I have been stomach bug free for 12 hours now. This is happy news. Tonight I sat on a step between my living room and kitchen. (The floor of my apartment is concrete like the walls, so some of the rooms are built a step above the concrete with wooden floors for heat.) I laid my papers out all over the floor, and graded.
From any given seat in my house, you can typically see 2-3 creepy crawlies. They are usually the little bugs we call silver fish. Tonight, there was a spider… a big guy. I tried to pretend he didn’t exist until he totally pushed the limits and just got too damn close to me.
I typically never kill spiders. This is not due to religious reasons or any other valid purpose. I am just too scared to get near them. This quick beast was an exception and I did not want him to be one of the 9 spiders I swallow in a year (because we all know this sixth grade fact is true). Though the spider was probably no larger than a silver dollar, it seemed as though it could take down a baby giraffe.
The apartment wasn’t big enough for the two of us and he just had to die. Seeing as though I misplaced my numchucks, I grabbed my handheld broom.
A swing and a miss.
I grabbed a cardboard box, which doubled for my trashcan, because the American in me knows the bigger the weapons, the more problems they solve.
“One, two, three draw.” I went in for the mush, but my lack of commitment sent both the spider and I screaming and racing in opposite directions. He won as he ran and hid underneath the stack of test papers I was grading. That was it! I needed to shank him.
I tapped the papers with the broom until I coaxed him into a vulnerable position. When he was right where I wanted him, I smothered him with the box. I then took to sweeping his tiny shriveled body outside, not wanting to run the risk of throwing him in the trash in case he was just playing opossum.
I went into my bathroom and jerry-rigged the broken switch of my water heater using a shiny heart sticker to keep it in place. I was happy at the thought of a hot shower.
I went back into he other room to continue grading while the water heated up. The dogs began to serenade me from outside when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I looked up and a mouse ran across the cold cement floor into my kitchen. I pondered what I could use to trap him. Nothing. I shut the kitchen door, locked the outside latch, and shoved the broom/ weapon under the crack at the bottom of the door. As long as we had our own rooms, he could stay the night. In a Buddhist country that hardly sells fly swatters, I have no idea where the hell I will find a mousetrap.
My grading session was over. I needed something familiar. As we have all done at one time or another, I escaped my house guests by retreating to the porcelain throne. As I sat and waited for my water heater to heat, I hoped my guests had enough manners to know that bathrooms are a place of privacy.