I am the kind of person that blisses out in showers. Honestly, the deluge pours down on me and my brain goes utterly blank. Poetically, it’s a primal moment- my senses go haywire and my eyes vacant as I lose track of time. Realistically, though, it basically zones me out.
That said, showers are also a terrain of great danger. For the longest time the shower that I currently use was a construction site, reserved for mouldy shower curtains, kitty litter (and poop) and a leaning pile of empty conditioner bottles (next to the shampoo bottle that. Just. Won’t. Empty).
After my dad refurb-ed our house the bathroom became absolutely beautiful, but a certain part of me still twitches when I hop into it.
On this day, I was having a real Herbal Essences moment- hair swirling between my hands and suds running in glossy ribbons over my shoulders. I was practically purring.
Face into the jets, I looked upwards, and saw it-
A motherfucking spider.
Fuck. That. Shit. It was the size of my hand, spitting mad right on top of the shower head, and just inches from my eyes.
I flinched, a full body gut reaction, my body crushed instantly against the far corner of the cubicle in panic. Where before I was purring, now I was hissing.
The thing followed my trajectory, forelegs raised at the attack-
But then it wriggled, its legs dancing randomly, unable to sit still.
I watched it for a moment, this fearsome guardian between safety and me. The thing is, I’m not afraid of them… not really. The way that spiders move, and my background knowledge of potential pain, acts on me with a sort of instinct- the sight triggers the flinch. After a few moments, however, a kind of sick fascination washes over me.
Imagine it- this full grown girl, naked and flabby, keening in the corner of her shower stall, watching a dancing spider, its legs hanging awkwardly over the side of a shower head in way that clearly indicated that it was screaming “I kiiiiiill you!!’ in spider.
It was about here that I noticed that the shower was still running- and running HOT. The dancing took on a whole new meaning, and the scene crystalised. It became apparent that Mr Spider was in fact my teeny torture victim.
His sensitive feet were trying to find purchase on the slick, misted metal while the shower’s heat radiated up into them. He ran, back and forth, frantic, unable to escape the pain.
Horrified, I edged around the spout, running to find supplies to save him.
Armed with a half-empty mason jar candle and an envelope divested of a long-forgotten birthday card, dripping and naked, I edged back onto the scene. The spider was now running up and down the spout.
I stared at it- how the fuck was I supposed to capture THAT? I’m usually a deft hand at sealing a spider up and releasing him to the overgrown haven of our backyard, but this wild flight was a little more daunting.
Weakly, I threw water up at him- careful not to actually hit him, mind- and hoping that he would run towards the wall.
Instead, he parachutes.
Repeat. He motherfucking PARACHUTES at me.
It was like a murderous bullet of legs, fangs first and falling faster than I could handle.
Primal Danni reacted, her wild shriek galloping around the bathroom, and falling with a crash back out of the stall. My legs were splayed, my eyes edging up to look over my round gut, seeing the eight eyes of vengeance crouched in the V made up of my thighs and junk.
A big, fucking NOPE of nope-y nope-ness. Spiders on your bush are NOT ALLOWED.
Instinctively, I whacked it, my hands reacting without my brain, battering at the thing, flinging it away from me. I mean, he wanted to be there about as much as I wanted him there, so it was really quite unfair of me- but, still, his little leggy body was NOT welcome.
Through the eye-watering residual pain of crotch-slapping, I scrambled away again. The mason jar candle was thankfully intact, so I whipped it up and over, sealing the spider against the tiles.
For a moment, the room was quiet. I was shivering slightly, still wet and naked, but now somewhat violated as well.
Water pooled beneath and around the jar and, having got it this far, I didn’t want the damn thing drowning. I slipped the envelope, somewhat soggily, beneath the jar, and picked the whole thing up.
It’s winter over in Oz at the moment, so I hesitated to walk him all the way to the garden outside. Plus, I was naked. Hesitating, I released the spider on the windowsill, opening the window up for his fast escape. Instead, he limped out and collapsed.
Returning back to the shower, I slopped my way through my final ablutions, one eye on the bruised enemy (and seven of his eyes on me).
I think we’d called a cease fire by that point.
But, you know, he was back in the stall the next day, absolutely fine – and ready for round two.
Danielle K Day