Creepy Crawly
Rosa Lyster


  1. My friend Rom took this picture of the creepy crawly at his parents’ house.
  2. Its formal name is the Kreepy Krauly. That’s how you spell it in the shops. Terrible.
  3. I really love this picture, which is interesting, because if there is one thing I do not love, it is a creepy crawly.
  4. I used to have a thing when I was a small kid about there being either a shark or a crocodile in the pool. It was fine if there were other people around, but if it was just me in the pool alone I’d have about five chilled out minutes before I became fully, fully convinced that I was about to get my legs bitten off. I knew this was not rational, but I could not help it.
  5. It was usually the twitch of the creepy crawly that did it. That thing where a creepy crawly can switch on all suddenly and start wriggling around like a lizard, or else shoot up the side of the pool and make that horrifying sucking noise like an alien in a movie.
  6. The worst time for potential shark attack was obviously in the evening. It gets dark very quickly in Durban, like switching off a light, and the worst was being in the pool by myself when the day stopped. “Why didn’t you turn on the pool light?” you say. No. The pool light would just make it more scary, because then I could clearly see the sharks and crocodiles as they surged towards me with their mouths open. Ahhhhhhh.
  7. Every swim would end with me hauling myself frantically out the water and then standing on the side, blaming the creepy crawly for everything.
  8. Rom and I became friends at a very weird time in both of our lives. We were both 24, and both unemployed in a way that felt permanent.
  9. I was spending a lot of time in my parents’ house in Durban at that point, because I had no money and no idea what do next.
  10. I couldn’t work or write or do anything normal at all. I was fully, fully convinced that I had fucked up my entire life. I knew this was not rational, but I could not help it. “Why didn’t you try and get a job?” you say. No. If I tried to get a job, I would fail, and then everyone would know that I was doomed. Ahhhhh.
  11. I spent whole days gchatting Rom and having angry swims, blaming the creepy crawly for everything.
  12. It all eventually turned out ok. Eventually.
  13. I still hate creepy crawlys, but I love this picture, because it reminds me of being a small kid, and also of being 25¸ and of my friend Rom who I hardly get to see anymore.
  14. The last time he visited we went swimming in the sea. Not a single creepy crawly in sight.
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