Tag Archives: living alone

Supaidaa Paatei (It’s a Spider Party at my House, and You’re Invited)

(スパイダー・パーティー)

Nature is out to get me. No, no, the universe is out to get me. The whole universe. Especially the barista who gave me that sour milk latte the other day. But I digress.

Like so many Neurotic-Americans I blog am absolutely terrified of spiders. Just thinking about them hard enough can make me cry, and I do so every so often in front of someone, just to prove the point. I hate them. I find myself wondering why, if there is a Divine Creator, S/he thought it was okay to make something so sinister looking, or to allow it to evolve. So, the other day I saw a Really Big Spider outside, and nearly lost my shit, but I thought this was a one-off. Fast forward to last night…

I was washing my face when I caught a glimpse of something in the tub. Another random dust-bunny, I thought. My face dripping, I peeked over to check, because it kind of seemed to be moving on its own.

“Oh.. my… god…”

I said that out loud.

“Nooooooo, sir.”

That too.

In my (no longer) lovely and welcoming jacuzzi tub a spider the size of a silver dollar was gleefully sauntering along. I’m not kidding you. At the time, I took a photo because I thought perhaps people would think I was exaggerating The Size of The Horror, and I’d benefit from some validation about how traumatic it must have been to battle such a beast alone. But I punked myself. Because once I took that photo, I couldn’t look at my iPhone photos again. I knew that spider photo was in there, and I was petrified of seeing it, let alone waving it in the face of a friend. (I still haven’t accessed the photo album).

I stood in the bathroom flapping my arms like a duck for another full minute before deciding I’d better wash the thing down the tub drain. I dumped water on the thing. A lot of water. And then I noticed the drain was closed. The beast just bobbled along lazy-river style while I flapped and flailed some more, trying to figure out how I’d get the drain open.

I won’t tell you how long that took me.

When the beast drifted to the far side of the tub I pulled the drain open with a device I’ll call “the end of a mop”, and encouraged the spider to enjoy my theme park’s water slide by pouring a bit more water into the lazy-river.

The bastard was too big to fit down the drain.

It actually sat there on top of the drain with its arm flailing about as I stared at it in terror, saying:

“Oh…. heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll no.”

I thought about putting one of the dogs in the tub to see if he’d eat the spider, but I’d never be able to hug the dog again if that happened.

I finally got it to go down the drain, but before I tell you how I want to give any sensitive readers a chance to go visit another blog.

Ok.. we good?

I boiled some water in the kettle and poured boiling water on it.

Guiltily catching my breath, I LINE messaged T about the whole thing.

Horrified, he told me “You know spiders are guardian spirits sent to watch over your house, right?”

Oy… well, that explains the seemingly bad karma I have this week.

**** Part 2, The SMOKE ALARM

On Wednesday night I was shocked awake by the smoke alarm running tests at 3 A.M. Our my house has smoke detectors in every room, all wired to the ceiling. One had been chirping for a new battery the other day, and I couldn’t seem to get it to STFU because I hadn’t ever dealt with a smoke detector before.  I thought just changing the battery would be sufficient, but it wasn’t; I had to disconnect the thing from the ceiling wires.

Anyway, at 3AM it didn’t occur to me that there might be a fire. Rather, I assumed I’d done something wonky to the detector. But try as I might, it kept going off. I was near tears, hysterically/sleepily stumbling to the garage to get a ladder, trying to coax Mei out from under the car, trying to get London outside before he stress-pooed (things literally “scare the shit” out of that dog).

Sigh.

When I finally got the SD to stop periodically wailing, I was absolutely convinced it would come back on, so I spent most of the rest of the night tensely lying in bed, waiting…

Neither of these things happened when J lived in the house. Thanks, universe!

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He Helps Those Who Help Themselves

How do you learn to live by yourself if you’ve gotten to age 34 without doing so? I mean, I tried for the first time in Tokyo, but that went horribly and I scrambled like a frightened animal to not be alone in that apartment… keeping busy doesn’t help, because I don’t have the energy to stay in perpetual motion right now.

I cry daily.

My new therapist has me coming in fairly often so she can keep an eye on me.

I went to the maul yesterday, for some LUSH body cream (my skin is a mass of rashes and hives from stress), and as I stood in the brightly lit maul, in the Sephora, with its flashing lights and screaming noises, without the slightest urge to buy anything, I thought “I want to die.”

I thought this in a purely academic way. I didn’t mean it; death is a horrifying concept to me, THE most horrifying concept. When the topic comes up in my mind, in conversation, or in the media, I picture my littlest dog Mei clinging hysterically to a blanket to avoid being picked up at bath time. And I cling hysterically to my daily existence, as miserable as it has been this year.

If I had a family of my own, I wouldn’t be alone. If I had kids, I wouldn’t be alone. These thoughts obsess me.

The “introvert/extrovert” binary has been getting so much attention recently, as if people never used those terms before 2012… and indeed, I am an either an introvert or just massively dysfunctional. I remember at age 12 I cried to my mother over how lonely I was.

She said “Call a friend. Why don’t you call K? Or K? Or M? Or N?”

I couldn’t explain why I didn’t call them.

I’ve been lonely my entire life, it seems. I have a few things that work for me:

-family. Living in the same house as another person
-socializing with enough warning to prepare myself emotionally. I love planned events, but not in loud spaces.

The more stressed I get, the more easily overwhelmed I become. The more I retreat.

In this big house, I pace. I do a little yoga. I write 3 pages a day on paper of rambly thoughts. I catch up on American TV on Netflix (so many shows I’ve heard people talk about, that I’ve never seen). I read a book on divorce. I Line message T, who is missing me as much as I him. I try to meditate. I pace some more. I make tea and forget to drink it. I stare into the back yard. I cry some more. I study more Japanese vocabulary, because there is always more to learn.

I do indeed have PTSD …from the things that happened to me in Japan that I’m not talking about publicly.

I’m wearing a couple of stone bracelets, that T picked out for me in Yokohama’s Chinatown. Supposedly the stones help to protect the wearer’s heart, and to heal her. He bought me a bowl of crystals that the bracelets go in each night, to re-charge:

healing crystals?

I am so blessed in so many ways, right? We all say that to ourselves when things are horrible and hard. I’ve learned that so much of what I thought of as blessings are less important than the connection between me and other people. But because I am me, and so much like my father, I primarily nurtured the connection between me and one other person, made 1 person my whole support system. But now I am confiding in the person who is hurting me the most. I just wrote him:

“I am so lonely.”

He answered: “Then make some friends.”

Ugh, I am having stabbing head pains at random intervals. The last time I suffered from these was the other lowest time in my life. They force me to close my eyes, pause, and look within.