On Wednesday last week, Jared and I went out to dinner. We sat by the water and had the best Thai food in the Southern Hemisphere, even if it was so hot it made my nose run and gave him the hiccups. Afterwards, we returned home. I was in the hallway, Jared was in the bedroom.
“Hello, Spider,” I heard him say.
Great. A spider. In Australia, the land of Deadly Beasts and Things That Can (And Will) Kill You. In my bedroom.
“What was that?” I said, coming into the room and scanning it for creatures of Amazonian proportions, with more than the requisite eight legs and perhaps two heads with matching sets of dripping fangs.
“Oh, just a little spider,” he said casually. “Over there, on my nightstand.”
I crept over to have a better look. Jared seemed pretty unaffected by it, so it must be small.
“A little spider?” I shrieked. “Get it out, please.” I backed up against the wall on the opposite side of the room and slid, Bond-style, back to the safety of the hallway.
It was spread out across the base of his bedside lamp, so large I could see the bristles on its thick legs (of which there seemed to be no more than eight). To my horror, Jared moved towards it with his bare hands, as if he was going to pick it up.
If it had been me and the spider alone in the room, the catching of the spider would have been an elaborate procedure, involving upturned bowls and extreme proportions of spray deodorant. But here was Jared, trying to catch it like it was a kitten.
I had visions of him catching it, then holding it towards my face as an unfunny joke, me screaming, it jumping into my mouth, me dying of fright, spider crawling off, chuckling in victory.
I took refuge in the bathroom and waited a few minutes.
“Couldn’t get it,” he said, striding past the open door.
This wouldn’t do. I went to the kitchen and got a medium-sized plastic salad bowl. I took my weapon to the room and crouched on the bed. There was the spider, having returned to his perch on the lamp. This made things difficult. I couldn’t just cover him with the bowl because he wasn’t on a large enough flat surface, he was on the raised lamp base. Where was the deodorant?
Jared came into the room and caught me with a bowl in one hand, straining towards the edge of the bed in an effort to reach the deodorant on the dresser without losing sight of the spider.
“What are you doing?”
“Seriously, please get the spider. I can’t sleep with him in here.”
A hard-done-by sigh. I moved back to the bathroom until I heard the sounds of bare feet on the floor and the back door sliding open and closed.
“Gone,” he said.
I tentatively inspected the bedroom. No spider.
That night, I dreamed that I found the spider under the bed, where he had doubled in size. In my dream, I accused Jared of lying. “I knew it! You said you took it outside but you lied!”
“What was I supposed to do?” Dream-Jared protested. “It was the only way to keep you quiet about it.”
I told real Jared about my dream in the morning.
“That’s funny,” he said. “I didn’t take it outside. Couldn’t find it.”