I can’t sleep.
I can’t sleep because I keep having nightmares about a spider attacking me.
I keep having nightmares about a spider attacking me because there is a real goddamn spider really living right by my goddamn bed.
I found it the other day lurking under the radiator, which is approximately eight inches from my pillow. So, because I am a kindly soul, I trapped it in a glass and relocated it to the living room by the plant. I thought, “Hey, Mister Spider, now you can have a happy little life on the living room windowsill which is pretty much identical to the one by my bed except there’s a nice plant there for you to frolic about in!” I tried to communicate friendliness to my little spider, friendliness and goodwill. “I want you as a guest,” I thought. “Just not in my bedroom.”
The moment–THE MOMENT–that I set the spider down by the plants, it rebelled.
It crawled around for a second, orienting itself. Then, with an unexpected determination for a creature so small, it launched itself like Magellan forward off the windowsill, crawling with speed and purpose in a beeline straight for the door. Basically, it did not want to hang out by the plant. It wanted to live under my radiator.
I didn’t want to spend the whole night trapping the spider, taking into the living room and leaving it on the plant, trapping the spider, taking it into the living room and leaving it on the plant, trapping the spider, taking it into the living room and leaving it on the plant, so I gave up. And for a few days it disappeared for unknown parts (probably under the couch.)
Then, last night, as I was hunkered down snugly with a book, I reached over to turn out the light and THERE WAS THE SPIDER ON THE WALL RIGHT BY MY HEAD. I watched in fascination as it crawled over the radiator and onto the windowsill, past the lamp and up the side of the window. It kept getting blown sideways by a draft, so eventually it gave up, trekked across the sill to the other side of the window and made its ascent over there.
I’m not normally scared of spiders. Usually they just sit quietly in their chosen corner and consume the undesirable house residents, like clothes moths. I am all in favor of the natural cycles of the earth when it means keeping my clothing from getting holes in them. But this spider, this spider is not like that. He’s vigorous. He’s active. He’s a dynamic spider. I do not like this. I do not like the thought of waking up to find this dynamic, exploratory spider doing a tap-dance on my eyelids. But I can’t seem to convince him that there are more hospitable and fly-filled corners of the house where he would be more comfortable. We live in a very uneasy truce, the spider and I.
I complained to my housemate this morning about the spider suddenly reappearing on the wall by my bed. “How do you know it’s the same spider?” he asked.
But it absolutely must be the same spider. I refuse to even consider the possibility that this is a different spider, because that would mean that there are multiple spiders. There could by a whole troupe, a whole platoon, of intrepid exploration spiders who all covet the corner of my bedroom which is closest to my face while I am sleeping. I am sure you agree this is a definite impossibility. There is only one spider. And I don’t know where he is right now.