It was waiting for me at the door

I got home late last night from visiting my husband in Albany, and I was dog tired. It was a good visit, but it’s almost 200 miles altogether, and I provided entertainment. Fred knew who I was, and there were no tears, so life was good. However, it was raining so hard on the way home that I missed my exit and had to go about 25 miles out of my way. I found myself driving through farm towns I had never heard of with nothing but fields and old barns around. I was so glad to see the signs for Corvallis, which meant I could turn west on Highway 34 and go back home to the Oregon coast.

I arrived at my door, guitar in one hand, purse, coat, music book, and melting-ice Burger King drink in the other, went to open the screen door, then stopped and stared. The biggest slug I had ever seen, about eight inches long, was plastered across the door and frame just above my head like a giant tape sealing the door shut.

It was the color of snot, same consistency, too. Slug-ugly. Unappealing though it was, I didn’t want to kill it. Nor did I want to touch it with my hands or anything else I treasured. My keys, for instance, might not do the job and would be rendered forever sticky. Finally I just put the guitar down and opened the door, ducking under the slug.

After I got myself in, I went back out to look. The slug had shrunk itself down to one side of the door and was fine. Fifteen minutes later, it was gone, probably snacking on my rhododendrons.

Visits from bugs are common here. In my shower, I have had a cozy relationship with a spider for the last five days. If she stays on the ceiling, I don’t mind, but when she comes down opposite my eyeballs while I’m wet and naked, I get a little nervous. I’m not into murder, but I wish she’d go somewhere else. I’m beginning to wonder how long a spider can live. She gets plenty of water, and the ants I saw a while back have disappeared, so I guess she has food. I’ll continue this live-and-let-live relationship as long as I can, but you never know what’s going to happen.

This morning, for instance, I went to put my soap in the rack above the bathtub and it slipped through the holes, falling directly into my glass of orange juice. “Oh no!” I said, staring at it in horror. What a way to start the day. Then, when I went to open a new can of frozen OJ, the plastic pull-off deal that seals it shut broke off in my hand. Hello, Monday!

But all is well. I just checked on the spider. She’d like to borrow a little soap and shampoo. The slug is oozing along under the hydrangeas, and I’ve got new orange juice chilling in the fridge.

May your week be free of slugs at the door, spiders in the shower and soap in your orange juice. And if your soap does fall into your juice, offer it to the spider or the slug. Or both.

Author: Sue Fagalde Lick

writer/musician California native, Oregon resident Author of Freelancing for Newspapers, Shoes Full of Sand, Azorean Dreams, Stories Grandma Never Told, Childless by Marriage, and Up Beaver Creek. Most recently, I have published two poetry chapbooks, Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano: Confessions of a Distracted Catholic. I have published hundreds of articles, plus essays, fiction and poetry. I'm also pretty good at singing and playing guitar and piano.

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