I grab my robe. Finally convinced by the 3 AM rumblings in my tummy that sleep will not return without a little smackerel of something from the kitchen. I walk downstairs in that hazy half-sleep place. Only turning on some of the lights. Noodles and sauce from the fridge. I head toward the bowls in the cabinet when—squish—foot meets slug. I scream. Then feel a bit silly as I turn on the light and reach for a paper towel. Had the paper towel been right there and able to wipe of the foot with no trouble that might have been the end of the story. However, on the way to the paper towel I spotted not one, but SEVEN more slugs. Seven 3 inch, nasty orangey-colored English slugs.
What’s a girl to do? Run sobbing to her knight in shining armor of course. “Scotty? Scotty? Nothing’s wrong. It’s okay. The baby is fine. But I’m hungry. I couldn’t sleep. I need a snack and there are slugs everywhere in the kitchen. Will you please come help me-he-ee-ee-ee?”
My mind races to that obsessive crazy place. I start imagining giant slugs eating my children and covering my world in slime. “What will I do when I have to feed the baby in the middle of the night? What if I need something from downstairs? How will I go into the kitchen if there are slugs everywhere? Last year there was only one slug occasionally. SEVEN slugs? Where are they coming from? This is too much! I haven’t even seen any outside yet. If there are seven now what about when it’s full-on slug season? Maybe they’re breading underneath my cabinets? There must be a hole in the wall? What else could get in from outside? What if Scotty is gone on a trip? How will I stomach cleaning up all of the slugs? Maybe we need a cat. Do cats capture and eat slugs? A dog? Maybe there are slug traps like mice traps. We only went to sleep a few hours ago. How did they get in here so fast? Aren’t slugs supposed to be slow? What if they get upstairs? I want to go back to Colorado. Oh NO!!!!!” I’m a sobbing, blithering idiot falling to pieces on the couch while my husband dutifully and sweetly not only cleans up the slugs, but also takes the trash out to the garage. I’m guessing he knew I’d be picturing them multiplying in the garbage can and bringing their armies to attack us.
Scotty calls me into the slug free kitchen and cracks a joke complete with hilarious slow-slug impression. “At least they don’t scatter when you turn the lights on!” he says and then moves slowly, slowly across the floor. I’m reminded of a story my mom told about living in married student housing on the New Mexico State campus and finding a cockroach when she unwrapped me from my baby blankets one night. I start to get the picture. Maybe I’m overreacting? I tell Scotty I’m sorry—that I’ll try to laugh as soon as possible about all of this, and that I’ll reconsider packing my bags for Colorado first thing tomorrow morning.