Pedro the Spider

Terror.  Pure, unadulterated terror.  Let's talk about this.  Some people have perfect 20/20 vision.  Others require slight correction in the form of light glasses or comfortable contact lenses.  Others... Well... Others are blind as fuck without either glasses, contacts, or both.  I, unfortunately, am one of those.  Perhaps legally blind, without site-assistance such as glasses or contacts. 

One time, I tried to drive a car with only my own eyes.  This was about 15 years ago, mind you.  I made it about one block before I ran my car up over a curb, not because I didn't know the curb was THERE, but because I thought I was pulling into a driveway.  Yeah, not so much.  I'll never forget the chest-clenching sound of metal grinding against concrete as I tried to maneuver my car over a massive curb that I thought was a fucking driveway. 

Point is, I can't see a fucking THING without my glasses or lenses.  This is particularly important and relevant to the feeling of terror.  Let me explain.

This morning, for example.  I get up, reluctantly, after snoozing the alarms on my phone for 15 minutes, and I stumble blindly to the bathroom without bothering to put my glasses on.  I set the shower curtain in motion with one irritated swipe of my arm, but instead of seeing the unmarred cream colored porcelain of the bathtub, what I see INSTEAD is a large and completely indistinguishable black blob that is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE!!! 

Clearly there is some foreign fucking OBJECT in my bathtub, and it is probably nasty and has many legs.  And I have no fucking idea WHAT it is, because I can't fucking SEE.

That's terror, let me tell you.

You stand there in mute panic, staring blindly at the large and completely indistinguishable black blob as your mind runs wild with possibilities.  This does not become any easier to deal with when the large and completely indistinguishable black blob begins to MOVE.

So, in self-defense, you swish the shower curtain shut again so you don't have to see it at all.  You KNOW it's still there, of course, but the terror of having absolutely no idea WHAT is there is paralyzing.  It could be anything.  Anything at all.  A killer cockroach.  A mutated spider.  A radiated stink bug.  How the fuck are YOU supposed to know, unless you go running down the hall and scramble madly for your glasses?  And once you GET your glasses, you are so panicked that you DROP the fuckers and have trouble FINDING them, due to your total myopic blindness.

By the time you get back to the bathroom with your glasses firmly secured to your face and the world again in focus, you are terrified to open that shower curtain and face the creature behind it.

So slow your roll, Turbo...... You gently sneak up on the shower curtain... You reach out with slightly trembling fingers.... You touch the vinyl.... You pull it back slowly...... Holding your breath the entire time... And....... YOU SEE IT!!!!!!  THERE IT IS!!!!!!!!!

This is when you scream, do a spastic little jig around your bathroom, and get goosebumps all over your body.

Funny thing though... You STILL don't know what the fuck it is.  You got a bare glimpse of it before turning into a squeamish schoolgirl.  You STILL don't know what sort of adversary you're up against.

So you go at it again...... Reach for the curtain, but with more authority this time.  Some little voice inside is telling you, "This is YOUR house.  This interloper is NOT welcome here.  YOU are in charge here!"

So you pull the curtain back with more enthusiasm this time and you face the creature, which turns out to be a big hairy mammoth of a spider.  The mother of all spiders.  And it scurries across the tub, coming RIGHT AT YOU, and you scream again, but you also feel some relief.  You have faced your fear.  You have confronted the creature in the bathtub.  And yeah, it's not good, but it could be worse.  The fucking thing could have WINGS, for example, and it could come FLYING RIGHT AT YOU at any given moment.  But no... Not today.  Today it's just a spider.  A big hairy nasty one, yes, but still just a spider.

That's terror, my friends.  When you know there is a threat, but you have absolutely NO idea what it is, and you WON'T know until you find the courage to look.  This experience is a good lesson in life.

But what did I do with the spider, you ask?  Well, I didn't kill him.  He was too big to smash with a paper towel.  The only thing that would have sufficiently knocked THAT fucker out would have been a hardcore squash with a foot wearing a big boot.  And I was barefoot at the time.  I suppose I COULD have put on a boot and smashed him, but I was thinking about the NOISE it would make... This god awful CRUNCHING noise... and the mess it would leave... It was a fucking big spider, man.  It would have fucking exploded.

So what I did instead... I got an empty butter container and put that over my spider.  I then went about my business and left for work.  I spent all day wondering if he got loose and was now somewhere in my HOUSE, where I would happen upon him unaware and piss my god damned pants... But my worries were unfounded, as usual.  He was right where I left him, in the tub, under the butter container.

I slipped a piece of paper under there, flipped the container over, and took him outside.  I put the butter container on the ground and watched him scurry away to the safe haven of the weed-strewn jungle of the vacant house adjacent to mine.  I named him Pedro, in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  And as I stood there watching my new Spidey Friend escape into a new life, I said softly, "Run, Pedro, Run..... Be free......"