When I first saw it, it looked like a clump of mud and grass that might have fallen off the Carpenter’s work boots, dragged in when he tromped down the stairs to our bedroom in the dark, early morning hours because he forgot his wallet. Again.
I was getting dressed for work a few hours later when I spotted it, inanimate on the tile floor, about a foot away from where I stood in front of my closet playing the daily game of “what shall I wear to work?”
It was hard not to spot it. It was a biggie. That’s why I was sure it wasn’t a spider, because I’ve never seen an arachnid big enough to haul a trailer walk through my bedroom before. Besides, I reasoned, it wasn’t moving. Not a twitch.
I guess it was enjoying the spectacle of watching me try to piece together an outfit (spiders can be very judgmental). While I tossed shirts, pants and other sundries on my bed, I kept eyeing that black clump on my floor. It’s just mud, I told myself. I’ll just pick that up with a tissue.
But the glob of dirt that couldn’t possibly be a spider was blocking my only path to the tissues. It’s not like it’s going to move if I step over it in my bare feet, right? Right. These are the lies I tell myself.
You know that little tingle on the back of your neck, like a premonition creating a healthy dose of paranoia? Yeah, that one. It started to tingle. Thank you, paranoia.
I gracefully stepped around the black glob like I was manoeuvring a cruise ship in a pond. The mystery object didn’t move. Ha, I was right, I concluded. It’s just mud. I need more coffee, I decided. Tissue in hand, I bent down to clear up the mess, but stopped when I realized I was staring down at a beast of a spider. I sprung back, letting out a squeal I am not proud of, then laughed at myself for being such an idiot.
Spider still didn’t move. Not even a little. Perhaps he saw me in my underwear and died on the spot, I thought. It’s possible. I’ll just use the tissue to pick up his corpse then. I bent down again to pluck the spider up in the tissue, and the tingle returned. He wasn’t dead. Another squeal.
So, because I’m polite, I said to the big fella, “You stay right there. Don’t move. I’m going to get a shoe to whack you. Be right back.”
Now, which one of us was the bigger fool, because spider waited for me to return with my son’s size 12 Nikes. Maybe he wasn’t intimidated by a woman who can’t even dress herself. Maybe he just froze. Not sure. All I remember is the whap sound as Nike met spider.
I lifted the shoe slowly to see the glob of goo. That’s when spider’s limbs moved involuntarily. Another high pitched squeal escaped my mouth, followed by words my mother would not approve of, and then, true to my nature, an apology for, you know, killing one of nature’s creatures.
I ran on my tippy-toes to the back door and scraped the spider bits off my kid’s shoe on the patio. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
All that rain lately? Yep. That was me. You’re welcome (and, I’m sorry, I’m not really sorry).