One of my absolute favorite things on Facebook is the “memories” section. Sometimes I look at those posts and I’m filled with every range of emotion. From, “what the hell was I thinking”, to “omg that was the sweetest thing”, to laughing so hard I’m in tears. Yesterday as I was perusing the shame, sweetness, and hilarity, I came across a post that made me laugh and thoughtful all at once. The story goes as follows:
One year ago I was sitting at my office desk starting my day. Now, I get to work at 6:00 in the morning. The rest of my office does not come in until 8:00 in the morning. This is purely by choice. I love getting off work earlier in the day and having more time with my family at home. While not a morning person, I have been getting up early and trying to squeeze as much as I can from my day for as long as I can remember. This 6:00 in the morning schedule works wonderfully for me. I have peace and quiet before the rest of my fellow office workers come in and am more productive in that timeframe than at any other point in my day. While the rest of the office does not come in until 8, there are other people at the facility in different parts of the building who come in at the same time that I do. So this mild Tuesday morning, I was sitting there answering emails and preparing when I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. I glanced over and I saw nothing. I brushed it off and went right back to work. Reaching for my cup of the strongest possible coffee (caffeine is the only thing that allows me to keep going), I saw movement out of the corner of my eye again. I really looked and again saw nothing. I did however flashback to a few days prior when the woman at the end of the office squealed and yelled “There is a mouse staring at me from underneath my desk!!” before leaping from her chair and running to the other side of the room. We all laughed about it, and called maintenance who came and set some traps. “Ahhhh”, I thought to myself, “there is the culprit right there. Just a little mouse running around my desk”. I resumed typing and decided to let him live his best life while I continued to live my mediocre office morning existence. “SNAP” reverberated from behind the bookshelf on my left. Oh no, I thought, poor little guy. I considered going to peer behind the bookshelf at whatever gruesome horror may be awaiting me and decided that I did not want to deal with it in that moment. Turning back to my computer, I continued my work when suddenly there was the weirdest sound and new movement. A muffled repetitive banging noise growing louder then softer on the side of my desk piqued my curiosity. There was indeed a mouse. There was indeed a mouse caught in a trap. However, the only part of the mouse caught in the trap was its tail. This poor tiny little mouse was dragging the trap along the floor running around frantically trying to get free. Do I catch him and set him free? Have I found my new lifetime pet companion? What would be a badass name for a mouse? I looked down and decided I needed back up. I called the receptionist who decided it was best to send maintenance my way. A few minutes later the receptionist calls me back to say that she can’t get ahold of anyone. By this point the mouse had tried to squeeze underneath the cubicle wall between my desk and the one next to mine. The large metal trap obviously could not fit into this teeny tiny space and that little guy was repeatedly banging the trap against the cubicle wall trying only to be free. As I sat there contemplating my next move, one of my co-workers from elsewhere at my work walked in to talk to me. He walked in stopped and asked me what in the hell I was doing to be making that noise?! I motioned to the situation unfolding next to me and explained what was going on. He laughed, bent down, grabbed the trap and pulled the little mouse out from beneath the cubicle wall by the trap and tail. He held them there for a minute as we ran through all of our possible next moves. Just as we had decided on the mouse’s name being Thrasher he said he would take him outside, across the street and just set him free. As he walked out of the door holding that little guy, every childhood movie involving mice came rushing back to me and all I could think of is how that mouse must have a family, a profession, and a briefcase somewhere and we were the bad guys ruining everything. Chuckling to myself, I again turned to my computer. My co-worker came running back into my office laughing so hard his face was read. You see my friends, he took that mouse outside and decided against going across the street to set him free. He simply leaned down on the sidewalk, released the mouse and waved goodbye as the little guy ran into the street towards the grass on the other side. The mouse kept this trajectory about halfway across the street then must have decided, “Wait no, that is my home, and my briefcase is there. They are the ones who suck, why should I leave” and turned back towards the building. It ran as quickly as its little mouse legs could carry it back to his little life. He made it to the shut front door. We are talking about a front door that has key card entry and is sealed all the way around. He must have turned into liquid form somehow because he squeezed his way back inside. Then he proceeded to terrorize all of my co-workers as they entered the building for the day. Every time I heard a little scream I silently laughed at their misery and rooted for that mouse. Eventually he found his way out of the lobby and back out of my life forever.
What exactly is my point from this long drawn out saga? How many of us feel this way now? We are caught in a trap of some grander design and our tiny little lives have been disrupted in a way that many never imagined could happen. Our current situation is out of our control. We search and search for a way out of this mess, through information from our government, scientists, the media, and we get no true answer. It is no wonder that everyone is after each other because as with the little mouse we will do anything to get back to our normal routines, to our daily lives, to a thriving economy and yes to our briefcases. My question is with all of this trouble with COVID, why on earth wasn’t more being done to adapt to our current situation? No, the world cannot stand still for the next two years. What moves can we make to attain a sense of normalcy in a time when normal is no longer the norm?