I returned to my Italian home late last night from hiking Cinque Terre. Enzo graciously saved dinner for me: bread, fresh vegetables drizzled in olive oil, and bananas soaked in sugar and wine for dessert. Donatella and I sat at the kitchen table, watching Italian TV, talking about our days, how much we love Lady GaGa, why Michael Jackson died, and about the nude beaches I’ll most likely encounter in my upcoming trip to Greece.
“Voy a cafe?” She said. Of course, a nice little cup of Italian coffee would hit the spot, thank you very much. I had just taken a cool shower and I was feeling clean and full and sleepy. It was late and I had to get up for class early the next morning so I ran to get my homework and she went into the living room to grab the laundry while the coffee heated on the gas stove.
Suddenly, I heard Dona shriek. She’s a loud person in general but this was LOUD. “EEEEEKKK POTTY, POTTY WHERE YOU, POTTY COME!!!!” I dropped my art history papers and ran across the courtyard in my bare feet and skidded across the flagon floors to stop in front of the living room.
She crouched on a little antique chair that’s decades old and quilted by Enzo’s great great great grandmother. I was shocked to see she stood in her bare feet–Italians never have bare feet in the house–it’s considered an insult. Dona will walk around without a stitch on her body but she always wears shoes. Her shoes lay in a pile at the foot of the large dark wood mahogany?) bookcase.
“ITS A MICE POTTY!” No worries, I said, a mouse doesn’t scare me. So I came over, helped her down and she ran out of the room with the laundry. Apparently she tried to kill it by throwing her shoes at it…? It definitely wasn’t dead. I got down on my hands and knees and started opening the doors of the bookcase, not knowing exacting what to expect, but fearless nonetheless.
Dona poked her head around the door frame and watched me listen to the little tiny chewing noises inside the bookcase. She stepped further into the room slowly until she was standing behind me. “Is it behind?” She asked in a scared whisper. I’ll check, I sad. So I squished my face against the wall and pushed my eyeball right into the crack only to see this little furry nose inches away from mine and little beady eyes staring right back. I screamed. The mouse scampered up the bookcase. Dona screamed. And then I screamed because she screamed.
We both bolted from the room until we worked up enough courage to find some traps and cheese. Then I (“brave Potty” as she called me) went back inside with Dona (who was wearing rubber gloves and stayed far behind me) to put down the little plastic death traps.
The first time, the trap activated snapping at both of us and Dona screamed again. I could still hear the mice (probably two or three of them) climbing around and chewing the books and pictures. We set up two traps with a nice hunk of provolone cheese and shut the doors tight.
I convinced Dona that she would be okay and that no they couldn’t climb up her bed because they were totally closed in the bookcase. We went to bed and this morning when I woke up she said she made Enzo check the traps only to find both pieces of cheese gone and no a sign of a dead mouse anywhere.
“This really piss me off,” said Dona. “Today I buy the paper with the glue, how do you say in English, sticky? I hate mices.”
So I guess tonight, with the addition of the sticky paper, will tell. Dona, fearless in all aspects of life, can’t handle mice. I guess it makes me feel less guilty about being terrified of heights or spiders or small spaces or smelly feet… mhmm brave potty not so brave now.