You need to know this first bit for the post to make sense. As my friends know, I am mortally afraid of spiders, although much better than I used to be. For about ten years from the early 90s to the early-mid 2000s, if I was very stressed, I would have what Paul christened spider nightmares. The nightmare part was because the dream always took place where I happened to be physically at that moment. In the dream, the spiders would be huge, run as fast Olympic athletes and could turn, see me and fly to land on my paralysed body. I would wake up screaming. As my life calmed, I began to trust people a little more, the nightmares have now all but ceased.
The other day I was sorting through some stuff and came across my diary for 2004. I began to read it and thought this one entry was too good not to share.
“Mike came round to do the electrics. Bless him, I think the world of him but he is definitely one of life’s bumblers. So, between sorting out various issues, one being a neighbour with problems at work, who cried all over me for about four hours, it was a tiring day. I was knackered when we went to bed.
It was very hot and muggy, so, of course, we had the fan on full. Still too hot, so we were wide-awake at 2am when there was a huge bang and the fan went off. Paul, at first, thought it was a power cut, but we discovered the lights still worked, so he went downstairs to flick the switch and we put the fan into a different socket, just to be on the safe side.
A few minutes later, the empty socket (the one Mike had used as a feed for my new wardrobe light) flashed in a spectacular fashion and everything went off again, except the lights. We daren’t use the sockets. With no fan, we were beyond boiling hot, so pulled back the curtain to let some air in and pushed the covers off. Five minutes later, I felt something tickle my leg and, looking down, I was convinced I saw a spider run over my leg and under Paul’s side of the duvet.
I, of course, leapt out of bed as if all the devils in hell were after me and switched on the light. Paul was convinced that my difficult couple of days and being so tired was feeding my spider phobia and I had simply had a spider nightmare. He tried to persuade me to come back to bed. I was still gibbering with fright and almost hysterical. Despite all his soothing words, I wouldn’t go near the bed. So, to show me it had been a spider nightmare, he threw back the duvet to show me there was no spider.
That was when he saw how bloody big it was – about 2” across and I am not exaggerating, he said a word that sounded like duck and threw himself out of bed. By this time, the spider had worked out his (her) journey had not been one of his (her) better ideas and began to leg it back across the bed to my side. With unerring precision, Paul smacked it with his slipper, so my side was decorated with an enormous damp patch of squished spider. I went to sleep downstairs.
Next morning I said to Paul ‘Bloody hell, she was a big spider’, to which he replied. ‘Ah, but it might have been he and we haven’t seen she yet.’ Then he went off to work.”
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