I'm Just Saying…

February 27, 2011

The Spider in the Shower

Filed under: Daily Life — jillamyrosenblatt @ 11:21 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

            There’s a spider in the shower. It takes me a while to figure this out as I’m blind as a bat without my glasses. But I feel something, like you feel something when someone is standing behind you.

            My eye is drawn to a blur on the shower curtain liner. I see a faint brownish haze. I think it’s moving. I lean in,  and then I see it. Wispy legs.  I let out a shriek. I do that when encountering insects. I don’t know why.

            I step back, cowering by the bar soap holder. I am a thousand, no, ten thousand times its size. No matter. An arachnid in the shower is a particularly hideous invasion of the human personal space. It brings uncomfortable, unseemly thoughts of what could happen. After all, I am naked, vulnerable, exposed. Just the thought of where the arachnid could crawl

            I can’t shower now. I can’t cleanse properly with one eye on my washcloth and the other on the spider. I keep inching over, returning to the scene. He is moving, up and down, up and down. I can’t relax until he is gone, out of my bathing domain. I am fixated; he is now a phobia.          

            Webster’s Online Dictionary defines a phobia as “an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.” I resent the use of the word illogical in the definition. You say phobia, I say “showing the proper amount of concern over a potentially disastrous situation.” Tomato, tomato.  I’m not really worried about the spider. I’m worried about what might happen due to the spider’s presence. What if I try to kill it and lose my footing? What if I lose my footing and fall down? What if I fall down and hit my head? What if I hit my head and have a concussion? What if I miss the spider and it springs at me and attaches itself to my face and I can’t get it off and…okay, maybe it is about the spider. I like to worry in advance. That way if the shit does hit the fan, I’m prepared.

            One phobia I do not have is ablutophobia, the fear of washing or bathing. I edge closer to the field of play. I have to do something. I squint. I discover the spider is not technically inside the shower. It is trapped between the outer curtain and the inner liner. It cannot hurt me, it cannot come near me. It would be illogical of me to worry about the spider. In my heart, I know this.

            And so I smack the liner against the outer curtain with a force and a fury until the brown blurry mass moves no more. Then I am struck by a jolting thought; Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, trapped in the body of an insect. Karmically speaking, this arachnid could have been my fellow man, killed by my illogical phobia.


            Hasta la vista Gregor, I think. Better luck next time.

            I return to showering, knowing I have learned a valuable lesson from this experience: next time, do a sweep of the shower with my glasses on before I get in.


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