June 22, 2005


I was up REALLY late last night pounding out the last few bits and pieces of my latest freelance gig. The site launched! All concerned are happy. There are some small follow-up things to deal with but it's done! And now I can finally sleep... or can I?

Last night I was doing the whole Photoshop, Javascript, HTML thang into the wee hours of the morning. I was bleary eyed and exhausted and every part of me hurt. My body was screaming for my bed. But I kept pushing myself hoping to get as much done so as not to prolong the work for yet another day.

Despite my fatigue, I persisted. I was loopy and out of it but that wasn't nearly enough to make me quit for the night. I felt like nothing could keep me from finishing my work once and for all. I was on a mission.

And then I heard a noise. And it sounded like it was coming from my pokey wee kitchen but I wasn't quite sure. I listened for a few more minutes and then decided that it was the rattle of my upstairs neighbor's A/C. Its churning and gurgling sounds often echo throughout the alley that connects our windows and seep into my kitchen.

And then I heard it again. It was most definitely not an air conditioner. I couldn't quite place my finger on it though. It sounded... metallic almost but it was hard to tell. With what little faculties I had left at that hour, I was able to localize the sound to the general stove area. Mind you, I didn't get up to investigate. I sat, feet up, on my swivel desk chair which is a good 30 feet or so from my kitchen and squinted in that direction, only half wanting to locate the noise.

I was delirious and it hurt to think so I did my best to focus on my work so that I could finish up and finally go to bed.

I heard the rattle once again and that was it for me. Mission aborted! I was in the midst of uploading files to a live site but I didn't care. I abandoned that shit so fast. I yanked off my glasses and sprinted up the ladder into my loft bed and pulled the covers over my head. I then summoned the nerve to poke my head between my chenille throw pillows and look down towards the kitchen to see if anything beastly had emerged from the shadows.

The coast was clear, as far as I could tell, so I lay there debating and plotting my next move. It was so tempting to just stay up there with my clothes and makeup still on but visions of plaque and pimples danced in my head. Leave it to me to be concerned with such matters in the midst of a crisis. Oh and it WAS a crisis, believe me.

You know, I don't recommend exhausting yourself to the point of late-night dementia but I will say this... it did give me some balls. I descended the ladder and ran into the bathroom for a quick pee, brush and foaming face wash combo. I slipped into my pajamas, turned off the lights and raced back to the other side of the apartment, up the ladder back into bed. I did this all in my bare feet and without any weapons!! That's a first for me.

I listened carefully for a bit but didn't hear the noise again. Somehow I managed to convince myself that it was all in my imagination and drift off to sleep.

I woke up this morning and went about my usual routine. I was getting ready to leave for work when I realized I didn't have my glasses. I had misplaced them during last night's melee and had to search the apartment for them. I snuck a quick and hesitant peek in the direction of the kitchen... and noticed something on the floor.

The light was off and I'm blind so I couldn't quite make out what it was. So I backed out of the kitchen and for reasons that I can't fully explain, I decided to get my flash light instead of just turning on the fucking light switch. Perhaps the item would seem less threatening in a small follow-spot as opposed to a glaring 100 watt overhead bulb.

I fixed the flash light on the circular object and made a quick ID. I now had the answer to the metallic rattling noise...

It was the peel-off lid to a Dannon La Creme yogurt (vanilla, if you're feeling nosy).

Now, I'm not one to just pull the lids off of yogurt and "fire them at my backside" as my Scottish mum would say. I keep a very clean apartment anyway but I'm particularly anal about the removal of things of the dairy persuasion. I have my issues with this line of products. I eat yogurt because I have to, not because I like it. I realize it's rather fatty but Dannon La Creme is the only kind that doesn't make me gag. I've tried other brands but they taste like ass, in my opinion.

But I'm not here to discuss my fussy diet. My point is that my distrust of dairy ensures that I dispose of all collateral materials in a timely and responsible fashion. In other words, I put that lid in the garbage tout de suite. I know I did.

So, much to my horror, I surmised that SOMETHING crawled into my garbage in the wee hours of the morning... and crawled back out with the lid on its... uh, can I say person? The aluminum foil was making the metallic pinging noise as the thing, whatever it was, worked diligently to remove it from my trash.

Now, you all know that I don't dig the bugs (see here, here and here). It's no secret that I hate them and kill them in a spectacularly brutal fashion whenever possible. They terrify me but I get the job done when needed. I don't welcome them into my home but I'm seriously hoping that it was a bug who paid me a visit last night. Because, if it was a mouse... well, I can't even imagine.

So, dear readers, please help set my mind at ease. My question is this: If a mouse crawled into the can, wouldn't it have made more noise than the somewhat gentle rustling I heard? 'Cause the noise I heard was noticeable but not crazy loud. If a mouse was fishing around in the plastic bag that lines the garbage, it would have made a distinct racket, no? A bug, on the other hand, is lighter on its gross, numerous feet and could be a little less noisy as it explored my refuse, yes? Please tell me it was a bug. Please.

The next question is if it was a, you know, roach... can they pick up big things like foil yogurt lids and transport them? I know ants possess the ability but does it extend to their inner-city cousins as well?

Even though I don't want to entertain the thought that there is something four-legged with a tail in my midst, I'm totally getting a trap on my way home. Please don't lecture me unless you plan on coming to my apartment in person to trap and remove the fucking thing yourself. If you want to keep it as a pet or set it free in some field, be my guest. I, on the other hand, am going to (indirectly) snap its motherfucking neck... and then cry and beg someone to dispose of it.

It's official: I'm never sleeping again.