Those of you who are my very faithful readers will know that I like to make lists. Well, in order to enlighten you further about the events that have transpired in the past several minutes, I need to share my lists of fears. Yes, that's "lists" - plural. My first list of fears includes what I call the "serious" fears (by no means to imply my second list is not serious). They typically include a family member dying or developing a fatal disease, or me crashing to my doom while I'm alone on an airplane or developing schitzophrenia (I'm at a Psychiatry convention... I just added that to my list today). The second list of fears is mostly a list of "beasts". It is the latter of the two on which I will elaborate. List of Fears II
- spiders - any kind: small or big, black or brown, crawly or (heaven forbid) furry
- somehow a spider entering my mouth (Thank you to all of you who have found this funny and spouted the statistic that we all eat at least three spiders a year in our sleep. I blame you if I ever die of a cold for fear of just opening my mouth to breathe when sleeping.)
- roaches - blech, I cannot even continue... starting to feel crawly
- spider on any part of my skin
- having a child wake me up from my sleep (thanks to the movie "Identity")
- split personality disorder
- Ray Liotta
- small pieces of dust floating through the air (you'll see...)
OK, that's enough for now, you get the idea... Unfortunately, if I think about it long enough, I could go on. However, since I'm sleeping alone in a hotel room tonight, and then flying out tomorrow, I should probably rest my mind on happier things. But first, two stories.
Sweet sleep was overtaking me. The light from the TV was bright in the surrounding darkness of my bedroom. My eyes closed dreamily, only half watching through slits. But then, something twitched. Oh, it was so tiny, barely visible. I never would have seen it had it not been for the reflection of the light. It was suspended, as if floating in mid-air. In a flash I was awake and sprang towards the light. It had been a long time since I had done my nightly spider checks. But now I wished I had continued them because as I glanced around my room, tiny spiders were hanging from every square foot of my ceiling. It was my worst nightmare. Except I was actually awake. The next minutes are a blur. I suspect that I somehow made my retreat and went to get back up (that would be my dad, who should be on my list of "beasts" when he's woken up in the middle of the night). I remember being laughed at for being afraid of little tiny spiders. But they were hanging! From my ceiling! Possibly getting into my hair! And what if I had opened my mouth!? I cleaned for the next several days. And I wouldn't even enter my room without the Swiffer. I would extend it out in front of me and wave it through the air. The theory here is that if there are any spiders floating on their invisible webs, the would get on the Swiffer instead of anywhere on my body. I remember "sleeping" with the light at the opposite end of the room on, and watching their small bodies congregate around it. This is an absolutely horrible memory for me... and what's worse is the mirth it seems to cause! There is nothing funny about being trapped in a room with spiders falling from the ceiling. See fear #1 on list II: it does not matter if they are small.
And tonight, after spending a lovely evening with a colleague, I arrived back to my hotel room, ready to jump into bed. But what's that? There's a small spot on one of the pillow cases. It's not... can it be? Yes! And there's another one, right next to it! Am I reliving a horrible nightmare? As far as I can tell at this point, the answer is "no", but only time will tell. So, after pouring water onto the bed from a great distance in an effort to drown the beasts, and then having to squash them anyway since apparently drowning doesn't work, I am now off to a wet, and hopefully no longer spider-infested, bed.