I took some Nyquil about an hour ago.
I don’t like Nyquil. The medication comes on slowly and then thumps you over the head with a wooden oar. Clunk! You sleep the sleep of discovered stowaways, whacked with no warning, rollicking on a sea-tossed ship, tearing at the rigging.
The drugs haven’t kicked in yet. Something brushed against my legs under the covers and I flung them off. The covers, not my legs. I wanted to expose the threat. I read an article on Monday about an entire town in India being overrun by a swarm of spiders from the jungle. Something had spooked them, causing the mass migration. What spooks spiders?
Who would ever choose to live in India? How do you sleep in a place where there is the potential for spider swarms? Is that why the cab drivers had come here? Was there no one to rid them of this plague? Where was their Saint Patrick?
I’m in that town. I see a pack, no, what did they call it? A swarm? I see a swarm of spiders, large ones, tarantulas, skittering their way towards me from the jungle. A rolling carpet of black, only now they’re on my bedroom floor.
I lift up the remaining sheet with a toe. Just to check. Just in case. This need will never go away. We will always whip open closet doors, duck heads under beds and scurry up basement steps, spines still tingling against adult reasoning.
I turn on the light.
I notice my neighbor’s light is on in the window across the alley. I think he saw me naked the other day. I had just gotten out of the shower and I swear our eyes locked for a moment. It was only a brief one though because I dropped to the ground and army-crawled over to close the blinds. I had to re-shower afterwards, washing off dust and embarrassment.
One night last month I saw that same neighbor dancing in his living room. He fell over an ottoman. I guess this makes us even.
There’s a car alarm going off outside my apartment. It’s been going for fifty minutes. Why do they still make car alarms when they’re ignored so often? Should I call the police?
“Yes, hello? 911? You have to send help. I think someone is breaking into a car.”
“Can you see the suspects, sir?”
“No, but I hear the car alarm. Something is obviously wrong.”
“Sir, I need you to…”
The Nyquil isn’t working. Maybe I’m addicted and have built up a tolerance. When I got my wisdom teeth out my mom refused to give me pain medication for fear I’d become addicted. I had ice cream instead and got a cavity.
Another car alarm is going off. Or is it the same one?
“Yes, 911? They’re back.”
My finger has a cut on it and I think it’s infected. I have no idea how I cut it. Maybe a tick has lodged itself under the nail and it is slowly draining my blood. Should I burn that finger also? You see I’ve already burnt my thumb, but I know how that happened. I was cooking last week and put on an oven mitt to protect myself…then I reached in to grab the pan with the other hand.
When I went to put a Band-Aid on the burnt thumb I managed to cut a completely different finger on the box. My life is a series of ironic injuries. My pinky is now the only workable finger. I will have to switch to tea.
11:37 PM. Still no sleep. Even if the drugs kick in now it’s no good. I’ll have a medicated hangover in the morning, the back of my mangled hand branded with a fading ink-stamp. NQ.
A car horn honks. I hope it doesn’t spook the spiders.