Aug 21, 2009

The Salamander

*Happy Friday! I am off to a wedding, and I thought this story would be a nice way to kick off your weekend! Talk to you Monday - enjoy!

During the first week in June, I was happily chatting with my cousin as I got home from work. She was getting married that weekend and I was her matron of honor. We were reiterating the complexities that is a seating chart while I was unlocking my apartment door. I was in a hurry - I had to change and then turn around and leave to meet a friend.

I opened the door, flipped on the light, and saw something black scurry across my carpet behind the entertainment stand. I screamed. I mean screamed. (You know what it sounds like when someone blows a whistle three short times in a row - shrill, piercing, and fast? Yeah, that was me). My cousin thought I was being attacked. Nope, just startled by the small lizard who had taken up residence in my apartment. Once I assured her I was just freaked out, I got off of the phone to take care of the situation.

I left our door open a crack - the shelving unit that holds our TV and DVDs is against the wall right by the front door and since I saw him run behind the stand I thought maybe I could scare him out the other side so he could get out the front door. (I'm referring to the salamander as "he" because I don't believe any female creature would torture another woman like this). I tried stomping around near the TV stand, but nothing happened. After a few minutes I started to feel bad - I bet the salamander was just as startled as I was. I started cooing to him in a singsong type of voice: It's okay salamander, I don't want to hurt you. I just want you to get out of my apartment. Nothing.

I don't have time for this! I cried out in frustration. I grabbed a flashlight and started pulling all our DVDs off the cubby shelves of the TV stand. Because it's open in the back I figured I could clear off the videos, locate him behind the stand, and get him to move by shining the light near him. That's what made him run the first time, so it should work again, right? Right, except I couldn't find him.

So there's a pile of DVDs on my floor (you should have seen it - we have a lot), a creepy lizard running around somewhere, I'm late, and the thought of him crawling around on stuff was creeping. me. out. So I called my husband. At work. (I knew he wouldn't be able to do anything, but I figured I would tell him, he'd make me laugh and it would calm me down). However, I was still searching for the little jerk - aka salamander - when Ben picked up the phone and I kind of lost it. It went something like this:

Ben: Hey babe, what's going on?

Me: Kind of screeching. There's a salamander in our apartment. IN OUR APARTMENT! He ran behind the TV stand and I took out all the DVDs and I can't find himandIhavetoleaveandit's creepingmeout!

Ben: Well what do you want me to do about it?

Me: UGH! NOTHING! I just thought you should know about it!

Ben: Ok-ay. Well, good luck.

Me: Thanks for nothing! Bye!

(Just to clarify - neither of us were angry during this conversation. I was freaking out and he was trying not to laugh).

I snapped into problem solver mode. Obviously this little jerk wasn't going to show his face anytime soon and I needed to leave about ten minutes ago. I slammed the front door (he had the chance to leave peacefully), then closed the door to our bedroom, and bathroom as well. I didn't want him getting into any other room, so I stuffed towels underneath the doors as a barrier - there was no way I would be able to sleep at night wondering if he was crawling around on my bed. (Ugh. Even writing about it now gives me the creeps!) After I was sure I had secured our home to the best of my ability I left, the flashlight by the door, and the DVDs sprawled across the living room floor.

On my way to my friends' house I called her to let her know why I was running late, and her response was, "Beck, salamanders can't hurt you." Well, duh. Do you think I would be this calm if they were dangerous in any way? But I still don't want it in my apartment crawling around on my stuff!

Getting home that night I realized I needed to approach this rationally. The last time I walked in he was on the living room floor - obviously it was cool and dark there because no lights were on. So I opened the door of our apartment, stuck my head in, and called out "salamander, are you here?" (I wish I was making this up). I squinted but couldn't see anything - I grabbed the flashlight by the door and shined it around, but still didn't see anything, so I turned the light on and went inside.

After a few minutes of putting all our shoes up on surfaces (so it couldn't crawl in there), I was sitting on the couch trying to figure out how I was going to walk around my living room and kitchen without the fear of something scurrying over my feet. Then I had a brilliant idea. When Ben came home from work that night I was in the kitchen making dinner, wearing a tank top, shorts...and hiking boots.

Suffice it to say the salamander didn't appear again, and by the time we left for my cousin's wedding that weekend we figured he left the way he got in. On the way back from the wedding I was joking about how if he hadn't left, our apartment would smell like dead salamander when we got home. No smell (thankfully!), but when I was going out to our storage unit (part of our patio), I moved a couple boxes and shockingly found this.

It made me feel a little sorry for him because he was so close to a door (even though I don't think he could have gotten back outside), but at the same time, I was glad I found him because it gave me some much needed closure!

Occasionally when I get home from work and I'm walking up the steps to our building, a salamander will dart from the sidewalk to the buses (yes, the same ones the iguana could have hidden in). I stomp my foot in the direction of the bush and tell it to stay the hell out of my apartment.


Megan said...

That is the most depressing picture.

Amber said...

Oh my goodness! That is quite a story - I was laughing out loud for most of it!! What is with you and reptiles!!? Hahaha.

That poor little salamander though, the picture made me sad. I was kind of hoping he got out safely!

Becky said...

I know! Crazy, right?!

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