Peanut Butter Bait

Briston set up the traps months ago, baiting the mice with pinches of peanut butter.

“It’s best to leave the peanut butter on before setting the trap,” he said, “that way the mouse gets use to it and doesn’t expect the snap.”

We had just moved into a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor of a rowhouse in downtown Baltimore. Even though we’d been dating for two and a half years, more than half of that was long distance. Once I graduated with my MFA, Briston made the move from Orlando to Baltimore to give the relationship a real shot.

“That’s fine,” I told him, referring to the mouse trap, “as long as I don’t have to clean it up.”

Two years prior when I lived in a basement apartment north of the city, I had my first encounter with a mouse. He scared me when I turned on my bedroom light, and he ran out from under my bed.

A few days later I was sitting in the living area on the flower-printed couch, donated by a previous tenant, reading a book. I had set a similar peanut butter trap, at the suggestion of my roommate.

It was 9pm, and he scurried out from behind my bookcase against the wall across from me. He sniffed around my TV stand and ignored the peanut butter. Then disappeared down the hall. I didn’t scream or fret. As much as I don’t like living with other things, I live under the philosophy, “if you don’t bother me, I won’t bother you.” Continue reading