Last Tuesday I got home from dinner with a friend and was in a good mood — I finally got to see not one, but two shows at Shakespeare’s Globe, and was going to [FINALLY] see the Spice Girls musical “Viva Forever”* the next day. I had a proverbial spring in my step as I moved a box to decide on a nail polish — that’s how good life was going, I had time to seriously contemplate how to do my nails.
Then it all went to crap.
When I moved the box a spider emerged. A big spider. So big I told myself it had to be fake, although that would also be troubling because I don’t own any fake spiders. It was at least the size of a £2 coin (half dollar for you Americans). I stood there frozen for a minute as the spider and I exchanged mutual “What are you doing in my flat?!” looks. I think we both thought the other would go away if we didn’t move. Eventually I grabbed the nearest shoe and went for the kill. Swing and a miss. The spider disappeared among the wall of boxes. I pulled each of them away from the wall slowly, ensuring he would have nowhere to hide. I couldn’t find him. I hit each box trying to scare him out. I lifted a Tesco receipt off the floor (the fact that there are random Tesco receipts among my sheet music and nail polish is a sign I need to clean my apartment) and the spider emerged. This was my chance, he was out in the open! And I missed. Worse, he got away and I COULD NOT FIND HIM.
That has got to be one of the worst feelings in the world, knowing there is a giant bug loose in your house somewhere. I started getting phantom spider syndrome — I would be sitting in the living room, far away from the room I last saw the spider, but was convinced he was crawling on my legs or in my hair. I took to Google to try to calm myself. I learned that spiders do not crawl on you while you sleep and bite you, there are no poisonous spiders in the UK, and spiders are actually good for your house because they eat other insects. That’s what I decided to believe — Mr. Spider was doing me a favor, has been living in my flat undetected for years, and if it weren’t for my happy nail polish perusing, I would be none the wiser.
So I did a thorough check of my bed before going to sleep and tried to forget about the giant spider. I cautiously put my makeup on every morning, glancing at the corner I last saw him. I convinced myself that I scared him so badly he left the flat for good, or as one of my friends put it, “Charlotte returned to Wilbur.” I had almost forgotten about him until Sunday — five days later.
I had just gotten back from my run and was taking out the trash in the bathrooms. I came out into the hallway, garbage bag in hand, when I saw him. He was just chilling in the middle of the hallway, completely exposed. We exchanged “You again?!”s and I briefly contemplating letting him live, since maybe this was really his home and he was just trying to survive, but then I thought “NOPE” and he met his untimely demise at the bottom of my running shoe and was promptly disposed of with the bathroom trash. I’m sorry, Mr. Spider, but you made it too easy this time. I hope you did not leave a family behind.
…Suddenly the possibility of moving doesn’t seem too bad.
*(“Viva Forever” was every bit as awesome as I imagined it would be and I don’t know why the critics hated it so much. It’s a musical based on the music of the Spice Girls, you can’t expect a deep, thought-provoking plot.)