I have no idea what’s has been shuffling around in my walls in the wee hours of the morning, but it wakes me up as it travels behind the headboard and by the time it makes its way to the ceiling I’m halfway out the door with my blankets and sheets.
Having this thing cavorting around inside the wall is unsettling enough, but directly above my head is an entirely different matter. I have a drop ceiling—you know the kind--compressed, cardboard-y type tiles that you can break with one hand and a knee. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure it’s heavy enough to break though those flimsy tiles and, as curious as I may be about the identity of this thing, I don’t need to find out in a 3 a.m. nosedive through a cloud of ceiling dust and rubble.
Don’t bother sending me comments assuring me that it’s is probably just a mouse—that’s why I have a husband. And he’s wrong. Just as surely as he was proven wrong on that November night in ’02 when months of speculation over “what’s living under the tub” ended when a Virginia Opossum feigned death on the bathroom floor after an altercation with my cat.
I’d like to report that the not-a-mouse is the only thing about which I’m currently unsure, but that would be sloppy journalism.
For instance, classes start Monday, but despite a rocky-but-ultimately successful roadside registration, I still wound up with a hole in my schedule. To my great joy, I recently found out that my full-ride scholarship really is a full ride—covering not only my master’s courses, but the undergraduate fill-in work I have to do as well. So I dropped the community college course in which I enrolled to save money. Only trouble is, classes are pretty slim pickings at this point, and I don’t really know if I’m going to find a class to fill that hole.
On the employment front, my editor is leaving the newspaper and we “don’t know yet what that will mean for the organization of the community news team,” according to an e-mail memo distributed last week.
On Thursday, I submitted myself to the long-avoid “looking around” test that Dr. M suggested as a tidy conclusion to all the stomach ache drama. The entire procedure was abruptly terminated upon realization that my insides feature more twists and turns than a Michael Crichton novel. Of course, it yielded only ambiguous results.
These uncertainties are merely representative of the steady stream of question marks that punctuate our lives. It would seem, then, that successful living requires the ability to carry forward in the midst of the unknown.
I’m not so good at that.
But then again, the Unknown is an untamed frontier that has stymied even our nation’s Secretary of Defense, I realized, recalling Donald Rumsfeld’s ruminations concerning “known knowns” and “unknown unknowns.”
I think I prefer the Yogi Berra approach to nebulous events. “You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there,” Yogi advises.
My first response to the arrival of the not-a-mouse was to move out of the room until a corpse was produced, but after two nights on the not-exactly-a-sleeper-sofa, I returned to the bedroom in the interest of reckless living. After all, the intruder might have been a hapless passer-by. Sticking firm on the corpse thing could leave me displaced for a very long time.
I hit the door running around 3 this morning. Yogi’s right. Caution is in order—but where I’m headed is no mystery. I’ll like the Known, and the not-exactly-a-sleeper-sofa is a fine place to wait for a corpse.