The stiff, cold body of Mickey Mouse was found swirling in a weir of a local swimming pool, early Saturday morning. An expression of hopelessness was etched on the frozen features of his little mouse face. Silently telling a sad story of giving up. This shocking discovery was made by Tweety, a close family friend who’s been actively pursuing all kinds of leads to try and find out what happened to the famous mouse, after his disappearance two weeks ago.
It seemed Mickey paid the ultimate price for choosing a life of crime.
It’s common knowledge that the mouse family went through difficult times since Marvel and Pixar was bought by Disney. His public image diminished to almost nothing, relying on a few guest appearances at small shopping centers or trade shows. Boys preferred photo’s with Ironman, wanted to rub shoulders with the heroic Captain America. And girls, well they just didn’t want to Let it go.
Disaster struck their already fragile existence, when a recent fire destroyed their house and everything in it. To add insult to injury, claims have been made that the fire was caused by his own son, Walt, who allegedly smoked weed in the backyard. It’s just speculation, as the arson case is still under investigation.
This desperation made Mickey the rat of the underworld. Forced to a darker lifestyle to support Minnie and their three kids. He started stealing food. Became oblivious to the fine line separating right and wrong. Desperate mice do desperate things. It all came from a noble place. A drive to support his family, a desire to feed his crying children. Inevitably a choice that would destroy him, swallow him whole. A parody of his cousin, when he too was swallowed whole, but not by a life of bad choices, but by Puss-in-Boots, during that disastrous camping trip three years ago.
It didn’t take long after the news of his dead body surfaced, along with his actual, dead, body, for the rumors to run like a vermin infestation. Stories of passion and murder and betrayal. But the truth is never that glamorous. Mickey killed himself. And he did so by jumping into an ice-cold swimming pool, knowing very well he can’t swim. It seemed like the only logical answer for the many questions he had.
It did seem a tad odd and surprising for someone like Mickey, who’s always been a jovial family man, to resort to something as drastic as taking his own life, but Tweety found the proof in a final letter signed by the mouse himself. His last words were scripted on several gum wrappers, found behind a hiding place in the wall. It gives us a glimpse of the turmoil that was rampant in his mind. It showcases the last few days of a sad little rat. It was the last time he attempted to steal food.
When I left the shack two weeks ago, I never suspected that I wouldn’t return home. The scavenging became easy. The nightly run a breeze. But that evening they were waiting for me. I barely survived the altercation with the huge human father. It was in those fleeting moments of his hot pursuit that I knew I might not live to see another day. By some miracle of the Great Rat in the sky, I manage to get away, but in the frantic chase I slipped and broke my leg. It still remains unclear how I got to my hiding place on three legs. Unfortunately I knew that no-one would be able to find me. I always covered my tracks.
I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, broken and alone. My loneliness, who’s always been my friend, turned on me, betrayed me. My loneliness became my accuser. My judge. It condemned me to face the reality of my futile efforts at providing for my family. It highlighted the useless nature of my existence. My own thoughts were feeding on my will to live, devouring it. I was sucked into a vortex of depression and the quicksand of my miserable life didn’t allow me to get out.
I knew I would never be able to face Minnie, whom I always loved. I wouldn’t be able to greet my beautiful children without seeing the disappointment in their eyes when I have no food to offer them. My choices haunts me. I kissed the underbelly of rodent life and allowed it to suck me in. I lost myself, somewhere in my desperate need to take care of everyone. I tried everything and failed miserably. My life of crime ruined my reputation, my legacy, and my self-worth. It stole my life.
I know Tweety will step-up. He’s always loved you Minnie, maybe even more than I did. You probably know it already, which might explain why Junior is yellow and covered with feathers.
I loved you all. I loved life. I loved myself. But now, sadly, I don’t love anymore. I’m vermin.
It’s a cop-out, I know, but it’s the only one I have. Give my kids a hug for me. Goodbye cruel world.
And so we greet another icon of our entertainment industry who’s been taken away prematurely. Living (or rather dead) proof that we are the product of the choices we make. Our destinies are carved out of our own free will.
(I must admit, it does seem weird that Tweety only presented this revealing letter a full two days after Mickey’s body was recovered. And then there’s the mystery of Mickey’s whereabouts between the time of his disappearance and his ultimate death. And let’s not forget the little known fact of Tweety being able to copy almost anyone’s handwriting… But no, I’m not going down that route, besides I just saw Tweety holding and comforting a very emotional Minnie.)
Anyhow, RIP Mickey Mouse.