I spent my entire morning commute yesterday thinking that something was crawling on me. Now, my morning commute is only five stops on the train, but rush hour trains are always held up at the stations by passengers trying to cram themselves in, so five stops can take a half an hour. So picture me feeling itchy all over for a half an hour, adjusting the tags on my shirt and jacket in case that was the problem, furiously scratching the places I felt it most.
At first I thought it might be my imagination, because I do drop acid before going to work every morning, after all. But at one point, I actually felt like something was crawling on my ear. And I felt like the guy across from me on the train was watching it happen. I tried to distract myself with my Kindle, but I kept having to reach up every two minutes to brush existent or non-existent things off of my face. I wanted to get out a mirror and have a look, but I thought it was better to not know for sure, considering what my reaction might be.
I had it in my mind that it might be a spider, and I am totally scared of spiders. Like, scared in the way that if someone put a fake one in my lunch or on my pillow, I would never talk to that person again. Growing up on a farm, I was running downstairs nightly to wake my dad up and make him kill one I had or had maybe spotted on the wall beside my bed. Even now when I go to Ohio to visit, I’m on a constant look-out for spiders all over the house, and last time I was home and made my sister kill one for me that was dropping from the ceiling, she asked me, “How did you manage to survive twenty-some years in the country?” In that same trip, I made my best friend, Tracey, reach across me while we were in the Taco Bell drive-thru to pluck one of those little hairy spiders off of the armrest attached to my door. I really think I’m more equipped to deal with cockroaches somehow.
Anyway, I finally got to work and ran to the bathroom to check out my face. I didn’t see anything, so I officially chalked it up to my wild imagination and did my business. As I was washing my hands, though, this cute little spider came down on his web right in front of my face FROM MY HAIR. It was then that I remembered walking underneath a tree and noticing a spider hanging from it at the very last moment that morning, but never did I consider that it might have jumped on me. I tried to scream, but only air came out, and even though the last thing I want to do in the world is purposely touch a spider, I reached up and smacked it away.
And then I frantically checked the floor for it, but it was nowhere to be seen. And then I spent the rest of the day itching myself and being completely miserable.