Les souris qui me font du souci dans les nuits du bruit...

I returned for another Abbey Program Feb. 6. Moved in to my studio room on the third floor a few days later and so began the nights of not sleeping.

At first I thought it must be jetlag, that's all. But then my refrigerator started clanking around at odd hours of the night waking me from slumber. The first night it happened I walked over to it, to shook it around, looked inside to see where the noise was coming from, etc...found nothing. The sound happens every night, beginning around 11:30 and continuing sporadically throughout the darkness.

Let me describe this sound, because some of you are thinking: ignore it and go to sleep.

Imagine a glacier. And then imagine someone chipping away at this glacier piece by piece for a few minutes until a huge chunk comes rattling off. This sound, this is what I hear. And it is not a quiet sound. It is a huge echoing sound. it sounds like these icicles are tumbling down the back of my fridge.

I checked inside, and there's a thin layer of ice in the freezer, but that should be there, right? I shook the fridge around, hoping more of these icicles would fall and the sound would end, but that didn't work at all. Hmmmm....

Yesterday, during the daylight, I was preparing to boil some eggs (to go with my French mayonnaise, of course) and I heard a sound. Not THE sound, but A sound...so I opened the fridge, thinking I would catch a view of the glacier icicles falling while it happened. Instead, in a brief flash, something dark jumped out of my cereal box and ran down the back of my fridge. THAT'S WHEN I HEARD THE SOUND!

MICE! Or, in French, "souris".



[enter a variation of some stronger and more explicit choice words when this realization really sunk in]

The French word for something which brings you worry or concern is, "souci". The word for mice is "souris". Those of you who know me well will find it completely normal that I might mix these words up occasionally. So, during the host family meeting last night, without any time to worry about the army of mice living in my wall behind my fridge, I was telling a lovely French host mother about my discovery. I said, "J'ai des soucis dans ma chambre" (I have worries/concerns in my room".

She looked at me a bit puzzled.

So I thought, perhaps, I wasn't pronouncing something correctly. I repeated myself and still she looked confused. So I reenacted what a mouse might act like...and she laughed and said, "ooh tu as des souris dans ta chambre!"

Right...souris. "Oui, oui, j'ai des souris dans ma chambre et ils me fait du souci"! (Yes, I have mice in my room and they cause my worry/concern).

I haven't seen a whole mouse since the dash from my box of cereal, but I did see a tail hanging over the top of my fridge last night when I returned from dinner. At that point I took all my dry food and shut it up in my micro-onde (microwave) and went to bed. I heard the little buzzards just as I was falling asleep, but either I slept really hard after that or they didn't come out again when they realized there was nothing to eat.

Today, Matt, the property director, brought me some mousetraps. They are named, "souriciere LUCIFER". They look like an inverse guillotine created by the director of SAW whatever-number-they're-on-now. As grotesque as they sound, I don't have much faith in them.

It's not that I hate mice. I can live with mice - it's just the NOISE. If they would sleep when I sleep we'd have a perfect relationship. Heck, I might even leave them some food now and then.

So....this will be my adventure this semester: Jess et les souris qui me font du souci dans les nuits du bruit. I don't even know if that works but it rhymes.