Naked and Afraid

I consider myself a tough, independent, and fairly resilient country girl. I go on regular romps in the woods taking spiderwebs to the face frequently. I calmly peel the sticky mess from my skin, scanning for any dislodged spiders and only occasionally performing the frantic spider dance. 

Recently, I experienced some hot water heater issues. This would be devastating for most, but, thankfully, I have a spare house with a functioning hot water heater. You see, I live on my parents’ property in an apartment over the garage adjacent to the main house. The house is semi-abandoned because my parents purchased a small house on a quiet lake several years ago and slowly picked over the main house, leaving it mostly empty but functioning. It still has electricity and running water and houses the occasional visitor, but it is not lived in.

When you reside in the country, you are in constant battle with insects, most notably spiders, wasps, and scorpions. The insects slowly creep in the longer a house is unoccupied, no matter how much you spray and secure the premises. I knew this and entered the bathroom cautiously the first few times I ventured over. The morning of the incident I had let down my guard thinking I had successfully rid the shower of the resident creepy crawlers.

So, I’m in the shower doing my thing when a movement caught the corner of my eye. I glanced up to see a huge wolf spider on the shower curtain directly between me and my weapon of choice, the removable shower head. Let me take a moment to stress how vulnerable a person is when naked in the shower. Something about not having any clothes on makes you scared shitless when facing down such a predator. Also, I am normally a live and let live kind of person. 

Anyway, I stare down the beast while devising a plan. I obviously couldn’t continue my shower in fear of being attacked. I decided to gently shake the curtain in hopes that he would scurry to the other side, out of sight, out of mind. And it worked!, for a second…

Then, he started moving down the curtain towards me. It was the beginning of the end. He had advanced far enough in my direction, away from the shower head, that I could now slowly and stealthily, with my back pressed against the opposite stall wall, slink towards the sprayer. Once in hand, I began throwing gently blasts of water at him, again hoping he would simply run to the other side of the curtain.

By this time, my heart rate was elevated. That is when he suddenly dropped down into the floor of the tub. My adrenaline spiked and I shrieked as he scurried between my legs, deftly trying to gain traction on a nearby wall as I wildly tried to prevent another attack. I am dancing and spraying like a mad woman. This foray had escalated into a war, and I was taking no prisoners. I thwarted his attempt at escape up the wall several times before putting him out of his misery in a small pool of water collecting at a low point around the drain. 

In the aftermath, as the steam cleared, I felt a tinge of regret for killing the creature. I stepped from the shower and began mopping up the battlefield, drenched from the water of war. I remained vigilant for any retributive fellow spiders. I left the house swaddle in only a towel without even my dignity intact, alive to live another day.

Spiders: Nature’s way reminding you that you are in fact…A LITTLE GIRL!” —Unknown
Amy Gravlee