This makes walking out the door at any time a challenge, but especially when I go out to get the paper, in the morning, when it’s still dark. Then I end up with a face full of web and one testy spider to deal with.
Usually I just apologize and walk away sheepishly. There’s no use trying to reason with arthropods; believe me I’ve tried. They’re stubborn as all get out and once they get themselves wrapped up in something, usually you, there’s no changing their minds.
It’s not an overt kind of annoyance. Just something subtle I detect in his body language, or the haughty way he sit in his web. It could be I’m just paranoid, but I detect a little judgment.
Like, “Hey buddy, I’ve been up all night spinning webs, and catching bugs, what’ve you’ve been doing tapping on your little machine there all day?”
That kind of thing….
Sometimes the spider wiggles his many arms and legs—it’s hard to differentiate—right in my direction, mocking my obvious deficiency in that area. Spiders are very petty and will often become somewhat personal in their disparagement. I usually just let it go since I see it as a self-esteem issue.
We also have a lot of these tiny little gnat like flies on our deck at the moment. As flies go they’re almost like pets, since they seem to be very attached to me and will hover around my face most of the day. If I’m eating a bowl of cereal they will hover around the rim as if to say, “Hey…what ya got there, buddy?”
And it’s not a simple job to get rid of these little friendly pests. If you swat at them, they’re so small, they just slip through the cracks in your fingers. Or they have so little substance that the just ride it out on the palm of your hand.
I swear sometimes I think I can actually hear them yelling “weeeeeeeeee”.
So I turned to the spider one day and said, “What’s up with the little flies? How come they’re slipping through your web, Mr. Big Shot, overrated, fly catcher?”
I know this annoyed the spider to no end, because beside their low self-esteem issues, they're also very sensitive to criticism…of any kind.
Try telling a spider they look like they’ve put on a few pounds, or even worse, that they might have made their web a little bit tighter and a little bit bigger if they hadn’t wasted all that time talking to the fly.
“Have you seen the size of those little buggers?" the spider said, feigning indifference to my slight. “I’m looking for bigger fish to fry.”
I found this an odd thing for the spider to say since, one, I’ve never seen him fry anything, only broil, and, two, I was pretty sure he wasn’t a fish person.
To be honest I think he was just trying to save face…wherever that was located.
“Besides,” he continued. “I like how they get in your nose and annoy you all day.”
“Nice,” I said. “Well, don’t worry. Pretty soon the cold will be setting in and your web building days will be over.”
But the second the words were out of my mouth I wanted to kick myself. The spider noticeably slumped in his web. He didn’t need to hear that.
“But you’ll move into the basement, right?” I said, scrambling to cover for my insensitive remark. “Up above the furnace, where it’s nice and warm.”
“Nah…I’m not an indoor bug. “I’ll probably just go underground and sleep until spring.”
“But you’ll say goodbye before you go. Right?”
“Can’t really say…”
And with that I thought back, wistfully, to all those hot summer nights looking up at the stars through the web that enclosed us.
Those sultry mornings, having coffee on the deck observing the intricate artistry of a web half spun.
“But you’ll definitely be back?”
“That’s the plan, Stan,” the spider said, but I could hear the uncertainty in his voice, perhaps because he knew my name wasn’t Stan.
And with that I unwrapped myself from the chair he had secured me to, walked through a wall of silk and passed through my back porch door.
He’ll be back, I thought. He’ll be back….