Usually, I kill spiders.
I don't like them. I don't like knowing they could crawl into my water glass and then bite me when I go to drink them (as happened to my friend Dan one night). I don't like webs and cobwebs. I do not like when I am sitting here in my ancient house and a spider has the audacity to lower itself from the ceiling RIGHT ABOVE MY HEAD and onto my laptop. I freak out. So when I see them, before they can get in my water glass or stealthily lower themselves down onto my laptop or do any other spidery nefarious activity, I kill them when I see them.
But lately, there is one spider I have allowed to exist.
It appeared this summer, early. It lives in our kitchen window, down in the bottom right corner. I would knock down its web every day when I came to get coffee in the morning, and it would build a new one every night. It didn't leave, and I didn't kill it.
This was a battle of wills between me and this little spinster.
We went away for a weekend, and I came home to find that the web was once again built, tougher and heartier than ever before, and there were flies in it. Right before we went away, some flies decided to come into my house and were bothering the crap out of me. But over that weekend the spider took care of them. Three big fat flies were dead in its web.
Aha! You are serving a purpose. Today, I will not knock down your web.
For weeks now, the spider has done its thing, and I have not knocked down its web. Sometimes it builds over to the dish strainer, and I have to knock down THAT part of things, because it will be in the way of me doing dishes ten times a day, which is literally how often I do dishes.
When I come down in the morning, get coffee and wash dishes that somehow accumulated overnight (cough, Geoff, Ramen, Pizza Rolls) it comes out of its little cone in the web, climbs up out of the window gap, stands there, and it watches me.
"Good morning," I say to it. "Do a good job today on mosquitoes and other bugs for me. Have a nice day."
It does not reply. I wonder if it drinks or needs water ever, so when it isn't there I flick water off of my finger tips towards the web. The little beads sit there, and I do not know what becomes of them later when I'm not watching. Does the spider come drink the water or does it just evaporate? I realize I know very little about the needs of spiders.
In a week, we will be halfway done moving into the new house. Today as I got my coffee and washed the mystery post-midnight dishes, I started crying when the spider came out of its opening to watch me. I realized I wouldn't be seeing it every morning anymore, and that its companionship, if you can call it that because really, honestly, it isn't like a FRIEND or anything, will end. Our morning tet-a-tet will come to an end.
And that is just unacceptable.
And I know why I'm crying. I'm not crying because of a fucking six eyed bug-eating machine. I'm crying because I'm losing my house, because my car fucking blew up in BUFFALO of all places, good God. I'm crying because I won't be able to just open the back door in the morning and let the dogs run out into the acre of yard anymore. I have to tie them up. They aren't going to understand that. They're going to look at me like "seriously, lady... when are we done here and going home to our house."
I'm crying because I won't be able to look out across the yard to Nancy and Thane's house and see them in the kitchen light. I am crying because my neighbor Jim won't be giving my dogs cookies in the morning, and he won't be standing there watching them run and play before he leaves for work.
I am crying because I feel I have lost complete control of my life. It's not about the spider. But fuck. That's my spider, damnit. I'm going to miss it.
I seriously thought about trying to catch it and bring it with me. It jumps like you wouldn't believe -- it is so skilled! But that would be ridiculous.
Pretty sure that it will be just fine when we're gone, there will be enough bugs to be had. And I wonder if it will miss me? Will it come out in the morning expecting me to pour the milk in the green mug with Rocket Dog and Life Is Good on it, my favorite mug... Will it think "Oh, she went away for the weekend again, I'll see her later."