The Rat


A rat ran or rather, waddled, right across the kitchen floor. It stopped and looked at me before it ducked under the cabinet. It was disgusting. I wanted to move out of that old house! With my minimum wage job, moving was out of the question. I thought, “Well, I’ve got to trap that rat!”

That night, I dreamed that there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, there was a rat. The rat was the size of a full grown man and was wearing a t-shirt. It seemed as though he was there as my date, because I invited him in and set out some cheese and crackers.

I had not dated anyone since my boyfriend had moved out, or rather, since I threw him out. I’m not sure which it was, there was so much arguing. He just packed some things and left. I boxed up the rest of his junk and set it all out on the porch. That was three months ago and the boxes are still there. Since then, I've seen him around town but we have not spoken.

In the dream, the rat just sat on the sofa and nibbled at the cheese and crackers. I sat on the chair next to the sofa and watch his little hands and paid particular attention to his claws. I remember thinking, “he’s not so bad looking.” In spite of his dark piercing eyes, he had a friendly face and seemed quite gentle. I wasn’t thinking of him as a rat at all. He had become my date in the shape of a rat. Now he was sitting there with his legs crossed and he was complimenting me on the excellent cheese. I told him it was goat cheese that I purchased at the farmer’s market. He raised an eyebrow. I could tell, he was impressed. I was pleased that the date was going so well. He took a napkin and wiped his mouth, smiled and with his little hand, patted the sofa cushion next to him.

Then suddenly we were in a car. There was a driver, we were in the back of a limousine. We were going to a party. There were soft amber lights and champagne. I was nestled with the rat. His little hand was on my leg and I could feel his claws. His breathe was warm against my neck and I felt his whiskers in my hair. It was exciting and seemed dangerous. Then we were at the party. There was loud music and rats were everywhere, they all had t-shirts and I was the only woman. I looked around and I couldn’t find my date. A rat handed me a chicken bone that had a little meat left on it. I suddenly realized that this party was in my kitchen!

When I woke up, I laid in bed and thought about the dream. After I was dressed I tiptoed to the kitchen and there was no sign of the rat. I took a piece of cheese from the refrigerator and spread it on a cracker. I slid it under the cabinet where I had watched the rat disappear the night before. It was just a piece of cheese and a cracker.

05/31/2017 © Don Lehman