Once upon a time, when I was the frightened victim of a home invasion, I had this conversation with Fish:
Me: There's no spiders in the Loop.
Fish: I'm pretty sure that's not true.
For those keeping score at home, that makes it Fish and things that are trying to kill me 1, amberance nil.
I noticed the first one coming down the stairs at Quincy last Friday morning hanging from the overhead light. Not your standard yellowish brown house spider of run of the mill terrifyingness, but one of those big black ones with the huge fat asses that are clearly capable of devouring an infant in under two minutes or, more importantly, a grown woman in ten. Hanging from the light just waiting with patient malice for me to walk underneath it so it can jump on my head. Being that it is officially autumn now, I have prepared myself for spiders seeking a warmer environment, i.e. indoors or hanging off of a light, so the heart attack I had was relatively minor and I made a mental note to use the other stairs when I went home.
One of the things with me and the spiders is that these incidents do not leave me right away. When I encounter one I tend to relive it for hours and I am on heightened spider awareness for several days. I don't seem to be able to just shrug it off and forget about it. Because of this, when I went home that afternoon, my eyes were scanning every overhead light I would have to pass . I found another one on the other set of stairs. And another one on the walkway. And then, when I got on the platform, HOLY FUCKING SHIT THERE WERE DOZENS OF THEM. Every single light. I mean it, every one. And they were moving. Oh they were very busy spinning their evil death traps and plotting my demise. It was the longest wait for a train I have ever experienced.
Even when the train showed up the terror didn't stop. I was looking in the corners of the train, at the seat backs, the hand rails. I checked my jacket hood and my backpack. There was no way, I thought, no WAY with that many spiders and that many people for them to jump on, that they hadn't orchestrated a mass invasion of the transit system. I didn't see any more that day, but I didn't manage to stop thinking about it either. The situation was clear: I can't use the Quincy train station any longer. At least until mid winter.
"What are you going to do, walk to work?" asked the comic (who has thus far failed to grasp the depth of my fear) later that night when I told him.
"No, I'm going to start getting off at Washington/Wells."
"What if there are spiders there?" There are spiders there, I've checked. But there are far fewer of them, they are more spread out and the station is designed in such a way that I'm not forced to walk under the lights (a.k.a. gauntlet of terror). It is by no means a perfect solution. I still spend the ride home checking and rechecking all surface areas on myself and the train, and my nerves are still at Defcon 3 the entire time I'm standing on the platform, but I can handle it. So far. The comic has decided that he prefers sexy blonde ponytail Amber to the pile of crazy you all have just experienced. "I'll leave bananas Amber for someone else," he said. That, good people, would be you.