Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It is 3:30 a.m.  Sleep, once again, has come and gone and refuses to come again.  My eyelids, apparently, took leave of my face and are refusing to come back to take up the sentinel position over the delicate globes they are sworn to protect.  That could be because earlier, about 1:30 a.m., I frightened them into hiding.

Once you get a habit going they say it takes a full month to break it, and that might be true, but if the habit is getting up at the same time every night to pee, whether you really need to or not, that one is not so easy to break.  And one advantage to having to make that sabbatical in the wintertime is that creepy crawlers have burrowed down or just simply died due to the frigid temperatures.  I keep my house so cold at night that the creepy crawlers of the two- and four-legged variety won’t even sleep here willingly.

Spiders make me shudder.  Something about their crab-like disjointed spindly eight limbs and fangs the size of small swords just creeps me out.  But not to worry in the wintertime.  No spiders in the wintertime.  Safe in the wintertime.  Wrong.

I didn’t bother with putting my feet into my pink fuzzy bunny slippers…just going right across the hall.  Didn’t bother with the lights…this is my home where I’m safe and where I can walk through every room in the pitch dark and manage to step around every piece of clutter like I’ve been doing it my whole life, which I have. 

In the bathroom, even in the dark, I could see that something was laying on the floor.  I was in drowsy-state, but it appeared, even without my glasses on, to be a two-liter bottle cap.  Never mind that there was no reason for a two-liter bottle cap to be in the bathroom floor, but stranger things have happened in this house.  So I reached down and picked it up, which startled it.  Who knew that plastic bottle caps could run so quickly up your arm?  Who knew that I could scream so loudly that the Dachshunds would be roused from their sleep of the dead to bark crazily from their kennel? 

Really, I am not sure who was more startled, me or the bottle cap.  I was fiercely shaking my hand, reaching for the light switch with the other, and then wildly swatting at that eight-legged creature shaking like a leaf near my elbow, its eyes looking wickedly at me, panicked.  This was probably just the sort of scenario he had been warned to avoid his whole life and thought, “Oh, it would never happen to ME!”

By the time we had reached an understanding that he would keep his fangs packed away and I would stop trying to murder him so he could just wander quietly back to the basement and his hungry, loving family waiting for him, I no longer had to pee, but my eyelids had everted themselves up under my skull somewhere and have refused ever since to reappear. I brushed him off in the toilet and said, “If you manage to get out of there, you can go home.  If not, I’ll flush you in the morning.” Last time I looked the bowl was empty and I can only return to the bathroom armed with a can of Raid.  Nothing to worry about, though, most likely.  I am pretty sure that the trauma of the past few hours has driven him deep into hiding and his wife has already had to make an appointment with the Arachnid Psychological Center for intensive counseling.  Not sure if spiders have eyelids, but I am pretty sure if they do, he will not be closing his for a long time, either.

Yes, Virginia, there are spiders in the wintertime. 

1 comment:

Magpie said...

OMG - As another arachnid-fearing humanoid, I can totally not believe you survived this encounter. You picked a spider up and lived to tell the tale!! You looked into it's beady, alien-like multiple eyes and didn't swoon?? You're a hero of Mt. Olympian proportions...in regards to bravery - not size. (And no, that is not a short joke!!)I feel I must contact the Arachnophobia Society of Weenies and a holiday must be named in your honor. :)
All very tongue-in-cheek, but seriously I am terrified of spiders. Great story and thank you for not posting any photos!