I'd love to be sleeping right now, but I've entered that wretched land of high anxiety known as "the spider watch." This miserable state of affairs occurs when I've had the heartbeat-skipping jolt of suddenly seeing a spider in my vicinity, and then not being able to find it after my shrieks have brought a suitable spider assassin (usually J.) to my side. Over the years, I've trained myself to go to sleep if the spider is on the other side of whatever square footage I'm in. But tonight it is right outside the master bedroom door, hiding in a crevice of the blinds. No sane person could be expected to sleep in these conditions.
Unfortunately, seeing a spider at all tends to trigger a post-traumatic spider stress disorder episode, thanks to some very disturbing incidents in my past. The earliest one I remember is when I was eight years old. I had a light pink jewelry box with red hearts on it and a beautiful ballerina in a tutu on top, who danced when you wound a little key on the side. One early morning I climbed down from my bunk bed and discovered a spider lurking in its web, which it had stretched between my lamp and jewelry box. After some screaming, my dad came and killed it...or so it seemed. I climbed back up in my bunk bed, crawled back under the covers and lay on my stomach reading a book.
Suddenly the words near the bottom of the page seemed to move. I looked down to see the spider run across the page FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP WHICH MEANS IT WAS IN THE BED WITH ME. Somehow I arrived outside my bedroom door within the next two seconds without any broken bones, but with my bladder twitching in terror.
I ran into the bathroom and sat down to pee. As I relaxed, I thought I felt something tickle my butt and convinced myself I was just being skittish. But no! When I stood up and turned around to flush, there was the spider sitting on the toilet seat. I am not making this up.
O.M.G. It has just occurred to me that when I glance down while typing this, the spider could be sneaking out of the blinds and creeping across the floor toward me. No more stories tonight. Maybe tomorrow if the spider doesn't kill me in my sleep, assuming I can sleep at all.