August 7, 2007

Today the sheet rock is going up in the addition, and if there’s anything that can fuck up your whole house more than sheetrock dust, I don’t know what it is. Oh wait I do know, it’s insulation foam, which was splurted into various places over the weekend and has been occasionally breaking loose and gently drifting down from the exposed kitchen ceiling ever since.

JB’s parents were visiting last weekend, and JB’s mother kept telling me how well I was handling the remodel. “Well, you sure seem serene about all this,” she said, which instantly made me paranoid that she really meant, “Way to not even try and keep things clean, slacker.” Which I don’t think she did. Except . . . well, there was that odd moment when she fingered the coat of dust on a nearby houseplant and . . . ah, fuck it. I’m sure that’s not what she meant.


Anyway, what else can a person do when their house is being gutted but succumb to the chaos? I hardly even notice the workers trampling around the kitchen in the morning while I’m hoovering down my increasingly large bowl of Cinnamon Life (hello, and welcome to my craving of the week) anymore. Hell, I make my coffee in the bathroom right now, what’s the use in getting worked up over a little insulation foam in my cereal?

Besides, there are far worse concerns at hand. It’s August, and maybe some of you know what that means. That’s right, it’s Giant House Spider Mating Season. And oh jesus god, I had my first encounter yesterday (after I had just recovered from reading Megan’s G.H.S. entry, too).

There it was, just lurking there on the carpet. I don’t know what made it catch my eye, maybe its sheer girth and audible footsteps. It was so big and horrifying I actually felt my brain trying to shear lose from the confines of my skull, possibly trying to escape to safety through my eyesockets.

I immediately scooped up Riley, not so much out of a fear that he would somehow be bitten but more from the deep and shameful knowledge that if he touched that godawful thing, I could never kiss him again.

I was frozen in indecision for a moment, standing there with a bemused toddler dangling from one arm, but it was apparent that in JB’s absence—he was off in the shop, too far away to hear a terrified squawk—I would have to deal with T. gigantea on my own.

When you’re a person with a bit of a spider phobia to begin with and you’re faced with an arachnid the approximate size of a fucking dinner plate, you don’t just get some paper toweling. You need long-range weaponry. I didn’t really want to squish it into the carpet, but my other options seemed equally unappealing: spray it with oven cleaner, get out a revolver and pump it full of bullets, set the entire house on fire, etc.

I ended up dragging Riley with me into the utility room where I grabbed a broom, deposited Riley on the floor and told him “STAY HERE IF YOU WANT TO LIVE”, and rushed back to the carpet where I summoned every ounce of courage and used the broom to whack frantically at the spider while simultaneously shrieking a cowardly, girly squeal of fright mighty war cry. I swear I felt that broom bounce harmlessly off the thing’s back a few times before he seemed to succumb, legs curling inward.

I used another broom to kind of sweep it onto the first broom (while being occasionally overcome with massive, full-body shudders) and I threw everything out the back door. The spider’s body rolled off the broom and lay there on the concrete. Motionless. Thank god. I went back inside and proceeded to experience the sort of heebie-jeebies that make you scream and recoil from the dark thing on the counter before realizing that ha ha ha, it’s a hairband. Ha ha ha . . . whatthefuckisthat?!?

Of course, about an hour later when JB came in and went to get the brooms, he noticed that the spider was in fact NOT DEAD. No. ALIVE. That thing took about fifty-three smacks with a broom and it was still LIVING. Still slowly, painfully crawling its way along the patio and towards the back door, surely on some dark mission of revenge, despite its many wounds, planning to limp all the way into our house and onto our bedroom ceiling, where in the dead of night, with its very last shred of strength, let itself drop down, down, down, down, into my open and snoring—

Well. Anyway, JB squished it flat. The end. I think.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, now that I’ve written all this down and relived it I have some very important activities to engage in, mainly involving batting wildly at random, invisible things nearby and lunging at various body parts in order to scratch at myself like a cracked-out baboon.


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