The Scary Thing Under the Sink

I’m okay with snakes, spiders, large flying insects, bugs that have no aerodynamic stability and careen with a loud splat to the floor, dying on their backs because they cannot right themselves. I live in a jungle. I know these things exist and, after all, they were here first. I don’t want to see them, but if I do, I’m not that surprised

Tonight I washed the dishes and turned off the light on a tidy kitchen. As I scanned the house one last time before retiring beneath the safety of my mosquito net, I spotted the used cup and saucer from afternoon tea, sitting on my desk.

Some people have absolutely no trouble at all waking up to dirty dishes. Those people are not me. I snatched up the offending items, flicked on the kitchen light, and scrubbed them clean. As I turned to leave, a patch of wall by the waste bin moved, ever so slightly. A little tiny Shit! escaped my lips. I bent down to get a better look, not really wanting to, but feeling compelled. The wall scooted into the darkness under the sink.


I was faced with a decision. Do I get the flashlight? How badly do I need to know what’s hiding under there? I could go to bed and let the night sort it out. It would certainly be gone by morning. The part of me that thrives on drama, grabbed the flashlight and flooded the under-the-counter gloom with brightness. There it was, paralyzed in the beam, a fuzzy, brown, very large, arachnid. I couldn’t avoid an involuntary shudder.

Now what? My eyes were riveted on the spider and the light in my hand was steady. But a shadow, lurking in the dark bowels that held the underside of the sink, moved. Very, very slowly, I repositioned the light. A head with bulging eyes on a reptilian neck, stared back at me. In some corner of my brain I begged, “Please don’t be a snake, please don’t be a snake!”

The rest happened fast. The spider shifted, the reptile darted, and I fled, slamming the door behind me.

I am comforted in the knowledge that the under-the-sink-dweller is not a snake. I can be almost happy sharing my kitchen, knowing that she eats spiders. But she’s awfully big, and doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen before. That worries me…just a little.

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