Jeremy sighed. He spoke to the reticent rodent. “Drinking partners, you and me.”
Over those first few sips of coffee he tenderly lifted the fury, gray mound out of the puddle of whiskey. Dried him off with the corner of a chintzy Job Lot napkin. Offered the little fellow sips of cold brew from his shot glass. Brought his whiskers to a fine quiver. He observed the sluggish pupils. Thinking it not right even for a mouse. It took some doing to return the shine back to the vermin’s eyes. The protein of a few crushed sunflower seeds, and yet more coffee.
Jeremy grumbled to the mouse, “Guess a hang-over is a hang-over no matter your size.”
By and by over the course of the blue-hour dawn Jeremy and little Gray stumbled to life. Jeremy needed to get to work. He donned his dusty old work jeans, a torn tee shirt. Laced into his steel-toed boots. Snatched a wedge of Dave’s apple pie from the stovetop, a gallon container of water and headed for the door.
The faintest screech arose from the Gray in his dingy corner. Jeremy looked. He now saw the whiskered pest at his heels.
“Dammit Gray. I can’t stay here with you. I need to make a living.”
Another screech while the mouse raised its twiggy front legs, pleading.
Jeremy didn’t have the heart. He scooped the Gray up and placed him into the worn out hip pocket of his tired old jeans.
“You stay in there, now Gray. I’ve got work to do. We’ll come home after work and a couple of continuing ed. classes. We’ll have a good time then, Gray. You know we’ll have a good time then.”
Inside Jeremy’s pocket, Gray curled up into a warm, furry ball. Gray, with mischief on his mind, could wait this one out.