A Sideways Speech

by Caroline Kepnes

Everything is going wrong. I have a bladder infection and Avril Lavigne is married and I missed the scene in Wanderlust where Paul Rudd is in front of the mirror and that always makes me happy. I don't want to be happy anymore. It's too exhausting trying to be happy. Most everything is bad. At the pharmacy today, the woman sent me to the wrong line. I'm so jealous of Mila Kunis. I keep thinking about Virginia Madsen's monologue in Sideways and how I don't have a passion like that in my life. I don't like wine and plants and Northern California. And I can't sing but I can't remember what that has to do with it. So I thought anyone would get an exterminator and maybe this mouse was here for me, you know? Maybe the mouse came to help me. And you weren't there so you don't know how real it was. He was a normal guy. He had a truck. He was dressed. He came in, he got down on his knees and crawled around. He found mouse shit under my side of the bed. He said he could tell it's a girl mouse and he said she had made a home here. He said when girls make a home, they make a home. There was so much more. He explained that she could shit anywhere and how much it meant that she chose my side of the bed. He said we could poison the place for days and she'd only come back because when a girl mouse makes a home, she makes a home. And I wanted to give you a speech about it, about how the power of that mouse affected me, that you and I, giant humans, were moving because of her was just inherently kind of cool. Sometimes I picture this thing where Mila Kunis walks in the room and squeezes your hand, and you tell her you married the prettiest girl in the room even though Mila Kunis is in the room.

Caroline Kepnes

Caroline Kepnes is an author.