This fall I have had a little gecko in residence in my house. This is one of the few country creatures that find their way inside that doesn’t bother me too much. They eat bugs, for one thing, and they remind me of our home in Tanzania where the geckos would lay their eggs in keyholes and wander about the walls looking for mosquitos.
The other night as I was walking through the bathroom shoeless, I encountered the gecko with my foot. Eeww. I don’t know if I killed it then, or if it was already dead, but as I picked it up and deposited it in the trash, I was reminded of a night in Tukuyu when I was a little girl. I was taking a bath, and as I lay back in the water to relax I noticed a little gecko skittering across the ceiling. Totally disinterested, I closed my eyes as my head floated in the water. Suddenly I felt something frantically tangling itself in my hair, and (of course) I screamed at the top of my lungs. The poor little lizard had lost its grip on the moist ceiling and dropped into the water. I imagine the gecko was more terrified than I, but it took me a few days to see any humor in this event.
Thinking of screaming and bathtubs reminded me of another incident, this one involving that cute little brother of mine. He was probably about 4, and was taking a bath by himself. He tended to be a rather loud bather, letting his imagination take him far and wide on many adventures. So when it got very quiet, my mom began to wonder about him, and sent my sister in to “make sure he hasn’t drowned”. With those words spoken in jest still ringing in her ears, my sister walked into the bathroom to find my brother lying perfectly still with the water framing his face. She called his name once, no response. Called it again a little louder and with a little more alarm, nothing. She reached out and touched him, and he jumped up shouting, “I’m not ready to get out yet!” She joined his screaming with her own expressions of surprise. We think he had fallen asleep, although he would not admit it. At any rate, we all learned something about the power of suggestion that night. And another story was added to the growing oral history of the little brother.
Oh the many moments we have…