If you've never experienced a nightmare in the middle of a telephone conversation, let me share that it is somewhat awkward and distracting. Mine began when a friend mentioned a new pet spider.
"A pet what?" I asked in a small and girly voice.
"A Tarantula. From my sister. She keeps giving me things," she replied in a breezy way.
"!!?" I said speechlessly, knowing deep in my soul my sister would never, ever do such a thing to me. My imagination, on the other hand, did terrible things. I was suddenly standing next to a cage with a lid ajar, my friend looking puzzled and saying, "That's odd. I wonder what...HOLY CRAP!"
In the real world something in my voice
or in my manner of hyperventilating into a brown paper sack alerted my friend to my unease. "He's great," she reassured me. "He's not bitten the kids or me or anyone."
I'm toughing this one out. The fact that I'm still accepting phone calls from her spider-infested phone line shows how much I value this person and our budding friendship. I'm even willing to discuss the new pet. I will wear a bee suit in 100 degree heat when I call, but I am determined to be brave.