No, I’m not talking about aliens (though I was a HUGE X-Files fan back in the day and I do believe the truth is out there). I’m talking about the numerous creatures that call South Louisiana (and sometimes our house) home. Specifically, lizards.
You can say how cute they are and how they are an integral part of the ecosystem. I don’t care. I don’t like them. Scratch that- I hate them- especially when they invade my territory. I will concede the outdoors to them. It is just another point for my argument against the outdoors and solidifies my long held belief that I am an indoor kinda gal.
Let me set the scene for you. I was doing laundry. I loaded up the washer. I started the water. Next, (and this replays in my mind in slow motion), I open the cupboard over the washer to get the soap. As I do, something falls- right in front of my face- into the washer. It happened so fast the object was a blur. As I was still naïve, I thought “Oh, what was that?” I looked up and didn’t see anything. I looked in the cupboard in front of me. Nope, nothing there. And then I looked into the washing machine to see if I could see what fell in. Nothing. So, I leaned a little bit forward and…….
I need to back up and give you some background. A week and a half earlier, we had been up in Kansas for Christmas. Brian and I were sitting in the living room talking to mom and somehow the subject of lizards came up. Now, my mom knows me and she knows how I feel about lizards. She’s been to Florida with me and seen me put many a band leader to shame with my high kicking running through the gauntlet of lizards that sun themselves on Florida’s sidewalks. But Brian still really didn’t grasp this fear.
|The scene of that fateful day.|
Mind you, this fear of lizards is not irrational. It’s totally rational and started when I was 2. We were living in Hawaii (yeah, yeah- tell me how great it is when you finish reading this). When I would go to sleep at night, geckos (not the cute insurance commercial version) would come into my room and crawl on the ceilings and chirp. Even at 2 I realized how wrong this was and would not go to sleep until my parents got rid of them. This fear is very real and completely justified.
My mom and I were relaying this story to Brian when he said “Boy, I’m really glad I didn’t tell you about the lizard I found in our shower in Ottawa.” The room fell silent as all attention turned to me. “WHAT?” I couldn’t really say more than that, as I started reliving every shower I took in that apartment. I can only imagine what I would have looked like running down the streets of Ottawa naked and screaming had I found a lizard in our shower. Brian tried to reassure me that the lizards in Louisiana did not want to come into our house and there wouldn’t be very many. “They don’t want to be in our house. Their food is outside. They eat mosquitos.” He also tried to reassure me that they wouldn’t come out until it got warmer in March or April. So I had a few months to prepare myself to deal with the image of my wonderful cats batting one of those evil and disgusting lizards around our living room.
So, now you have a little better idea of the weeks (and years) of lizard-fearing that had gone on in my life before I decided to do some laundry.
(Back to the laundry room )I leaned over and looked in the washing machine and saw a white tail and two little feet. That was it. I ran screaming from the laundry, through the office, through the kitchen, through the dining room and into the living room where Brian was sitting. He didn’t realize what the noise was at first. It was so high pitched he said it didn’t sound human. It was me. I told him there was a lizard in the washing machine. He got a little smile on his face and chuckled. But only for a second until he realized ( I made him realize) this was not a joking matter. He sat there for a minute and wanted to know what happened. I quickly told him. And he still just sat there. “Go get him! The water is running in the washer! Get him! GET HIM!”
He went and got him. He had died quite a while ago- probably before we moved in. The motion of the washing machine and our opening the cabinet door had slowly moved him to the edge until that fateful day.
If Brian had not been there, I can assure you that I would have closed that laundry door and started stocking up on quarters for the Laundromat. Because I would have never gone in that room again.
The next couple of days had me opening cabinets and jumping back. I opened the shower curtain and jumped back. I told myself this was silly. They are small and probably more afraid of me then I am of them. They eat mosquitos (which I’ve heard are as big as lizards down here). I am going to have to find a way to deal with this come Spring. I’m thinking of duct taping all the doors and windows.