It’s 4 AM last Wednesday. I hadn’t been awake that early on a weekday since my ridiculously early seminary class my senior year of high school (whoever thought that 5:15 AM seminary was a plausible idea should really rethink that concept). I stumbled out of bed, popped a blueberry bagel in the toaster, found my way to the couch and resumed studying the piles of notes laying over the ottoman and surrounding couch cushions. I was scheduled to take my second midterm, which is also the most important in terms of grading, for my English Usage class that day after class. After about a week and a half of diligent studying, at least 2 meltdowns to Aaron, and an upset stomach that was responding to my stress levels, this was my last 3 hour window to study.
I felt like a zombie, trying to keep each eyelid open through sheer force of will, realizing that I needed this last study session to be productive. I stumbled my way to the bathroom and that’s when I saw it. It was the biggest spider I had ever seen indoors, standing right by my shower door. I froze, panic stricken. It’s 4 AM in my new apartment, no one is around and I am positive that my neighbors upstairs would not appreciate a vacuum going off at 4 AM. As we stood there, staring at each other, it was as if we created an unspoken agreement. I didn’t have the courage to kill it and he would know better than to be in plain sight in the near future. I backed out of the room, allowing him free reign of that side of the apartment for the time being. This isn’t just a story of my first creepy critter encounter in my own apartment; no, this spider is actually the only reason I stayed awake that morning.
After I returned to the living room, I was mildly petrified and jumpy, waiting for the spider to round the corner with a machine gun or something. As nerve wracking as that was, you better believe I was awake after that! I made it through my 4 hours of studying without falling asleep once and I felt better than ever about the test.
I took the test. I felt like the champion of the world when I turned it in. I aced it. As much as I know I can attribute my grade to my diligence in studying, I must give due credit to the spider who scared the pants off of me that morning. Without that underlying terror, I’m not sure I would have been able to review as effectively. However, that truce ended tonight when I returned home from a visit to Albuquerque and found him in my bathroom once more. Thankfully, Aaron was there to do the dirty job, sparing me the task of breaking our truce of cooperation. Let there be a moment of silence for my spider. Your sacrifice will not be soon forgotten.