of mice and women                     

          12:01 PM          /             Posted by katie bradford         /                                 comments (0)                           

last night, i spent the night at my sister’s apartment. she and her boyfriend headed down to florida today for a mini vacation, and she wanted me to apartment and hedgehog sit, so i needed to pick up her keys. i came down, she and rod had made pork chops, and the three of us sat around and chatted through dinner, then went to bed fairly early.

i always sleep in the cozy little room off the kitchen, on a futon. i had trouble falling asleep, probably because i’m not used to the noises her apartment makes, and i’m always concerned a ghost will come through the wall. come 1am in the morning, i’ve finally fallen asleep. i’m lying on my back, probably drooling on myself, when all of a sudden something crawls through my hair onto my collarbone.

i sit bolt upright, halfway into a full-blown panic attack, sending blankets in all directions. by the time i’ve gathered my wits and am able to stop gibbering senselessly to myself, whatever it was is gone. i cautiously lie back down, facing the room with my back to the wall (which is how i normally sleep so monsters can’t creep up on me), and wait for the *thing* to come back. nothing happens for a few minutes, and i’ve finally started to relax, when i hear it:

scratch, scratch, scratch.

horrified, i slowly,

s l o w l y

peer over the side of the bed. there is a small, dark shape scaling the edge of the sheet that is hanging down off the bed, climbing toward me, faster and faster, my obvious terror driving it to reach higher, higher, higher! i let out a yelp, give the sheet a brisk shake, and the *thing* falls away, and scurries off to plot under the futon.

mustering all my bravery, i climb out of bed and turn on the light. peering down under the futon, i see it: a small brown mouse, with bright red eyes, staring at me. i’ve no great fear of mice; i like them a lot, actually. i think they’re cute. but there was something a bit menacing in the way this one met my gaze. i must have unknowingly initiated a staring contest, and it just sat there, staring, completely fearless.

it was obvious quite quickly i wasn’t getting anywhere, so i gingerly climbed back into bed, and spent the rest of the night tossing and turning (with the light on, of course) waiting for the little monster to sidle up noiselessly and bite me on the neck.

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                        just the cup, please                     

          7:03 AM          /             Posted by katie bradford         /                                 comments (0)                           

i have a fetish for take-out coffee cups.

when i was younger, i fixated on men and women i'd see strolling to work, take-out coffee cups in hand, full of long strides with tailored jackets and polished shoes.

i knew even then, when i was old enough to buy my own coffee, it would mean i'd arrived. i, too, would join the ranks of these young professionals - really going places, brashly building my own future, fierce and fearless and fabulous.

you'd think i'd have stepped out of such silliness by now, but i can't let it go. it's like magic, the way that sippie-lidded paper cup transforms you. one moment, i'm working part time with absolutely no idea what i'm doing with my life - the next, i'm bold, brilliant, and well on my way to being the next donald trump.

i harbor no illusions. i realize this obsession with take away coffee is ridiculous, yet i still find myself hoarding the cups, using them over and over again with the tea bags i keep stashed in my purse, pathetic in my need for the powerful aura which surrounds that flimsy paper cup with its thoughtful cardboard sleeve.

fancy coffees frighten me. i don't want to order a triple soy latte with three pumps of caramel macchiato and a dash of espresso-flavored foam. i am afraid the counter person will lean over, fix me with a beady eye and know, with the gut instinct of a natural born coffee afficianado, that i'm a fraud. no, i keep it simple.

the second i hand over my cash, i retreat to the side, watching the greedy brutes who approach the counter, silently warning them to keep their hands off my paper cup. i wait for that 2/3rds full chai tea latte which will transform me into the most put-together, efficient, and successful person in the world.

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