There is a superstition that if you kill a spider, it will rain that day. This begs the question, what if you spare them?
Ask Franklin. (I find it helps me cope with any irrational fears about creepy crawlers if I name them. He looked like what I imagine a Franklin would look like if he were a spider: smart, curious and arrogant in his assumption that he is welcome in my bedroom. Note: he lacked the swagger to be a Frank).
I spotted him out of the corner of my eye. Pacing about with his bent legs holding up his bulb body, hovering on the wall just above the Carpenter’s pillow.
I was mere inches away, snuggled up in the comfort of my bed, a heap of pillows at my back. I was enjoying a great novel in cozy solitude while the rain outside my window cascaded with gentle steadiness, tapping gently on the glass. Tranquility.
And then Franklin happened.
“Franklin,” I whispered, “I know you are one of God’s creatures with an important role to play in the life cycle, food chain and horror film genre. You’re remarkable. I get it. Your Tinder account must be amazing. But if you think this woman hasn’t learned to set and maintain boundaries at this prime stage in her life, well, let me assure you, there is a size 8.5 sneaker at the ready.” (Who are we kidding? It’s a size 11 construction boot, because I’m not getting spider guts on my new Sketchers).
I told him, “You mind your space Franklin, and I’ll be over here minding mine.”
You think I’m kidding, but I’m working hard on facing fears. Just relax, I told myself. Franklin won’t hurt you. He’s afraid of you, too. Be cool. Just be cool.
I returned my focus to my book. The plot was exciting. It was a real page-turner. Franklin must have agreed, because he quickly, silently crawled my way to read over my shoulder.
Fat freaking chance, Franklin.
I lept off the bed, tossing my book aside. Franklin looked on, puzzled.
I called out to the Carpenter in a voice tinged with hysteria.
“Um, can you please remove Fr… er, a spider who has crossed my boundary line without permission?” I asked. “Don’t kill him. Just usher him outside, please.”
We’ve been married long enough for the Carpenter to know there was no way I was going to complete this task myself, so he need not ask the redundant question of why I couldn’t handle this myself, nor why I didn’t just whack Franklin like a mob hit. I am confident that critter relocation was in our wedding vows. I whispered it between the whole “love you forever, won’t date hockey players anymore,” lines. Pretty sure.
The Carpenter arrived, muttering something under his breath that I can only surmise was sarcastic and unhelpful.
He cupped his rough hands around Franklin, to safely escort him outside, but Franklin was fast. He leapt out of the Carpenter’s grasp and dropped to the pillow below, darting across the blankets before disappearing into the unknown. Into my bed. Behind my pillow.
The Carpenter looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and left the room, laughing.
It rained all day. Well played, Franklin. Well played.