There’s a mouse in the wall and it’s chewing at the wood. The mouse doesn’t mind if I bang there, get up out of bed, and pound around its whereabouts. It pauses between my banging sometimes then starts again, chewing. Other times, throughout my own noises, it keeps chewing on the wood. I’m not even sure if it’s joists or rafters it’s after, but after all, to a mouse I suppose it’s all the same. I want to kill this mouse and can’t so I get up; it’s long before five in the morning, long before even my dreams having finished dreaming for the night. They must have been somewhere between fretful and fitful to have been awakened so easily. I can’t even imagine why the mouse is chewing there. It’s only wood. And what good is that, even to a mouse? There are no seeds, no food, anywhere. I buried the sack of sunflower far away from even my house where neither bluebirds singing nor black bears sifting through the brown forest leaves will ever find them. I put them there despite my fondness for both. I had thought: maybe this once, maybe this one time out of an entire sack of seed a single stalk with a giant yellow bloom in summertime will grow, before the cut-worm gnaws the seedlings down in the dirt. I’d like to think it possible but rather doubt it. Still, this little creature working its little mind away for no apparent and no particular purpose, it would seem, has stirred a little poetic vice in me that I have known. And I’d prefer, though I am sleepy yet, to be knocked away by some interrupting stranger, a little beast of any kind will do, or a sheriff’s hand at worst, to be alone before all this gleaming blackness, than slipping off one day into the night.
There were places to go in the hinterland. Temples in Moscow to see. All sorts of commotion. Out West, down a dirt driveway he’d parked in once, an old brown rusty thermal swimming pool to swim and relax in. All those monkeys. A shoebox, a complete worldwide zoo of chatter, full of noises and sounds and flies buzzing. There was of course Joyce, a noise-maker par excellence. Well, the Burmese position is a semi-stable one, and well-suited to a chap like him. And, hell, he’d been trained by training’s best, a good solid guy from Long Island who’d tripped a hundred times before taking his vows. Anything in this vacant world is possible now. Even as he’d had a shot with a ball last night and from an impossible distance watched it go downcourt and make an imperceptible swoosh which through the net he did not see. There was only the silence of the aftermath and him standing and all the other people around just being people around being people, and him just standing there. Picture living the lucid life of that when prodded by the sun’s little paws at dawn he wakes from his nightly sleep.