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  • Harry Jensen

March 16, 2021


There is snow on the ground, and it was Daylight Savings on Sunday. Everyone is lethargic. My coworker today told me that she doesn’t like saying good morning to me because it’s too early in the day to know if the morning really was good.

“It’s like saying “happy New Year” in June,” she explained.

Since every Happy New Year comes four days before the anniversary of my father’s death, she has an ally in me. Too soon is too soon is too soon to tell.

In the evening, I did some improv in the basement with my roommate and a friend from college. Our scenes were mainly about cheese and dads, which merged nicely with the therapy session I had directly beforehand. Internal Family Systems therapy involves exploring a set of subpersonalities, flushing out a cast of characters submerged deep in your subconscious, and letting them out to play. The part of me that wants to leave for Chicago is mournful and hermetic, leaning back in my chair and wailing, while the part of me which worries that I am an escapist narcissist whispers and hisses, hunched over and whittling conspiracies about why I am going to end up alone like a mad scientist amidst stacks of half-written treatises and crushed cans of La Croix. Improv is no different, except afterwards I pretend not to be the people who inhabited me and laugh off the little voices crooning at the tip of my consciousness.

It went well, but my standard is a bit off. Our last session, I was on the verge of tears when Forrest stopped our telehealth visit to catch a stink bug in a jar.

“I’ll release him later,” he assured me.

I have my own pests, and am unsure whether they will make it to the stage of release. I have been for months convinced that the identical gnaw-shaped holes in all of my bananas, potatoes, yams, apples, and pears were due to a tribe of fungi with an obsessive-compulsive disorder until yesterday morning.

I woke up at 6:00 a.m., which was secretly 5:00 a.m. due to the reshuffled daylight hours, and staggered into the kitchen to eat kratom and get to work early. Heading into the kitchen, I flipped on the lights and there it was, the beast. A mouse with long floppy beat stared back at me, hunched over the fruit bowl with ballooned cheeks. Staring at me for a moment, the brute soon fled behind the microwave, then scurried back across the counter to fling himself into the air before splatting on the ground and disappearing into a hole under the dishwasher. I was mortified.

It wasn’t the mouse so much as the indignance that infuriated me as I drove into downtown Minneapolis amidst a burning sunrise blooming in purple and red, resembling a hellscape of lavender and tulips. I have allowed these mice to persist in my household, but to know now that they and not some innocent patches of fungus have been pilfering my fruits and veg drives me to insanity.

I am now on an anti-mice vendetta, but I still believe in catch and release. I have heard tell of some kind of maze that eventually tightens and crushes the bones of any trespasser, but perhaps can I get something that does not pulverize little mammals into raw meatballs. Instead, I want to find a labyrinth that delivers my infestants into some kind of lavender-scented, bloody purgatory full of roaming stink bugs, unreachable half-nibbled roots vegetables with the tiny voices of self-critical monologues, and happy new year wishes in June. A true hell.


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