a bandage, sprinkled with peppermint oil.

 I couldn’t be certain that this was a single night’s work by the outdoor pack-rats, but it seemed an easier assumption than that the indoor mice had been able to stand on their back legs and reach it from the top of the engine. Just in case, though—I can take a hint– I have now taken to leaving the hood up, even in the garage.

Two days further on, this morning was not an easy morning. Bleary from a meditation, I dove into a phone conference with a friend helping me finalize the cover art for my forthcoming poetry book—coming soon to Amazon and other pervasive purveyors…. I still was scarcely grounded when we hung up, but I decided to try to get to a yoga class I’d hoped to attend, starting in about four minutes.

I grabbed my things and entered the garage, where I had to shut the bonnet of the van. In attempting to do so, I dropped my cell phone into the engine compartment, knowing just before it dropped that it was going to.

(Sucks to be Psychic, sometimes!)

Having not yet prayed away all the morning’s astral cobwebs, I wasn’t quite able to laugh, so I cursed. And then I determined with a flashlight that, even if I called the phone and heard it, I was not likely going to be able to see it or reach it. So, I drove—with the recklessness I tried to savor—to the neighborhood auto shop. I took corners hard, sought out the bumps, and cruised along with my eyes on the mirror, in hopes of seeing my cell phone deposited on the road behind. No such dubious fortune.

I confessed to the receptionist that I had a minor crisis—a first world sort of crisis—that I hoped someone could help me with. As I described my problem and confessed it had been that sort of week, they both chimed in that Mercury was retrograde! I find myself, gratefully, in that sort of community. Further making the point, as Dave peered into my engine with his own light, he said that they’d had some remarkable electrical stuff showing up this week, and he just wanted to tell clients to wait and bring back the cars in a couple of weeks (once Mercury went direct). It’d be easier and cheaper.

He couldn’t see the phone, so he offered, for an $18 lift fee, to put it up on the pedestal and take the cap off the underside. I had little choice. So, I stood around the parking lot and let idleness, helplessness and the sun’s strong rays make way into my flustered and victim-addicted psyche for some more sane and peaceful thoughts. I must have been standing at a good angle, because by the time Dave backed the van around, I felt gifted with a more amused perspective.

Dave got out of the car with a practiced somber face, but somehow I knew that was a good sign. He was playing as if he bore bad news. But he pulled the phone from his pocket, and I embraced him as I took it.  

As I’ve been typing this, the sun has set. It is twilight, and among the house’s cooling creaks, I hear the dance starting above my head. Sounds like somebody just arrived through the chimney up there, galloping across the ceiling like Mercury himself.


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