I thought I was afraid of geckos.
Well, I was right, I am afraid of geckos. But until this morning, I thought geckos were the worst enemy I could have. I thought finding a gecko in my house was the worst trauma I could have.
Oh my cow, people, I was so wrong.
I was sound asleep on my brother's downstairs couch in Boston, dreaming about something I can't remember now, when I felt something on my ankle. It was kind of a scratchy feeling, and I was somewhere between asleep and deeper asleep when I shook my leg a little. The scratchy thing stopped. Then I felt it again. I shook it off again, this time sitting up and looking underneath the covers to see what was scratching my leg. I figured it was a tag on the comforter, but as my eyes adjusted in the darkness, I saw what looked like a silhouette of a leaf. But it was kind of odd shaped... rounder than a leaf, with a longer, skinnier tail than normal leaves.
And then, I let out a gasp as the leaf... it SCAMPERED AWAY.
That's right, people, there was a mouse. Under my covers. Crawling around my leg.
I have never gotten out of bed so fast in my life.
I shot out of that basement like a rocket, sprinted up the stairs, around the corner, and up the next set of stairs to my brother's bedroom. His greyhound was already barking when I got there, so they couldn't hear me knock quietly as I stood outside and did a squirmy "a mouse was just on me" dance, heart pumping a thousand beats a minute.
I heard them telling the dog to be quiet, and I knocked again. Of course, the dog barked as I did that too and finally I just started babbling incoherently at them through the door between barks.
"Sorry. Mouse. Need a dog. Mouse. Covers. Leg. Mouse. Help. Please. Dog. Mouse."
Finally, they realized I was out there and called me in. I opened the door and tried very hard to explain what had happened. They didn't have the "What's that you say!? A mouse? How dare it attack you unprovoked and invade your slumber! We shall find the evil rodent immediately and destroy it! You stay here and we will remedy this posthaste!" reaction that I had hoped they would.
Instead, they looked at me like I was crazy (WOULDN'T YOU BE TOO!?) and said "It's six in the morning."
Yes! I know! And there was a mouse! In my bed! So I didn't want to be in it anymore!
After a minute or two of me standing there and my brother and sister-in-law staring and blinking, staring and blinking, I went to my groggy friend Brittany's room. I sat down on the bed and began explaining what had happened, not really sure what to do next. I certainly wasn't going back downstairs, but all my stuff was down there, so images of thousands of mice infesting my open(!) luggage, crawling inside my underpants and makeup bag, gnawing on my jeans and leaving droppings on my toothbrush flashed through my mind.
I need my stuff. I can't go down there. I need my stuff. I can't go down there. I need my stuff. I can't go down there. I need my stuff. I can't go down there. I need my stuff. I can't go down there.
"Obviously," I told Brittany, "I'm going to be sleeping in here with you for the rest of the trip."
I think she understood. And being the really sweet, supportive friend she is, immediately started listing the things that could happen to me as a result of a mouse attack.
"You know," Brittany said "if it bit you, you might get superpowers, like Spiderman. On Captain Planet, they got bit by rats and their eyes turned red and they became zombies."
Fantastic. I'm going to become Mighty Mouse.
And then? She picked up her iPhone and started googling. "What kind of bacteria do mice have?" "Do mice carry diseases?" "Can you die from a mouse bite?"
All of these topics really put my mind at ease, Brittany. Thanks, friend.
And of course, later, my brother was all "Maybe it had rabies!"
Rabies and super-powers? Well it's my lucky day, isn't it?
As it turned out, the comforter that I was using had been stored on the floor of their basement, and they think the mouse made it its nest inside the folds while it sat there. Then yesterday, they simply placed it, still folded, on top of the couch where I was going to sleep. When I went to bed, I barely even unfolded it before I collapsed under it and passed out.
Which means that the mouse and I were in bed together all night. And I don't know how long it was crawling around on me before it finally woke me up.
I think I'll be sleeping a little lighter tonight.