I screamed as any
self-respecting grandmother might be wont to do. Spiders are one thing,
silverfish are something else, but a snake is an entity of an entirely
More exactly, I did
not let out a piercing squeal, but screeched in short bursts. Ordinarily, I do
not check to see if critters of the abhorrent kind are slithering on my
bathroom floor, especially after I have played too long at my keyboard and
urgently need to void. That said, on the night in question, I would have been
well-advised to investigate my environs before lowering my underthings.
Turning on the light
and separating my clothes from the lower part of my body are usually sufficient
to ensure that I have a good outcome. Given the fact that I am now
bespectacled, its reasonable that luminosity matters to me. As well, as I
have been, so far, blessed with two generations of descendants, its
correct to suppose that Im potty trained. I am not, however, prepared to
greet serpents in the room where the queen sits alone.
Later, after my
grown son and husband had run to my rescue (and I had made use of our other
lavatory), they examined the walls and the floors of our problematic toilet
chamber. Wielding a flashlight to illuminate all such egresses, my menfolk
found small holes in the bathrooms window casing (the reptile had been of
slight dimensionsit could have crawled through one of those
charged my husband to spackle to all such apertures wile I went to our living
room to clutch at pillows and stuffed toys, and to cry. Sixty is not too old to
be terrified by an ophidian.
Whereas my spouse
had been carried off the monster, via a long handled dustpan, minutes earlier,
it wasnt until many hours had passed that I was calm enough to describe
it to a local snake handler (fortunately, our national park service has a list
of such persons and, fortunately, I had mustered enough courage not to dismiss
it as an overly long worm, but as a progeny of ugly, frightening
beasts.) May that serpent controller be blessed with a long and healthy life, a
delightful wife, and many children! That expert charitably listened to my tale
of woe and punctuated my horror story with limited questions. When I finished
whimpering, he gently proposed that I send him a picture of our limbless
oblige him. In response to my palpable dread, my husband had hastily dispatched
that scaly trespasser and had flung it into some nearby bushes. Neither the
park employee nor I pronounced, aloud, that the scary interloper would have
been better placed on the ground. White knights need to be valiant, not
So, instead of
sharing an image, the professional and I discussed color and size. I gave him a
vivid report of the creatures approximated texture, too. My description
was only approximate as I never entertained the idea of touching the fiend.
snake man pronounced my visitor to be of a nonvenomous sort. He suggested, as
well, that since all entrances to our bathroom were being sealed that Id
not receive another such guest. It seems that our visiting snake was of a type
that travels alone.
Later, I gathered
enough courage to google that sibilating would-be lodger. The biologist had not
told the entire truth; the kind of devil that visited my home typically lives
in clusters. Perhaps, the man had thought Id never sleep again if I knew
that our snake kept company.
Anyway, at present,
whenever I need the toilet, first I turn on the bathroom light and then I open
the door. As well I look carefully at all the visible floor tiles before
entering. I then shake the bathroom towels and separate the shower curtain from
its liner. Only when I am satisfied by the results of my goings-on do I close
the door behind me and allow myself the vulnerability indigenous to using the
Sometime, though, in
the middle of the night, when my mind is still cloudy with the dreams from
which my bladder has summoned me, I forget that there had been biota in my
bathroom. On such occasions, I passed waste in the same mindless manner as I
had before the incident.
Im not sure whether I will ever again feel as though our mint-colored
room is a sanctuary, i.e., a peaceful place in which to enjoy a brief respite.
Rather, when Im at least partially awake, Ill probably remain
vigilant. That bathroom will remain for me not an oasis, but a place where
Ill continue to check for wildlife.