There are mice. There are mice that creep and crawl. They escape the light and find the shadows. At night they come out from their cracks and crevices. They hide from the sun during the day, and at night they creep out of their holes and scurry across the floor and up the bed posts. The kids lay awake, listening to the scurrying. But they can’t lay awake forever. They fall into uneasy sleep and are awakened when they feel the mice at their feet.
The youngest at the orphanage is named Miracle because Patrick and the rest at the orphanage considered it a miracle that she was able to come live with them. Now she has 47 brothers and sisters looking after her. She sleeps with the house mom, in the little room in the back of the house. The room that has a little tv that picks up a signal when the air is right. Miracle can’t speak for herself yet, so she cries to tell us that the mice are at her feet.
They are biting at her feet.
Patrick hears the mice as well and when he wakes up the next morning, he pulls out his laptop. He plugs his internet modem in and logs into hi gmail account. He finds me online and chats me. He tells me that the mice are still a problem. That there are mice biting the children as they try to sleep. I ask how we can help. What needs to be done? Some new cement maybe, or some traps. No poison.
Poison wouldn’t be good. I don’t have an answer for this,
I close my computer and put it away.
Sonja and I climb into bed. I lay down and Sonja asks me if we are going to pray. “O yea,” I say as I pull the brown journal out of our nightstand. I find the page we are on and write Wednesday at the top of it.
“Let’s pray for the orphanage tonight.”
“I was thinking that too,” I respond.
The kids at boarding school,
I ask Sonja if she will pray tonight. She prays and I hold her hand in mine and squeeze her hand when I really agree with something she prays.
She prays that the mice will go away-that they will just leave. I squeeze her hand and think about how ridiculous that sounds. But I want it so badly, so I squeeze her hand really tight.
We finish praying and we sit and I hold her hand for a little bit. I turn over onto my back and stare up at the ceiling.
“This is never going to be finished,” I say to Sonja.
“No it won’t be,” She says.
“But we’re not going to stop?”
“No, we won’t,” She says.
Sonja tells me to kiss her on the cheek, so I do. Then I reach over and turn the light off.
I feel my feet. I feel the organic cotton sheets that we got as a wedding gift. I feel the warm off-white comforter that we registered for at Crate and Barrel. I lay my head back on my pillow and think about the mice. I think about Miracle- about her feet.