The facility I was in was basically a large “L” shape. There was a short hallway and a long hallway. Where the two met was the nurse’s station and the community lounges. The short hallway was where the females’ rooms were and the long hallway was for the males, but when the female rooms were full they would spill over into the long hallway. That’s where my room was. I was in the room near the end of the hallway and every room around me was housing men.
One evening I had gone to my room to change into my pajamas and as I was walking down the hallway I saw something hanging from one of the lights. I moved in closer to get a better look and to my surprise and horror I realized it was a rather large, blonde colored spider! I jumped back with a shrill cry and the mental health workers and nurses all looked in my direction. Feeling utterly embarrassed, but too scared to care much I began pointing and and with a squeaking, hyperventilating voice I said, “There’s a spider! Hanging. Right there!!”
They all looked at me like I was absolutely crazy. None of them could see it. “It’s right there. I am NOT crazy, just look.” Now I was starting to panic and I began thinking what if I AM going crazy… Then one of the guys came out of his room wanting to see what all the fuss was about and I screamed as he almost ran into the monster. He jumped back and looked where I was frantically pointing and then he saw the spider.
“Oh shit!” He jumped back and went back into his room. The workers were all still looking at me, but now they knew I wasn’t losing my mind. Still, no one came to my rescue. All I wanted was to go to the lounge to unwind, but I was trapped. Then the guy came back out of his room armed with two sandals. My hero in a hospital gown. Gingerly he walked up to the creature and braced himself. Just as he was about to forcefully bring the two sandals together the spider began to drop down and he, who was apparently also fearful of the beasts, jumped back as I squealed and covered my face. Just as I uncovered my face I saw him smash the thing between his sandals and a wave of relief washed over me.
He wiped his sandals on the the floor and smashed it against the ground as if the spider were still alive. He walked away with a triumphant strut and I stood there still feeling trapped. The workers again looked at me and watched as I struggled to pass the spot where the creature met his death. Every time I got close my heart would be gripped by fear and I could not move. Some of the workers began chuckling as they returned to their work.
Finally sick of being laughed at I took a few cleansing breaths and a couple steps back then charged forth past the threshold. I stopped just before the nurse’s station and was feeling proud of myself, when one of the male workers we affectionately called Blondie pointed just above me and asked, “What’s that?” I shrieked and ran for the lounge as he laughed.
As I entered the smaller of the two lounges, where my new friends were waiting, I was flushed and laughing. but still spooked thanks to Blondie. I retold my tale and everyone had a good laugh, albeit at my expense, but it certainly lightened the mood and Blondie’s nickname changed to Meanie Pants.
It seems that no matter where I go or what season it is, these things will always find me lol.