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Of Mice and Men



An early evening mouse jumped on top of my stove and then disappeared under the refrigerator. My scream was polite while my heart rate surged. Stunned and frightened by this little creature, I called the pest control company the very next morning.


Matthew, a tall elegant exterminator, stepped into my apartment with a graceful posture.


“Good morning, Rabbi. So good to meet you. May I take a look around?”


After shining his flashlight in cupboards and under appliances he announced that I did not have an infestation.


I found his words encouraging, but not completely reassuring, until he spoke his prophetic words.


Matthew, the exterminator, sat opposite me on the floor where the mouse had scurried by and, like a buddha with a dharma to share, he explained his unscripted story about life, calamity, truth, beliefs and betrayal.


Dressed like an ordinary man with a dark green fleece and camper shoes, he was articulate and thoughtful.


Did I call about a mouse or did I really need a preacher?


Both his words and his demeanor took me by surprise like the mouse before him.


Of mice and men.


How did this mouse attract this man to me?


“I have been reading scriptures to find out what I believe in. Because I know for sure what I learned when I was five and six and seven was not what made sense to me.  I had to relearn and reread and re-think 30 years of other people’s beliefs and admonishments.  I am now clear of bias  and dissonance. I am my own mind. My own mentor. My own messenger.”


“I should probably pay you,” I interjected.


“Oh, no." He said,” I should pay you for listening so deeply.”


He stepped out of my apartment as elegantly as he had entered.


Of mice and men. 


Who else did I expect, when the world shows me time and again; expect the unexpected. 

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