Monday, January 29, 2007

In the beginning there were...

mutant mice. That is how we are taught to begin our lives. Father is having a party and we must not disturb him and his friends as they laugh and drink merry in the kitchen. We are told to be quiet as a mouse. We go to Sunday School and are reminded we must be quiet as a church mouse. I have never seen a church mouse. They must be very quiet. We go to kindergarten and we are told to be silent (like a mouse?) and raise our hands if we wish to speak. The training has begun.

Life runs along at a sprinters pace but we think we are in a long, quiet marathon. All through our school years, in one social situation after another, in our work and even in our lovemaking, we are reminded by our training to be like mice. Lily Tomlin once said, "Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat."

A grown up mouse now and aging fast, I find my envy for a cat's life to be somewhat emancipating . Some folks, despite lines of thread our social fabric weaves around them, still romp deliciously naked through the park. Their soft fur glistens in the winter sun. They are the kitten cats of this world. They do not raise their hand and ask permission to dance in the falling snow. Their sly grin tells all- they have found the secret tonic of life and are drinking and spitting it out all over you and me. Oh for a drop of that elixir!

I want to write about them, about you, about me, about all the things we already know, and don't know why we know. The Japanese have a word for it. Well, sorta. It doesn't translate well- nantonaku- that which simply exists around us. A subtlety of nuances that glimmer like spirit bubbles through a haunted house. I am chasing them, and you, and everyone I love and a few I mostly admire.

So with deep respect for our cultural heritage, genetic underpinnings, and distinctive social cracker conditioning I offer, for your consideration, "The Mutant Mouse Chronicles." Enjoy the cheese.

bon appetit.

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