The other night, while sitting on the loo doing my business and flipping through my Costco monthly read (Yeah, I know, TMI…!), I discovered that I was not alone. Less than ten feet away from me, the largest spider known to man, silently peered back at me from its position on the wall behind the bathroom door. “Don’t panic.” I told myself. “Don’t run, it won’t hurt you.” I said. Although my eight grade science teacher would have me to believe that most spiders are harmless and deserve to live, my eyes weren’t seeing a harmless arthropod. What they saw was an eight legged creature ready to pounce from the slightest bit of movement.
Trapped in a room no bigger than a bedroom closet, I continued to sit frozen, too scared to reach below for my bedroom shoe, which I’m sure was too small of a weapon to take out the giant tarantula. But even more, I was too chicken shit to do it given the promise I’d made to myself out of guilt. “Never again, am I ever going to kill one of God’s creatures.” A promise I’d made a year ago after crushing my last insect.
Instead, I challenged myself to sit there and face my fear like the grown woman that I am. The same grown woman who works 50 hours or more a week to pay rent for the house that my long legged friend has decided to camp out in for an undetermined amount of time. And so after closing my magazine and slowly sliding it back into the magazine holder, I sat there and debated on screaming, which would alert my boyfriend who was watching video games in the next room of my distress. And if he were the one who put the spider out of its misery, then I would be off the hook. It would be he who would trap the poor creature beneath the sole of a shoe and he who would have to answer to PETA. Not me!
Several minutes passed and still I sat with jelly legs that had eventually gone numb as I participated in my very own version of Fear Factor. Too scared to move and too stubborn to scream. Left to my own devices, I ran through my list of options once more and added a few random ideas out of boredom. My mind eventually began to drift to the only logical reason anyone would need to face their fear of spiders in the first place. To survive a Zombie Apocalypse.
Seriously, the one thing worst than dealing with spiders is finding food when having to deal with zombies that will eventually eat everything with a beating heart, except spiders.
My creepy crawler friend was no longer the enemy, but a potential meal. My sit-in became training, an opportunity to learn about the prey. High in protein and a lot easier to kill without weapons unlike wild deer, it may be the only shot that anyone would have to survive.
And if you’re not brave enough to kill Bambi or too far gone to go off the deep end and rip out another man’s juggler with your bare teeth, then this may be the only way to not die of starvation. Facing my fear of the spider meant that I would have a chance of survival and could soon leave the confines of my tiny ass bathroom.
Brave enough to finally stand and clean up and ignoring the fact that the spider was now two feet from my face. I reached for the door knob and slowly turned the handle, saying “f-u” to fear and “hell yeah” to survival of the fittest. I felt like a bad ass. That is, until the spider freaked out and leapt from the wall as I attempted to pass. I let out a ‘screech of death’ as I jumped away from the door and into the bathtub where I took refuge. In a matter of seconds my boyfriend was a the bathroom door, taking in the scene, and wondering why in the hell I was hiding behind the shower curtain.
Looking down at the ginormous spider by his feet, he did the one thing that I had refused to do in the name of keeping my promise (well, only in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse.). He trapped it in a napkin and flushed it down the toilet along with my sympathy.
*A short story of absolutely randomness and an insatiable Walking Dead craving.