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The second season of The Good Wife had started shooting; life was about to get very busy.  Between my regular NY hustle and battling the thieving squirrel, I needed a break.

Off to Mexico! I studied in Guadalajara in college and now go back regularly; it’s my second home.

 

It was Friday night and I still hadn’t packed for my 6:30 A.M. flight. Unfortunately, it was also Fashion Week. The streets were congested with scores of jaded, old and giddy young models; I had to leave Manhattan and get home to Brooklyn. Spent, I entered my apartment.

The first thing I saw was a fat rat. Scared shitless beneath my windowsill, it ran under the stove. If I could’ve screamed, I would’ve let loose like a hurt five-year old.

Disgust stilled my voice. I had a task at hand, but didn’t feel comfortable with the man-sized, ‘Splinter’, in my apartment. If you don’t know who ‘Splinter’ is, you’re too young and I’m too old. I jetted into my bedroom and shut the door behind me.

I packed fast and lean, and split. I slept the whole flight to Mexico. After a week of sun soaking and underground-cave swimming, I prepared for my return.

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The day before, I plagued the landlord with phone calls about the rat and squirrel from the week prior. He promised to have an exterminator at the apartment, before I got back. I felt better. I landed at JFK and jumped on the A-train.

As it approached my stop, my bloodlust was ramped up by my indignation. I wanted the rat dead, his family dead, and his dog dead! I was ready to end the little bastard’s nasty, diseased-filled life with my boot heel.

Walking through my door, I saw two things: empty traps and the side of something black rushing behind my dishes into an undisclosed crevice. Without skipping a beat I walked into my bedroom and stacked boxes of records at my door, blocking the gap.

I watched the door for the rest of the night. Images of a thick-tailed rat danced on the walls of my mind. In my delirium, I wondered if the squirrel and the rat were in collusion. I heard the rodent rubbing against my belongings, heavy and unafraid, then, a light “thud”. I listened anxiously for a sign.

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Movement meant the rat was alive and stuck on a sticky trap, nothing, meant it was dead. After five minutes of dead silence, I exhaled. Two minutes later, I heard movement. I resigned to deal with the stuck rat in the morning.

When the sun came up, I timidly walked into the cold daylight of my living room, scouting the dead. Scattered like snowflakes were a dozen pieces of paper around an

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