He was driving home this morning very early after a long night of being awake. His mind was lost in a fog of fatigue. His car, from his swampy perspective (his mind sloshing around in his head), floated gracefully over the charcoal streets, darkened by the rain and twilight (not the books).
He was almost home when, due to the nature of the season, he saw a lone leaf skitter across, carried, it seemed, by the morning breeze, the road in front of him. He slowed to allow it time to avoid the tires, of which, floating car or not, he was aware.
His imagination, which often whisked him away whimsically whether he was interested or not, started imagining. In his mind there was a little mouse behind that leaf. There was a little mouse using the crumpled brown, paper-thin (leaf thin) leaf to guard itself against the oncoming traffic. The mouse actually believed that this dried out, brittle blanket could protect him from a thundering tire.
But wasn’t that like him? Wasn’t that similar to everyone? He protected himself with similarly foolish covers. He would veil himself with some thin, tattered mask, a delicate piece of fabric, but it wouldn’t keep him safe from emotional tires. Not only because it was too fragile a mask, but because the tires are so reckless and violent. Because drivers are careless. Just because they can’t see the mouse, the might still crush it.
And if his little mouse was strong enough. If that brown furry body with toothpick thick bones could carry a great stone or heavy rock along with him, he would still be crushed. But this time he would be crushed by the tire and the rock.
He felt the burden of his greater disguises, he could feel the weight of the suit of armour on his shoulders. He was able to stand against this foe with a clever layer of deceit and fiction, but it didn’t matter. The damage was greater than his lies. The hurt was more sinister and clever than that. It was very simple why.
The driver doesn’t see the mouse. The driver doesn’t see the leaf. The driver doesn’t know what its wheels are crushing. He couldn’t blame the driver. He knew there were times when HE was the driver. He’d hit the mouse. He’d crushed the bones and smashed the leaves.
Look out for the cars, little mouse, watch them as they pass and don’t let them crush you.