So I spent a year living in this tiny basement apartment that was adorable and nearly picture perfect except that it wasn’t properly sealed*. Which meant it slowly evolved into the perfect habitat for Hobo spiders. Don’t click that link unless you’re very fucking brave. The following is an almost entirely true account**. It is only one of many.
I was sitting on my futon in my standard position–back leaning against the arm rest, feet up, coffee table pulled up the edge of the cushions–as I worked my way through a political science paper. It was slow but very steady work and I finally arrived at a tea break. I set one foot on the floor as I reached across the messy spread of papers and textbooks for my mug when it happened. A spider who’s body was the size of the quarter ran out from under my couch, blitzing down the hardwood and passing within an inch of my foot. I screamed, grabbed my flipflops and ran outside. I dialed one of my besties, a great guy who conveniently lived half a block away.
“Paul! Paul! I know it’s ridiculous but oh my god my apartment has a spider and please just come over and take care of it? I’ll owe you the biggest favor ever.”
To be fair, I wasn’t at my most articulate. The spider had jump started my adrenaline and was getting to me way more than was reasonable. Like I said, though, he’s one of the nicest guys I know, and came over no questions asked. While I’m waiting for him I venture inside. I move slowly, cautiously, more like a trained spy sneaking up on a target than a college student facing down a spider. I retrieve my skillet, the closest handy hard object and returned to my front stoop to wait. Paul showed up, puzzlement painted across his face. He held his arms out for a hug without looking away from my apartment.
“What’s going on? Your apartment looks fine.”
I looked up at him, confused.
“No, the spider is still in there, in front of the bookshelf…”
His face changed from shocked to confused to exasperated in under a second.
“I thought you said your apartment was on fire! You called me over here for a spider?”
“Oh gosh! No, no fire! I’m so sorry! It’s just… it’s a really big spider!”
He looks at my face, at the skillet, and signs in resignation. He holds out his hand for the skillet, which I gladly offer up. I start to thank him but he just rolls his eyes, a smile just barely visible, and walks into my apartment. I wait.
“Holy shit! That thing is fucking huge!”
I can hear him scream that out through the closed door, and feel instantly vindicated. I knew that spider was enormous. Paul is silent through the closed doors and I hear nothing for a several beats.
BAM. It is the sound of my skillet hitting the floor
BAM BAM BAM. It is the sound of my skillet hitting the floor several more times, noises that surprise me but also further advance my feelings of vindication.
“It just won’t frickin’ die!” I hear Paul shout in exasperation. I get over my embarrassment about asking for help quickly and am glad Paul is here. He was the best person to call. David and I have only just started dating and I don’t want to test our bond by asking him to head over in the middle of the night. Also, as I will learn in a different story, David’s fear of spiders rivals my own.
Paul walks out of my tiny home, skillet in hand. He walks calmly over to the grass, wipes the skillet off a few times, and walks back in the apartment. He even washes my skillet again in the sink for me. I thank him, multiple times, and confirms my suspicions–that spider was enormous and terrifying and fought with enormous will to live. He did a quick walkthrough with me to insure no further spiders before leaving me alone with the political science paper.
*Also the shower flooded no matter how many times they tried to reseal it. Oh and the walls were full of bees. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the greatest apartment.
**The parts that aren’t true are likely the boring parts. Promise.