I came home Monday more than ready for dinner. I had put off a real grocery trip for several weeks. Instead, I was making those sporadic I should pick up some milk and eggs grocery trips. Sunday night I finally did a full grocery run, so I was all excited to have you know, things to cook in my kitchen aside from quesadillas, eggs and sandwiches. Pasta was the plan.
I turned to the sink and filled a big pot, set it on the stove, glanced back at the sink and screamed. There was a small blue-tailed lizard hiding behind a dirty plate. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very cute lizard, but my kitchen sink is not the place I expect to see a lizard, or really any animal. This was a small lizard if we’re talking the whole wide world of lizards. This was no iguana or Gila monster, but this was not a tiny gecko, okay. It was a lizard lizard, with long claws and a fat tail. It looked as alarmed by me as I was by it.
We entered a sort of Western showdown. The lizard stayed as still as possible, hoping the woman who just screamed at it wasn’t about to eat it. I stayed as still as possible hoping the lizard in my sink would perhaps see itself out of the apartment. I did not eat it. It did not leave the apartment. One of us was relieved, the other disappointed.
I googled how do you catch a lizard. The first result was for people trying to catch lizards recreationally in the outdoors, for fun. Not quite what I was looking for. I texted my mother, who sees lizards professionally (she’s a veterinarian and an excellent one at that), a picture of the sink lizard and what do I do??? She texted back, Hi sink lizard, with the helpful advice, if you can catch it set it outside by the tree! This reveals a level of unwarranted faith in my ability to catch lizards, which is pretty nonexistent. There is no if. I can’t catch it.
I texted a friend, there is a lizard in my sink, send help. He responded, Aw, he’s so cute and why don’t you pick him up? Again, revealing an unwarranted faith in my ability to pick up lizards. I don’t know why so many people in my life assume I am a person who knows how to pick up a lizard when I am definitely not a person who knows how to pick up a lizard.
I promise I played in the dirt as a child and climbed trees and I like lizards even, but I did not spend any time trying to catch them. Perhaps someday I could become a person who picks up lizards, but Monday was not that day. Lizard lifting is not my skill set.
The last time I had a lizard in my apartment (which was two apartments ago), it was a tiny gecko on the ceiling and I just accepted that I had a new roommate. After about a week he moved out. I suppose he found a nicer pad. The rent can’t have been cheaper, since I didn’t charge him any. Sink lizard however, well you can’t just have a lizard living in your sink.
So, I asked the friend to come over and help me get the lizard out of the sink.
He assumed this was an excuse to hang out, so disbelieving was he that I could not simply pick up the lizard and take it outside. Once he got into the kitchen though, the tension between myself and the sink lizard was palpable. You could tell we’d been in a sort of showdown. This kitchen isn’t big enough for the two of us.
In about 10 seconds, he picked up the lizard, told it how cute it was and set it outside. For a moment it stayed absolutely still. Then sink lizard took off running. What a relief I imagine, to escape the kitchen showdown. I was equally relieved to have my kitchen sink back.
In this world, there are all kinds of people. If you are the kind of person who is bad at picking up lizards, it pays to be close to some people who are good at picking up lizards.