The jury may still be out on if God exists, but I know for a fact that the Devil is alive, healthy, and torturing my world in the form of a centipede.
I was just getting dressed for work tonight when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my cat flailing around my hardwood dining room floor like a taser victim. In cat speak, I know he’s delightfully teasing a bug with his paw: pulling it back, letting it run, and pouncing again. The first two things that go through my mind in that crucial first second are (1) how much I hate bugs and (2) that I am barefoot. Fuck.
I creep into the dining room with a weirdly mixed stealth of urgency and apprehensiveness. Urgency fueled by my dreams of the impending death, apprehensiveness in the event that it is one of those huge spider bastards you see in movies. The ones with the nasty, beady eyes. The ones that latch on and bite your arm fat something fierce, resulting in a painfully slow death, stranding you alone in a hospital bed, losing limb after limb to it’s poisonous bite until you are nothing but a little stump of a person, suitable for burial in a casket sized for circus midgets.
But, damn it, this is even worse. That little midget casket is starting to sound pretty peaceful when I see I am face to foot with a centipede in all his billion leg glory. Choking down vomit, I start sweating immediately. I HATE centipedes. They cause me terror for weeks after a sighting. My energy bill quadruples because I leave every light on 24/7 and for at least the next month I will get in and out of bed while simultaneously putting on or taking off my shoes. I will now also need to stop at Walgreens on the way home from work and get more lotion for the red rake-like nail marks I have on my legs as a result of the compulsive scratching. For even about five seconds, I miss any of my RBOTM (random boyfriends of the moment) who would have taken care of these things. Seriously, high five to all you Rosie the Riveter types out there when insects are involved. I am a Rosie about many things, but this shit absolutely cripples me.
The first thing within my reach is a half empty twelve pack of pop sitting on the side of the fridge, which comes slamming down in an instant kill. With a wad of approximately twenty paper towels as a sufficient barrier, I have to pick up individual LEGS off the floor while the rest of this beast is mangled on the bottom of the twelve pack. Unable to stomach wiping his juices off my pop and scraping off more legs than necessary, I carry the case as far as humanly possible away from my body and proceed to the Dumpster in the alley, throwing away about seven cans of tainted pop. Over the top? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. Not one of my more rational moments, I’m the first to admit. They are just that gross to me.
Once, when I was little, I saw a centipede in my parent’s basement and I was so freaked out that I put a big jug over it until my dad came home to kill it. Stupid, right? “If you could get close enough to cover it, why not just kill it?” asked my dad. After laughing at his idiotic daughter, and probably questioning paternity, he trudged to the basement to kill the captive, only to find it was gone. And as a result, I have been irrationally fearful of these crafty little centipedes ever since.
So not only has this centipede stolen my sense of security in walking around barefoot in my own apartment and temporarily altered my habit of not using any overhead lighting ever, I have now lost $4.00 worth of pop to the Dumpster and will spend another $8.00 on itch-relief lotion.
I just hope to God they don’t travel in packs. If he exists. Or isn’t too busy.