It was probably a big death to the being who was personally involved, and I know that I tend to use the word little far too much as a descriptor.
And now I feel guilty because I'm the one that saw the streak of gray fur out of the corner of my eye, the wiggle of the inanimate paper grocery bag on the floor as though a tiny gust of wind came from behind the stove and shook the bag, surprising me. Had there been a chair handy, I would have jumped on it and shrieked, like in the cartoons.
I thought at first I had one of those optical migraines, where artifacts not real put themselves into our reality, and we believe in them even though they are entirely manufactured in our nervous systems.
How could a mouse run so fast? I thought I had imagined it. But still I got the heebie-jeebies, so The Boy did what he does best, being The Boy of the House. He bought several types of traps (the best kinds), loaded them with tiny bits of peanut butter (per the instructions) and then placed the traps on the floor, out of my line of sight.
So all this time I thought I had imagined that smooth gray swoosh, until this morning when I saw the tail.
And then he said jokingly, Tell me you're not really that much of a girl! Meaning that I had gotten all wussy on him, to which I freely admitted at that point, Yes, I am a girl. You have to throw this trap away!
In that instance, the mouse became an object. Life or the lack thereof no longer mattered. It's just a mouse.
And that thought made me feel brave, but it also made me sad – in a different way.
The old chestnut remains: the camera reveals, yet it also shields. How can one be engaged and remote at the same time?
How do we decide what we wish to see?