A spider bit me in the car on the way home. It took all of the willpower in my body not to swerve onto the shoulder to get out as quickly as possible. I exited I35 as fast as I could and immediately pulled into the parking lot of a porn store called "Dreamers" where I jumped out of the car and hopped up and down for five minutes, rubbing my hands all over my body to make sure it wasn't still crawling on me. You're welcome, commuters! Anything to make traffic more interesting. Especially you-fat man in the Toyota Prius who honked so helpfully and gave me the high five. Perhaps you thought I was part of a one-woman South by Southwest "showcase" at the sex-toy store on the highway, but I was actually just having a panic attack brought on by my worst nightmare-spider in the car.
Why is it that the very thing you are phobic of always happens to you? Like it's always the marathon runner who gets paralysed-never someone like me-who lies in bed reading most days anyway.
"Oh my god, how tragic."I would think."You mean I never have to leave the house again and talk to people?I can never excercise? Horrible.Bring me that book and a snack."
I am not afraid of snakes- and I am also never confronted with them. Yet my friend, who is so terrified she will jump at the sight of a belt, sees them all the time.In her boot, curled around her coffeepot,in a box of winter sweaters.Surprise!
Granted, she lives in the jungle down in Mexico-but I've visited her eight times and never had a snake experience. I did, however, casually glance over to where my hand was resting on a bench in the plaza and see a monstrous tarantula bigger than my hand less than an inch from my thumb.
After looking underneath it for spiders, and above it for anything that might be parachuting down on me via web, I stood on the coffee table inside her house for about an hour, running my hands over my limbs and through my hair.
"Is there anything on me?" I kept asking her. "Look again."
"You shouldn't come to the jungle if you're afraid of spiders." she told me.
"Look at you-with the snakes! Hello pot it's kettle calling!"
"Why do you think we never go anywhere when you come here?" she asked.
It was true. Every year I drove fourteen hours, up mountains, through the jungle on tiny, treacherous roads to the breathtaking village she lived in so that we could spend the week watching "Friends" on DVD inside her giant house. Less than a mile away from where I stood trying to decide if there were spiders under the sofa or if I should just continue to stand on the table there was a famous sculpture garden built into the jungle. Seven waterfalls flowed into seven pools shaped like dragons and flowers, seven trillion huge wicked looking rainbow colored jungle spiders lived there too and they were all waiting for me to wander in so they could drop down on my face and crawl over my mouth and neck with their horrible eight legs.
"Ross and Rachel almost get together in the next one." I told her from the table."Press play."