Saturday, June 21, 2008

The secret spider cabal

I swear they stay up at night, smoking cigars, groping waitresses, and thinking up ways to get me.

I have sleeping issues. BIG sleeping issues. Like, I can almost never fall asleep when I'm supposed to or when I want to. This is not usually a problem; I can sleep in as late as I want to, but it would be nice not to be on a noon-4am schedule.

Once I'm asleep, nothing on this green earth can wake me except my crazy dreams, James or a meteor through the roof. Maybe.

But then, during the day, I can sleep anytime, anywhere (but those daytime naps, oh my gosh, I have the weirdest dreams). I could probably sleep hanging by my heels from a spider-filled tree.

Except not in a car. Can't sleep in a car. Not even after ten straight hours of driving through Wisconsin, Minnesota (with the roads that go whumpa whumpa whumpa and all but rock you to sleep), and part of South Dakota, and I'm so fried my tongue is hanging out of my mouth, and my eyeballs transform into sandpaper.

When I'm trying to get to a sleepy point sometime before dawn, it just never comes, and it never comes and then WHAM I'm out. This happened last night (this morning--around 4:30, to be precise). So I got up from my *computer and went into the bathroom. Even if I don't have to use the bathroom before bed, I do it anyway. Otherwise I'll have to roll (yes, roll... and grunt, and heave, since I can never sleep in positions that are conducive to getting out of bed easily) myself out of bed in twenty minutes rather than thirty. And those ten minutes are precious to me.

Well, here I am all sleepy-like. Delicious sleepiness. I love being sleepy. Here I am, and I walk into the bathroom, and my eyes light on something in the bathtub. My eyes are sleepy. My glasses lenses are scratched. I can't see real well.

So, just to be sure it's not what I think it is, I get a little closer and, oh yes, it is what I think it is. A spider. Chillaxin' in my tub. She's no Shelob, not by a long shot, but girl definitely gets her snacks, if you know what I mean. I can't just drop a shoe on her because (a) we all know how that turned out last time and (b) she's chillin' on the wall of the tub, not the flat bottom. I can't throw anything at her because if I miss, she will jump straight out of the tub and land in my hair and bore a hole into my skull through one of my hair follicles. And feast on my nummy brain.

Calling on my spider knight is out of the question, since he's sound asleep and has to wake up in two hours. I do entertain this idea, but realized that by the time I wake up him and convince him to help me and not be angry, the spider would have gone somewhere else to hide until I take a shower in the morning, and then she'll jump into my hair and eat her way to my braaaiiiins.

So I grab my insane hair spray. I buy this hair spray because it is the closest thing to "works on my hair" that I have ever been able to find. Lightweight, with the holding power of super glue. I spend good money on it (thank goodness I rarely use hair spray, or it would have me in the poor house). So I take my magic hair spray and plaster her to the wall. I think, "She will freeze in place, and it won't hurt her since she'll be high as a kite--really, it's a good way to go, much better than a shoe, and this way her relatives won't want to take vengeance on me quite so much." I'm forgetting, of course, that some female spiders EAT THEIR RELATIVES, so I don't know why I care.


We return to the scene: Crazy lady dumping good money down the drain to kill spider. Problem, though: spider will not freeze. Or even slow down. I think hair spray is less like alcohol and more like meth for spiders. She starts crawling around all over the wall of the tub, and the hair spray seems to have only made her angry. Or really high. Not sure which. So I grab my shower cleaner (mixing chemicals? consequences be damned!) and douse her with that. Still nothing. I have graduated from mental conditioon: "arachnophobic" to "sick and disturbed and likes to pull wings off flies".

She finally runs down to the floor of the tub, and I run out to grab something. James's shoes are always a good bet, as they are the largest portable object in a four-mile radius. So I throw James's shoe on the spider, she is dead, I am sweating bullets, and things are crawling all over me now.

Unfortunately, I am the most awake I have been all day, it's 4:45 in the morning, and I still have to write a note to James telling him why his shoe is in the bathtub and the wall is sticky and smells like a prom 'do. I lie awake for most of the night, on edge and angry at James for doing obnoxious things like breathing and having a heartbeat and occasionally **showing signs of life.

But by golly that spider is dead.

*Yeah, I know staring at a computer or TV screen will just keep me awake. Believe me, I know. Trust me, though; that's not the problem. I've done experiments where I've eliminated coffee and all forms of brightness and excitement long before bed and... nothing. One thing that does seem to help is hard physical labor all day. Not so much an option anymore.

**I sometimes wake up at night (this even happens sometimes as I'm going to bed, if I've watched enough X-Files that day) convinced that (a) James is dead, and I'm sleeping next to a corpse, (b) the man next to me is not James, or (c) the man next to me is not a man at all, but a zombie. Many a night he has been jostled from slumber by me, frantically clawing at him to determine his state and identity. He never remembers in the morning. Thank goodness.

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