When I was in high school, my bedroom was the only one on the second floor of the house. I shared the space with a storage room and eaves closets full of spiders.
Some of those spiders were brown recluses. I got really paranoid about being bitten; I’d check my bed every night. Once I picked up a shoe to squash a spider, and a tiny recluse came skittering out over my hand. It was enough to give a girl a bit of an arachnophobic complex.
But I never got bitten, and in fact the idea of a spider in my bed biting me was the source of a lifetime of nightmare fuel.
Fast forward (twentymumble) years, and today I live in suburbia, in a nice house, with a bedroom far from the eaves or attic space. I share that bed with a spouse and two dogs. It’s quite full. No room for spiders.
That didn’t stop one from (near as I can tell) crawling into the bed a week ago, where I rolled over on it in my sleep and got bitten. The spider apparently escaped, as I never found its corpse. I simply woke up with some itchy red welts on my back.
For several days, I thought the culprit was a mosquito. Ha.
Around Friday, a freckle appeared in one of the bites that quickly grew into a black spot – necrosis. One of the others developed a blister that popped itself, looked to be clean for a while, but yesterday started to turn as well.
Surprise! I’d been bitten by a brown recluse. And not just once, but at least three times, which almost never happens. I finally got to the doctor, confirmed the diagnosis, and have some meds prescribed that should help mitigate the damage, but there’s no getting around the fact that these are going to scar.
And an added wrinkle – the bites are all on top of or around an old keloid chicken pox scar that I’ve had since I was eight. I’m going to have divot scars on top of mountain-shaped scars – volcano scars! Which is pretty cool, actually. I’ll name them Mount Skin Helens and Recluvius.
But here we are, back at finally experiencing the thing that gave me the heebie-jeebies throughout my entire adult life, and all the emotional reaction I can seem to summon is, “Well, I guess that happened.”
Sometimes the Worst Possible Thing turns out to be anticlimactic, but hey, at least it’ll leave some cool scars.