Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. I don’t have it though. I just think spiders have too many legs. But anyway, back in my native place in Calcutta, this semi urban village called Rajpur, resides my grandmother’s house. It has this really creepy bathroom on the second floor. So on the first day, right, i go to pee. Right above the dingy lavatory, there was this really huge specimen of eight legged freak. I scampered. But then came the dilemma in the evening after i had some oily snacks. Do I shit in the Indian style bathroom on the ground floor or in the lavatory with the spider on the first one? It was a hard choice. Finally I chose the lavatory. Cause don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly Indian, just not that Indian. I go in. The creature is still there. I steel myself and do the shit I set out to do.
Second day, same thing happens. The spider remains immobile, and I conduct my bowel movements in peace. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh days pass the same way. I get used to the spider. I began to feel a strange kind of kinship with it. But then, on the eighth day, I go in. There’s no spider. I feel a brief, a very brief moment of elation, followed by several moments of bloody panic. Where the hell is the beast? What if it sneaks up on me while I unload my stuff? Why can’t I see it? It could be anywhere. It might have snuck into my pants lying out in the hall way. A thousand thoughts course through my veins, each more scary than the last. I am literally scared shitless, thereby nullifying my purpose in the bathroom. So I walk out, a wiser man, having learned two things.
Complacency is stupid. Spiders are brilliant at mind-fucking.