Yesterday, I drank a spider.
I should have seen this coming, really. Over the past several weeks, spring has made itself known here in Newcastle, and summer doesn’t seem to be far behind. I noticed it not in the sweet smell of warm sun on fresh grass, not in the onslaught of ripe red strawberries at the farmers’ market, nor in the whipping wind that sent sand flying into every fold of my ears.
I noticed it in the bugs.
First, it was flies. One fly became two, two became three, and I became vigilant about shutting the screen door again. Next it was spiders – daddy longlegs holding court in the corners of our bathroom ceiling. I grew tired of asking Jared to dispose of them and eventually relented to his claims that they’d help keep away the mosquitoes.
Because if there’s anything I hate, it’s mosquitoes, but they haven’t made an appearance yet.
Worse than spiders, though, worse than flies, and possibly – possibly – even worse than mosquitoes, is the third type of loathsome creature that has invited itself into our home.
I get the heebie jeebies just typing it. Yes, we have cockroaches. No, it’s not because we’re messy. Our building is old, and they nest (EW) in the walls. I saw two when we moved in, but nothing again until recently – a giant one on the back of our bedroom door (DOUBLE EW) that I forced Jared to attack and kill immediately. It seems that assuming the fetal position on the bed and moaning softly is a good tactic to convince your significant other that it’s easier to just kill the cockroach.
The mammoth roach was followed by a handful of smaller ones in the kitchen, all of whom escaped into a crack in the wall that is invisible to the naked eye. It’s either a crack or a portal to a horrible, horrible world that I want nothing to do with.
When I saw one crawl across our carpeted floor, it was the last straw.
We have since installed bay leaves and cockroach bait in various nooks and crannies. I’m pleased to announce that I vacuumed up the first dead one this afternoon.
But let’s get back to the spider.
Jared and I are kind of like the little girl in that alien movie with pre-ranting maniac Mel Gibson. I can’t think of the title. Anyway, the little girl leaves half-full glasses of water all over the house and her family nags her about it, but in the end her forgetfulness actually vanquishes the aliens. TAKE THAT FAMILY.
Real life doesn’t work that way.
I shuffled into the kitchen, picked up at random what appeared to be an empty glass, and filled it with water. I dropped a fizzy vitamin tablet inside and waited a few minutes for it to dissolve. Then I absentmindedly picked up the glass and took a sip while my attention was focused on scrolling through my iPad.
What’s that? I wondered. Something long and hard was on my lip, having ebbed partway in my mouth out of the glass.
Is that grass? Or some sort of herb?
I stopped drinking and inspected the liquid’s surface.
Huh, I thought. Several pieces of grass.
I reached in to remove the offending particles.
It’s weird how they’re all kind of stuck together in this central locationOHMYGOD IT’S A SPIDER I DRANK A SPIDER.
I pivoted and dumped the whole concotion into the sink, then spent several minutes spitting and making general noises of disgust.
So many questions came to mind, none of which I really needed to know the answer to. Did the spider crawl into the glass before I filled it? After? Did it drop onto my head while I was in the bathroom and ride all the way to its death in the kitchen? I don’t know.
I do know that I no longer trust the sneaky, sneaky creatures of Australia.