Thursday, October 6, 2011

Four useless eyes and a phantom spider

You would think with two of us in the house—and one of us (not me) nearly 4 years younger than the other—one of us would have decent eyesight. It's not the case. Last night, just as I was about to turn out the lights and try to sleep, I looked over to see my spouse staring up at the ceiling.

"What?" I asked, a little fearfully.

"There's something up there..."

I looked up. And jumped up. It looked like a spider, on the ceiling, right over our pillows! But neither one of us was sure. Our aging eyes don't work the way they used to.

I've mentioned before that I don't like creepy crawly things (or hopping and slithering things for that matter). I'm especially queasy about spiders. To illustrate just how much I can't tolerate the creatures, I'm not able to download the Spider Solitaire app to my iPad. I did for a day, but every time I opened my iPad, its logo, a big, black spider, stared back at me. I didn't bother learning how to play the game and just deleted it.

But now we had a dilemma. This thing was hovering over our sleeping space, and there was no way I was going to lie down in that bed again until I knew it was gone...from the ceiling, from the room, maybe from this life. One problem? Our ceiling in the master bedroom is very high.

"Get rid of it," I pleaded.

"How should I do that? Even if I stand on the bed, I'm not going to be able to smack it." He thought for a second and then went downstairs to get whatever he needed for his bright idea. Waiting for him, I kept staring up at the thing, making sure that if it went somewhere else, I'd know where to find it. It didn't seem to be moving, but maybe the sound of humans carrying on like idiots immobilized it.

It didn't budge, and I was beginning to think that it might be a dust bunny (a creature I don't mind...). And, you know how when you stare at something immobile for a while it looks like it might be moving slightly? Especially if you're nearsighted? I began to be less and less sure it was a spider, but I wanted to be absolutely sure it was not.

My hero returned to the bedroom with his weapon of choice. A Swiffer mop! He marched over to the bed, slammed the flat bottom of the mop hard on the ceiling and...nothing happened. No insect scurried away to get out from under the mop. And when he finally took the mop down from the ceiling, nothing was on it. If it had been a spider, it would be somewhere—on the mop, on the bed, scurrying across the ceiling to get away from two lunatic murderers...

I have no idea where the dust bunny went, and I don't much care. As long as both of us were convinced there was no spider, we could get some sleep.

Rather than complain about the fact that neither of us can see all that well, I am grateful I have a compadre who's going through the same challenges of senior(ugh)hood. If nothing else, it makes for an amusing story.