selva oscura (anonymousblack) wrote,
selva oscura
anonymousblack

minuscule creatures

miriam's little brother
miriam?

miriam
yeah, jer?

miriam's little brother
there’s a silverfish in the bathroom.

miriam
so use another bathroom.

miriam's little brother
miriam!

miriam
what?

miriam's little brother
i can’t pee if there’s a silverfish in the bathroom!

miriam
use another bathroom, i said.

miriam's little brother
i mean i can’t pee anywhere.

*


so according to pictures on the internet, the four... minuscule hell beasts i've seen since we moved to the new space weren't actually silverfish, but maybe house centipedes? who are apparently fierce warriors who eat silverfish and other undesirables, so maybe i can, like, make the sacrifice of tolerating them for sake of the greater good, though i don't know. every time i see one it's just like, what horrible turn has my life taken? why has god forsaken me? will i ever reclaim my experience from this horror?

understand: i can no longer magick with my clothes on, i try to magick for at least ten minutes once a day, and my workspace is on the floor. i've been ending up in full-on weeping buddha pose quite a lot lately? no reason. this could become a situation, dig? can you imagine?! i can. quite vividly, i can imagine. my therapist even told me all this scenario building i do is probably not helping me bring my best self to the fight for america's soul, but regardless, i have been given pause. perhaps it's time to design a sigil.

anyway, another situation that is not acceptable with regard to house centipedes and myself: us alone, together, in a small room. this little moment from my television series, based on a true story!, flashed through my brain today in the bathroom when a wad of hair came to life and charged me. i made a remarkably restrained vocalization, considering, and pulled my feet up onto the toilet seat. somehow. the beast paused, their nefarious intention briefly thwarted, except not really. minuscule hell beast number two (april) was spotted easily walking up the wall closest (of course) to my side of the bed so my elevation wasn't going to protect me. i considered my options.

on a day alone during my trip to denver in early 2002, i thought i might do the mint tour. turned out the mint was closed to visitors to protect our newborn american currency from the terrorists, but didn't know that until i'd stranded myself on the street outside of the mint. i read the signs, slowly, and slowly walked away, trying to shape out a new plan for the day.

there was a guard in a small, unpleasant looking windowed outbuilding that might have served as a ticket booth in happier times. i'd nodded at her in acknowledgement as i was learning of my predicament, but i don't think my nod took. see, i'm strange. i'm not good at looking.... normal, especially not when i'm trying. apparently, when i try to look normal, i look even weirder. it's a bitch in job interviews. at this point in my history, i proudly wore an oversized gentlemen's black woolen topcoat i found at a vintage clothing sale in the basement of the hemmens cultural center a couple years earlier. the effect was kind of early eighties david bryne meets impoverished waif in a churchyard wasting away in her wealthy abandoning lover's topcoat. proudly i wore it in illinois, i mean. in colorado, less than three years after columbine, long before all the trenchcoat mafia stuff got debunked, it felt a little tone deaf, but i am indeed something of an impoverished waif and this was my only winter coat.

the guard loudly, clearly and directly informed me, walking slowly away, "YOU'RE NOT WALKING FAST ENOUGH." i'll tell you what, just thinking about it, eighteen years later, disassociating a little. might need that weighted blanket. maybe EMDR. oh, god, i remember thinking, this is it. i'm gonna be a story on the news. part of it goes back to that scenario building, another part to my affective empathy: what if i'd been BIPOC and the guard had been male? this "funny" little anecdote might not exist. this was the second incident in less than six months (protected entry, CW: entrapment, intimidation) where my whiteness may have protected me from worst case scenarios when aspects of my disability and gender put me at risk. as horrible as this realization might be, consider the alternative. as i have, many times, in the years since.

in that moment, my first impulse was to RUN THE FUCK AWAY AND BE RUNNING STILL, but i masked that threat response as best i could because, first, it seemed like running could inspire escalation, and second, it was early january and the sidewalk was pretty slippery. so i walked faster but not too much faster and tried like fuck to look normal and i will NEVER EVER EVER attempt to go to the denver mint or maybe even denver again.

back to our minuscule hell beast scene, i remembered that moment and thought it might be productive to inform the encroaching creature in my scariest guard voice, "YOU NEED TO BE MOVING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION."

difference being the guard had combat-grade firearms and my bare ass was on a toilet. the creature continued on, undeterred.

so next, i tried reason. it's worked for me with spiders, why not beastly centipede monsters? look, i said. the beast paused, as though listening. i appreciated that. it was wrong of me to yell at you, and i'm sorry. it's just, i'm concerned. this isn't headed to a good place. for either of us. you're terrifying, but i'm much bigger than you, and i lose perspective in the presence of minuscule hell beasts. i don't have shoes, but i can make due with a shampoo bottle. we need to maintain some boundaries here, or i might respond reactively. please reconsider your current path and maybe survey this territory at a later point in time. i should be done here in five minutes or less, i said, though i guess five of my minutes could mean a few decades in the time of a minuscule hell beast such as yourself.

the creature turned the corner at the base of the sink console while i sucked in a breath and estimated my reach to the nearest shampoo bottle. they vanished under the plunger bulb and stayed. grateful for their concession, i washed my hands in the kitchen.

later i told ben about my experience. he shook his head, sighed, and said, yeah, i killed one of those in the bathroom this morning. he thinks it was the morning, he wasn't entirely sure; my incident might have happened afterward, when ben was out running an errand.

so which is worse, dear reader? that he killed the beast i'd successfully negotiated with, or that there was a second minuscule hell beast in the same room on the same day?
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