I want a rat. I’ve wanted a rat for weeks. That’s my deep dark confession. And when your loneliness and depression manifest in wanting a small rodent to hold, you begin to shamefully stalk rat-focused accounts on Tiktok. This behavior was soon accompanied by what I so lovingly call “rat-ravings”, in which I constantly exclaim my desperation to own one of these cute-rat-bois to anyone who will listen and yet I do nothing to work towards achieving this goal. Over the past few months what began as interest soon turned into an obsession. From constantly researching information about rats and owning them (did you know those motherfuckers conform to peer pressure?) to persuing local pet store websites. I couldn’t stop myself. It was an itch I had to scratch with VIGOR. You know you have a problem when you catch yourself planning where in your tiny ass apartment you can store a cage that will fit two rats so they don’t get lonely!
Until finally, one Sunday afternoon, I reached my breaking point. It was time. Upon waking and drowsily consuming the finest of culinary delicacies, a cinnamon Belvita Breakfast Biscuit, I realized that there was quite literally nothing stopping me from buying a rat today. I was an adult, with a fancy ass debit card. There would be no kind elderley woman cashier who was going to stop me and ask, “are you sure you want to do this honey? I don’t know if you’re mentally stable enough to care for the two rats you’re planning on naming Remy and Templeton”. Struck by this realization, I scrambled to get ready, foolishly dismissing my upcoming assignments like the true procrastinator I am. Hurling myself into my car with abandonment, I shoved the keys in the ignition and started the engine with a sense of finality. This was it, and there was no going back now. I was going to return to my apartment with rats or I was simply not going to return. I was prepared to scour the sewers and find my companions myself if I had to, whispering my secrets to them like Dr. Dolittle except female and deranged.
Driving with an intensity unmatched by Nascar racers, I zoomed to the local Petco just off of Williston Road, undoubtedly breaking a dozen traffic laws in my distracted state. How could I focus on the speed limit when I was about to fulfill my dream that I only came up with two months ago? Finally my expedition reached its climatic end, as I pulled into a parking space directly in front of the Petco. I could see the hamsters through the window, I could see them, and the rats had to be nearby! Like Odyessus, after journeying tirelessly for months and overcoming countless obstacles, I was home. Triumphant, I emerged from my beloved Ron (she’s a Chevy Cobalt and the sexiest woman alive) and stood standing at the entrance in wonder. I could see the cashiers inside clustered around one register, undoubtedly questioning why I was standing awestruck in front of a store that sells dog collars and fish food. They couldn’t have known that this was my moment of victory. Inside those automatic doors was the cure to all my anxieties, my heartbreaks, my defeats. Inside those doors were my two new best friends, the objects of my obsession, who would sniff and snuggle me to my heart’s content. I approached the entrance, my heart pounding with excitement, and promptly bumped into the automatic doors that had refused to open for me. Bewildered, I looked towards the workers, who stood and watched as I came to the realization that I was too late. It was 7:02, and the store had closed only two minutes ago. I had missed my chance, and there was nothing to be done.
Wounded to my core, I stumbled back towards my car, hopeless, lost, defeated. The rats would not be mine today. As I drove away, I knew that my obsession would only grow. Several weeks later, I am writing to you from the sewers of Burlington. Armed with my MacBook and exactly 21 Cheez-Its, I begin my journey towards rat companionship. I will only emerge when I have become the Rat Queen. Until then, farewell my friends, and curse you Petco, curse you!
Categories: moira mahoney, october 6, 2020, water cooler