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.

Face-off with an Arachnid

I’ve evolved. That’s right, I’ve achieved a higher level of consciousness. It was bound to happen sooner or later with the yoga, meditation and what-not, or so I’ve been told. Here’s how I know…

It was raining hard when I awoke this morning. The view through my gauzy mosquito netting always puts me in a delicious frame of mind and I like to linger, listening to nature  come alive and feeling the gratitude of another day.
After a leisurely stretch I pushed the net aside and got up.  In a fog I opened the bathroom door and turned on the light. There was a spider the size of a baseball sitting between me and the toilet which just happened to be my destination. In the past my heart-rate would have escalated with an adrenalin surge. But today KILL was not my first response. I was calm, although I don’t like spiders, and I knew I had to get him to move before I could do my business. So I grabbed one of those long grass Bali brooms that serve a multitude of purposes and nudged him. He skittered under the toilet bowl brush cup. That was too close for comfort. I carefully removed the brush. No spidey. He must be hiding under the cup. Still unruffled I slowly lifted the edge with the tip of the broom. He darted out directly toward me. I think I squeeked, but with the broom between us I was able to herd him in the right direction, up the wall, over the top, and back outdoors from whence he came.
As he exited, I took note that he was the very same color as the blackish lava rock walls in the bathroom. In the future I will glance a little more closely at those walls when I turn on the light, and I will ALWAYS turn on the light! As I replaced the broom in its corner I congratulated myself. I had not freaked out. I had not fiercely and brutally murdered an unsuspecting life form. In fact, I believe I felt a commonality, a oneness, and just possibly a measure of campassion for the defenseless creature. Later I told my neighbor, Sudi, about the incident. “Not poisonous,” he said. “Spiders in Bali okay…no poison.” Somehow sharing my space with a giant, six-legged arachnid, poisonous or not, isn’t acceptable. On my evolution chart, cohabitating with large, frightening insects is not a requirement.

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