Aug 7, 2009

The Iguana

As promised, this is the story about the iguana. Prepare yourself - this is a slightly longer post than usual. It's that bizarre.

A couple months after Ben and I moved into our apartment, my friend Megan and I were leaving, when we saw a couple people standing near cars looking at a tree right outside my apartment building. When they saw us, the first guy immediately started asking us questions.

Weird Stranger #1: Hey do you drive a Civic?

Me: Noooo, why? (I wonder if all the people in this building are this random).

W. Stranger #1: Oh, because we found these car keys on the ground and we don't know who they belong to.
Okay yes, I felt bad for thinking this guy was weird - he was trying to do a nice thing.

Me: Oh, sorry, I don't even know who drives that car - wish I could help.

Weird Stranger #2: (who had been looking up this whole time) Hey, do you have an iguana?

This stopped us in our tracks.

Megan and Me: WHAT?

W. Stranger #2: Do you have an iguana? Because there's one in that tree and we figured it's someone's pet and got out.

They were not kidding. When we looked up, there was an iguana sitting on one of the limbs of this tree - green, scaly, with a ridiculously long tail. (It kind of freaked me out, I'm not really a fan of reptiles).

Me: Uh, no, that's not mine either.

W. Stranger #1: Oh, okay , we'll talk to you guys later.

Meg and me: (We practically ran to my car). Okay, bye!

It doesn't end there. The next day I was parking my car and saw a guy looking up into that same tree. He had on a white shirt, hat, and khakis so I was thinking he was from animal control. When I got out of my car he too started asking me questions.

Stranger #3: Excuse me, I know this is going to sound random, but by any chance have you seen an iguana around here?

Me: (nervous laugh) Uh, yeah, actually there was one in that tree yesterday afternoon. Is it not there anymore? (If he is from animal control doesn't he need a net to catch it?)

Stranger #3: No, there's nothing in the tree. Someone told me it was loose - it's actually my iguana.

Pause for my mental reaction of why the crap does this guy have a huge iguana in a tiny apartment? And how the heck did it get out?

Iguana Owner: I keep him on my balcony, and sometimes I leave his cage open so he can wonder around and into the apartment.

I took a small step back because I was really starting to think this guy was a weirdo.

Iguana Owner: I guess I left his cage open when I left for work today because when I got home he was gone. I actually thought a hawk picked him off the balcony or something.

Great. Now I have to worry about random iguanas AND hawks? What the hell kind of area do we live in? This is a suburb for cryin' out loud!

Iguana Owder: Would you do me a favor? If you see him again, would you come bang on my door so I could get him? (He pointed to his apartment in the next building over).

I stuttered out a "yeah sure," and he started to walk away, but turned back and added,

(Iguana Owner): Oh, but if you see him, I wouldn't approach him. He can be mean. The people who owned him before me abused him.

Did they swing him around by his tail, because really, how would you abuse an iguana?

Iguana Owner: Yeah and he bites. So, if you see him, if you would just come to my apartment that would be great.

He leaves. I stood froze in place. I didn't even know this guy's name and he's telling me his crazy, formerly abused iguana loose in our apartment complex and he might bite me. Awesome.

At this point I'm standing on the sidewalk looking at my building. All the buildings in our complex are open, and in order to get to the walk-up level you have to go up two stairs. Flanking the two steps, are two huge bushes with a gap between the shrubs and the steps. A space big enough to fit an iguana who could run out and attack your ankles.

For the next month (probably longer), I was petrified that this iguana was going to bite the crap out of me, so every time I had to go down those stairs I looked left, right, and then darted down them like I was running a race. I kid you not. I even started sticking my head out of our apartment door before fully opening it, in case he was sitting out there waiting for me.

Whenever Ben or I would leave I would yell "no iguana!" like it could ward him off somehow. One night I even had a dream the iguana was chasing me around. When Ben came to bed I was already asleep and apparently in the middle of this dream because I rolled over and whispered, "no iguana," in a pathetic little voice. He laughed. A lot.

It's kind of running joke now, because we don't know whatever happened with the iguana. I like to think he ran off into the woods and is living peacefully somewhere in nature. Although sometimes I still check the bushes before I walk down those stairs.


Emily Ward said...

Great story Becky - I had forgotten about your sleep talking, those were always fun times :-)

Kathryn said...

okay, i'm not gonna lie. this actually made me burst into laughter sitting here at my desk. next time i come over to visit, i might just go iguana-hunting.

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