I’ve been having trouble sleeping, well, almost all year. Which isn’t overly surprising as I have been an insomniac off and on since I was 16. But in the past several years it hasn’t bothered me at all, so when it hit hard earlier this year I had forgotten most of my coping strategies, and the ones that I did remember weren’t working. So it’s been back to the old drawing board with lots of trial and error. That trial and error has finally come to fruition, and for the past week and a half I have actually been sleeping. Whoo-hoo! Until last night.
Last night I found myself in the middle of this god-awful dream that had snakes, and more snakes and crocodiles all along this path that I had to walk. It was like the Wizard of Oz Australia edition. And right as I was about to completely lose my shit I woke up to see this gigantic spider crawling across my pillow straight toward my face. This was not a dream. Real spider on my real pillow and now I did lose my shit. I screamed one of those soundless screams and flailed wildly. The result of this flailing was that Bubba got kicked in the head and the spider got spooked and started to crawl up the wall. At which point I looked around frantically for something to smash it with, but being in bed I had nothing. Before I could think better of it, I reached out to smash the damn thing with the palm of my hand.
I think it must have been mid-smack when my brain finally broke through the haze and screamed, “What are you doing idiot! That thing is the size of quarter!” Well, by this time it was too late to reverse the momentum, so I redirected it and smashed my hand into the wall right next to the spider . . . At which point it either fell back down into my bed, or scuttled away so quickly that I didn’t see it. Obviously, I assumed that the damn thing was back in my bed. I froze. Maybe if I just stayed very still it would crawl its way back up the wall, we could part company and never speak of the incident again. No such luck, and I gave the little fucker plenty of time. So I gingerly started moving my pillows one by one, in the hopes that when I did unearth it, it would crawl across my hand. I eventually got through all of the pillows and even pulled the blanket back a bit, and no spider . . . anywhere. Not on the wall, not on the bed, not anywhere. Fuck.
It was at this point that I figured I had three choices. 1 – Eradicate with fire. Burn down the entire apartment. 2 – Abandon all belongings and find somewhere else to sleep for the night. 3 – Suck it up, assume that it has crawled away in fear, and go back to bed. Number one got ruled out, because I’m pretty sure that my renter’s insurance won’t cover destruction from spider eradication. Number two got ruled out because the living room was still hella hot, and while I can sleep fairly comfortably in the back of my car, there was no way that 75 pounds of puggle and me were going to be able to sleep in the back of the car. So that left option number three. Suck it up, and go back to sleep. I was not a fan of this option, but reminding myself that I am indeed an adult, and I had to get up in a couple of hours for work, I sucked it up . . . after building a pillow wall and moving to the other side of the bed.
Now here’s the problem with this solution. Several months ago I rearranged my room with the end result being that a shadow box filled with tchotchkes hangs partially over one side of my bed. Instead of going to the trouble of rehanging the box, I simply sleep on the other side of the bed. That way, in the event of an earthquake, I don’t get beaned in the head with a tchotchke. So my option was sleep on the spider’s side of the bed, or possibly get beaned in the head. Obviously, I chose the possible head injury route, and settled myself down to sleep.
However, at this point, I am not only awake, but my brain is on full alert. That’s when a horrifying thought hit me. What if that spider has a vindictive side, and is waiting for me to fall asleep so he can come tap dance across my face, and explore the inner workings of my nose and ears. Which is ludicrous, spiders aren’t intelligent enough to be vindictive. But at 3 in the morning, feeling a little shell-shocked, that seemed like a perfectly plausible scenario. I feigned sleep for a bit, then would look really quickly to see if he was making his move. He never did, and this got old really fast.
Then I realized, what’s the point in having dogs if they won’t protect you? So I grabbed Bubba, and repositioned him between me and the wall of pillows. He was not a fan of this plan, probably still disgruntled over being kicked. So I grabbed Zoey, which I should have done in the first place, after all she chases spiders and eats them for fun. She was perfectly amenable to this plan, as long as she got to sleep on my pillow, above my head. I was finally able to fall asleep for a bit before my alarm went off. I still have not seen hide nor hair of that stupid spider again. He’s probably set up residence in my new memory foam pillow and is selling timeshares to his buddies.
Needless to say, I don’t think I’m ever going to sleep again.