Monday, July 4, 2011

It is impossible to feel lonely with all these house guests

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.

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