This Mouse Drowns by Mercury-Marvin Sunderland

Rain drops sliding down window
Rainy Day by Nicholas Erwin. CC license.


The sound of rain.

It gently taps on the roof. The blinds are closed, but you can see that outside there are a few other

green apartment buildings surrounded by an evergreen forest.

The branches are dotted with white frost that can be mistaken for snow. But it’s not snow. It just

looks exactly like it.

You pull up the blinds just to make sure. No, it’s not snow. On the forest floor below you can see

great big puddles welling up over dead leaves.

The rain starts slowing down. It stops. The world is wet but that’s just what you’re used to. You

drink your morning coffee from your calico cat-shaped mug. At the bottom of the mug there is a

little ceramic mouse waiting for the end of your caffeine.

It’s a really cool mug. You got it from your old roommate who couldn’t keep everything when

they moved out. You liked that roommate, even though they were only there for a few months

and you can’t even remember their name or gender.

Every time you drink tea, this mouse drowns. Every day you slather this guy in honey and tea or

coffee and creamer. It’s the hot coffee in cold mornings and the honey sacrificed for religious

rituals and the slow chamomile for bedtime.

Your body is filled with the ADHD tired rush of sugar and caffeine. You’ve been taking too

many naps lately and it’s been destroying your sleep schedule.

You have to go to work at the movie theater in just two hours. You finished your finals recently

and are currently filing a Title IX case. Lately you’ve been drinking your weight in tea and

coffee and go to bed so angry and anxious that you keep going back to edibles even though you

told yourself you really needed to cut back on the weed.

You ignore the cramping in your uterus area even though it’s literally so painful that you can feel

both of your ovaries. Having PCOS isn’t fun when you are a trans man who has so much bottom

dysphoria. You grab your over-the-counter painkillers—two extra strength Tylenol tablets and

two Ibuprofen circles. You rest them in your mouth as you fumble with your water bottle and

drown these pills down.

Make sure to throw your head back like that so it goes down your throat.

Last night you burned three entire sticks of lemongrass incense and one stick of frankincense and

the whole room still kind of smells like that. You used to burn incense every day but it turns out

that makes you slowly lose the ability to smell it.

There is no rain sound from outside. The grass is wet and there is mud.

It is time for work soon. So you will grab a stick of gum and your backpack filled with needs and

head outside.

Mercury-Marvin Sunderland
Mercury-Marvin Sunderland (he/him) is a transgender autistic gay man with borderline personality disorder. He’s from Seattle and currently attends the Evergreen State College. He’s been published by University of Amsterdam’s Writer’s Block, University of British Columbia’s Decomp, UC Davis’s Open Ceilings, UC Riverside’s Santa Ana River Review, and UC Santa Barbara’s Spectrum. His lifelong dream is to become the most banned author in human history. He’s @RomanGodMercury on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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