November 23, 2010

Peace Corps Moment – 8-Legged Wonder (Part 2 – I’ve Got My Eyes On You) – Sri Lanka 1997

I’m showering away with watering spraying everywhere from the overhead nozzle. It’s a dual-purpose activity: I wash myself and the inside walls of the bathroom at the same time. Very eco-friendly. My mind is drifting through last week’s activities of language learning, exploring my neighborhood, and getting to know my family and their staff.
Soap suds cover my arms and shoulders. I’m scrubbing away. And, of course, have now completely forgotten I’m the target of an 8-legged vendetta – which is exactly what it wants.

I happen to look straight up into the oncoming water. No reason in particular. It's not something I normally do. But for that moment, my head tilts back and I open my eyes. Directly above maybe 3 feet away, The Spider clings to the rafter, upside down. That large body. Those long legs. Those soulless black orbs. In that split second, I let out a yelp of pure terror and leap to the side.

But it’s too late.

No, it doesn’t drop. No it isn’t latched onto my face sinking inch-long fangs into my eye – it’s large enough that its legs would wrap from cheek to cheek. Nope, nothing like that happens at all … it is still on the rafter, watching.

Then I realize that this is the whole purpose behind the sneak attack. It wants me to know that it could’ve had at me unmercifully. With one swoop, cold revenge would have been served. Yet, this is not how it works. This isn’t a war to be won in a swift decisive move. It is a feud ... and needs to play out in a long, slow, torturous series.

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