I felt it crawl down the back of my head, its weight was enough to move my hair. Had I been asleep, I might have missed it, but a noise in the hallway woke me up about an hour earlier. I couldn’t see it, but I had no delusions…it was a centipede.
With no previous experience to pull from, I rolled quickly and tried to smush it between my head and my pillow so it wouldn’t get away, a move I immediately regretted because then, there I was, with a centipede smushed between my head and my pillow. Fuck. What now? What have I done? I laid there for a minute and thought about the possibilities, heavily entertaining the thought that I might have been imagining things. This probably isn’t even happening! I talked myself into reaching over to turn the lamp on, but it was too far away. I had to grab my pillow with one hand and secure it to my head so I could stretch far enough to the right to reach the metal touch base (a feature never handier than at this moment). I turned on the lamp and shot up fast to survey the damage and…there was nothing there. Thank god! But I looked closer; I saw that I had pulled off some of its legs and four of them laid scattered ON MY SHEETS. It must have gotten away when I turned on my lamp. Armed with a Birkenstock and as much bravery as I could possibly muster, I pulled back the covers and I found that ugly fuck crawling up my snuggling pillow. In a second I took in everything around me, and I realized that Basil was still curled up, looking at me curiously with his sleepy brown eyes. He watched me raise my sandal up over my head and when he understood what was about to happen, he stole away to his crate for safety. I brought my sandal down and killed the long-ass bug where it stood.
I stepped back, my heart beating hard, to take in what had just happened. Before I even started processing the situation, I saw the second one from the corner of my eye, coming from the direction of my closet. It was running across the floor, likely searching for the safety of darkness since I had turned on the overhead light. With almost no thought at all, I acted fast and killed it with the other Birkenstock. Why are my shoes even up here?
I was frozen with fear and all of the obvious thoughts of infestation that came racing through my mind. I need to strip the bed. I need to vacuum. Am I doing that right now? It’s 2:30am. Am I prepared to deal with more if I find them? No. No to all of it. I went to Mr. Wonderful’s room and crawled into bed with him, somehow managing to find my way back to sleep.
I stayed out of the room for two days after that. It had become a crime scene with bodies that were yet to be removed. At the end of the second day I knew it couldn’t be avoided any longer. I had to deal with the disgusting leftovers of that night. I had to take back my bed. I pulled everything out from underneath it, which is where, in my mind, they had made their sick sick nests. I vacuumed every square inch of the room. Mercilessly. Even the lamp shade couldn’t escape.
I’ve slept in there the past two nights now. It hasn’t been easy blocking out the memory of what it felt like, the image of it’s severed legs on my bed. Basil is exhibiting some signs of trauma, he’s afraid of the room and won’t sleep on the bed with me. But…we’re getting through it.
(I am vegan and I kill bugs. I can only do so much.)