There was a murder attempt on my life last night and I was saved by loud playing digital sampling. However, before we got to that let me start by saying, I am scared of mice. Seriously, very, frightened by them.
Do not read the rest of this post if you haven’t read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair because I am going to give a huge spoiler alert. The book ends with a poor immigrant boy in Chicago drinking the left over beer at a stadium to keep himself warm because he knows he will spend the night sleeping in the frigid air. He is cold, numb, and drunk and doesn’t feel it as the rats eat him alive. Mice scare me and I think they are going to eat me alive. I logically know this most likely will not happen, that doesn’t mean I don’t fear it regularly. I have nightmares about it. However, I am not scared of rats. I used to train rats to play basketball at a local children’s science museum.
I live in a duplex with two lovely roommates an Irish woman, Aisling, I meet in China and a friend, Zak, I meet here in University years ago when we both volunteered at the student radio station. The people who were living in the other half of the duplex moved out a few weeks ago and within a week of their move we saw a mouse on our lower level. I screamed, jumped and felt dirty. Like a good Republican, I wanted the problem to go away without actually having to deal with the problem. I gave Zak money and asked him to please buy mouse traps. Zak purchased humane traps which turned out to be worthless as we never caught anything.
A week or two later, Aisling saw a mouse in her room. She too freaked out and threw a blanket at the mouse…this was a successful approach in not doing a goddamn thing. Aisling, ran out and spent $45 dollars on at least 2 different traps, multiple mouse sound deterrents and poisoning. Still we seemed unsuccessful at catching, trapping or killing any of my nemeses.
And then yesterday…I saw a mouse in my room. I screamed,cried and flailed my way downstairs to get one of the sound deterrents. I didn’t and don’t want a trap because even seeing my executioner (aka mouse) dead, scares me. I placed the little electronic device that is designed to produce a sound that will keep the mice away, into my surge protector and contemplated praying. Within an hour a mouse would run over the device and over my barefoot and into my closet. WTF? I am sure my screams could be heard down the street. Zak came into my room to protect me and I was grateful. He searched my room but we (he looked, I curled in the fetal position) could find nothing. It was too late the fear was in me. At the slightest sound and repeatedly I’d call Zak into my room. For sure the mice were gathering and planning on eating me alive, these had to be the sounds I was hearing.
I think Zak grew tired of defending me from every creaking sound I heard (imagined) and so he suggested I play some loud music so I wouldn’t hear any movement in my room. I slept with my laptop in my bed and played at maximum volume: Girl Talk, Rancid and a bit of Envelope. The only reason I recall hearing any Envelope is that in one of the songs I heard, had what sounded in my mind like paper being rustled by mice scheming my homicide. I did the only logical thing, I could do in such a circumstance; I screamed bloody murder. It was a terrible night. I did not sleep well last night but I am too scared to go to bed just yet.
I was walking in my neighborhood with Lorenzo and passed a dog barking behind a fence. I was startled and walked faster. Lorenzo stopped me and said “The worst thing you could do is ignore a dog barking at outside of his home. All he wants is what we as humans desire, and that is to be acknowledged. The worst affront is to ignore his existence”.
Today, as I was cycling home from work, a dog ran along the fence and barked fiercely at me, the hair along his spine in high alert. I looked over at the junk yard dog, smiled at him and said “Hi Baby!”. The dog’s hair fell, his tail wagged, and he stopped barking but continued running along the fence with me although it now seemed happily. I guess we do all want to be acknowledged.
Four years ago I rode in Columbus’ first World Naked Bike Ride. We started at the bike co-op. Unlike later years Pedal Instead (which FYI are both super awesome organizations) wasn’t there to valet our bikes, we didn’t have a real planned path, or too much planned anything. Having not felt comfortable being nude on High Street, I wore a bathing suit bottom and sports bra, and had body paint around my abdomen and back that was supposed to look like animal print. It rained while we rode and was invigorating. I came home high on adrenaline.
This year, I’ve struggled with whether to go or not. I talked to my friend and journalist Aaron Cynic who covered the Chicago World Naked Bike Ride last weekend. I sought advice from him as he enjoyed the ride and kept a journalistic arms length distance. I love the World Naked Bike Rides but here in Columbus they have become associated with a group that I fear has encouraged gentrification with all the negative connotations. A group that participates in both institutionalized and overt class warfare.
Here in Columbus the ride is starting and ending at the same site that held the paint yourself as an Indian with small pox and drink whiskey at a “thanksgiving” party a few years ago. My objections to the party never gained apologies I was only ostracized as the dick who takes things too seriously. These same people throw up their arms in protest in “a hey can’t we just have fun” argument? Hells yeah we can have fun, but can we not do it at the cost of ousting a community or at least maybe have a discussion about it? Trust me I want to ride in the streets in my swimsuit and enjoy the carnival attitude of it all, but I can’t do it when it is hosted by a group of people who are racists. By racists I mean people who have done racist things, been called out on it, and continue to do it.
After much deliberation, I’ll reluctantly be bowing out from this year’s ride. Maybe you all need a talk with Andrew Ti.
Sunday, biked to the quarry with a group of triathlete friends for a practice swim followed by dinner at Lavash Cafe.
Monday, went to the Gateway movie theater for the free monthly movie put on SBB.
Wednesday, ran on a trail path for the first time followed by a refreshing swim in Alum Creek. Then with the friends who’d taken me for that run and swim got to have a fabulous picnic they put together. Lucky for me he is an amazing chef and she a gardener—that is to say it was a kick-ass fresh spread.
I know just last week I was complaining about Columbus, but it really is a great place, and I do have some awesome friends here. I’m looking forward to the summer.
The quote with this photo was:
“I love her randomness.”
“Tell me about a time she was random.”
“Three hours ago. I went to pick her up, and I found her double-dutching on the sidewalk with some kids. Then she went inside and came out wearing this.”
I made the stupid mistake of reading the comments with his post. People began to argue that the man meant spontaneous not random. I became angry, I think for two reasons; Men have often given me the compliment that they love me for my “randomness”, and I take pleasure in being random. It was almost an affront on the compliments I’ve received as if they hadn’t meant to give them—as if they had meant something else. Secondly, I think I view it in somewhat more mathematical terms.
Spontaneous implies an unpredictable reaction within a certain variable of situations.
Randomness implies reaction without logical probability in equally unpredictable unknown situations.
This is to say you are being spontaneous to run off with your friend at a drop of a hat to a new place for lunch, but this isn’t random. Random is to find you in a situation that would be completely foreign, almost unimaginable if you weren’t actually seeing it, and then reacting (perhaps with spontaneity within that situation). Spontaneity is saying yes let’s go to lunch when the phone rings. Random is coming home to find me having lunch while mud wrestling with members from Cirque du Soleil.