An Almost Death in the Morning

Blackness at 8:30 in the morning.

My eyes are heavy, my hair looks like a scene from a made-for-tv disaster film, and the taste in my mouth is reminiscent of someone who has just spent seven hours in bed.

Without breathing my right hand claws for an unseen, but instinctively familiar wall switch.

My senses are instantly invaded with brightness.

Eye-lids flicker.

My feet start moving forward.

Who? Me.

What? Walking.

Where? Bathroom.

When? 8:30 in the morning.

Why? Who the hell knows, it’s too early.

Familiar words get picked from the apple-tree of my memory. Bathroom, sink, mirror, carpet, toothpaste, shower…Shower!

Why? Shower.

That’s right. I’m here to take a damn shower.

I’m facing the the curtain of the shower and somehow between the doorway and here my clothes have disappeared. Maybe I never walked in here with clothes.

More vocabulary.

Curtains, tub, soap, shampoo, faucet, water, spider…Oh shit.

Not really knowing how I’ve managed to make the shower function, one foot was about to step into the tub when an unexpected guest was waiting for me to enter: A spider with a leg-span of maybe a nickel. There are only a handful of things that make me fearful in this world: getting attacked by a zombie shark, being ejected out of an airplane, mayonnaise, and of course spiders. There’s hardly any rationality behind this, but many life decisions have been influenced by these fears.

The water has been running for a few moments, and has now reached the ideal temperature for me to lift one leg into warm liquid.

The spider wasn’t perched high enough in the tub, and soon a volley shower drops are rendering it incapable of climbing to dryness. I enter the shower, feeling secure that by now there was no way this little bugger would be able to touch me.

The wave of relief that originally swept through my mind isn’t lasting.

Looking down I see that the spider is soon to be a goner. It couldn’t swim, couldn’t move it’s body, and within a few moments it would surely die.

I try to ignore it and pretend to look for shampoo.

Hot shower water sends streams of guilt down my scalp.

Maybe this little bugger has a wife with little baby spider children, and all he wanted was to find a fly for breakfast. Maybe this little creature on the verge of dying isn’t a spider at all. Maybe it’s someone I used to know who’s been reincarnated with eight tiny legs.

Part of me wants to watch it get sucked down the drain, but I know that this wouldn’t be right. He’s trapped in a massive colosseum in the form of a bathtub and doesn’t deserve this fate. If I ever find myself stuck in a similar situation I would pray to every God that existed for help. He or she is just being a spider, and if I let it die then I would walk out of the shower feeling dirtier than when I entered.

I haven’t even had cereal yet and soon I’ll have a death lingering over my conscious. Let mother nature or a spider-sized lightning bolt decide its future, not me.

We always keep a comb in the shower, so without thinking more I picked up and scoop the motionless creature out of the raging storm, flicking it onto the bathroom carpet. One miniature leg starts to fidget, followed by another. It would live to scare me another day.

Drying off afterwards, maybe that spider was a criminal and had it coming.

It’s too late now.

Maybe he’ll tell his spider buddies not to mess with me anymore.

Looking in the mirror, for the first time in my life, I finally feel like I’m thirty years old..

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