The Black Sunburst, or, Another Battle Against Vermin
I sat down on my toilet right after I woke up today and saw a spider in my bathtub.
How is it that spiders just appear? We never see them arrive and take their places at the spots where we find them. In the first sixteen years of my life, had I seen the same spider, I would have screamed and avoided it at all costs. I would have also avoided the place where I saw it days after I dragged someone over to kill it. Now, my toes still crunch involuntarily when I have to interact with one, and I still jump at the first encounter.
I can kill it. I have the ability to do so now. That is the obvious fate for a spider once I’ve seen it co-existing in the same space as I. I can’t just let it live with me; it’s against my instinct. I also can’t trap it under a cup like a roly-poly or a Box Elder bug. Cannot. It must die.
The spiders in the bathtub prove the easiest to kill. It can’t escape those horizontal walls, and I’m taller than it. I was somewhat relieved that I had a use for those three extra jugs of water. They’ve been sitting on my kitchen floor, waiting to be emptied so I can pack them and then refill them in the new apartment. I’ve emptied most of them while rinsing the set of pans I sudsed and scrubbed.
This particular enemy looked like a kid’s drawing of a spider: a black sun without the top and bottom rays. At least, that’s how much I saw of it as I poured stale but emergency-ready water onto it. I thought I had drowned it until the bottle was empty and the water stopped flowing out of my hands. It scrambled about a little more, and I groaned. I grabbed the last bottle of water (this one from a apple juice container) and poured again, this time, trying to drown it on the end of the tub where I’d pushed it with the other stream of water. No luck.
Fine, I thought. I’ll use another method, one less earth-friendly. Anything to kill this thing so I can take a shower. I opened up the bathroom sink cabinet and pulled out a spray-bottle of chemicals. Strong stuff, and it made the thing shrivel its legs beneath itself in just a few squirts. Okay, another quirt to make sure it’s really done spasming. As embalming fluid, you know.
Disposal of the corpse is the next step. After I brush my hair, like I do every morning now. I haven’t always done so, but that’s another post. Then, the steady stream of water with which I wash my face and also get rid of crawly reminders. The water came out too strongly and it jumped. I jumped. I don’t even want spider corpses touching me. I moved the hair trap that sits over the drain and jumped again. Oh, that’s a clump of hair, not black corpse. I used the hair trap to push the round thing and water from a washcloth to create an opposite stream.
It’s now sitting in the opening of my shower drain. Replace the hair trap and continue daily ritual. The shower water will wash it away. Another battle won.