When I leave my bedroom in the morning I walk through a spiderweb. I try to pull it off of my body as if it’s a hair that can be snatched up and discarded. But it’s not a hair and I can’t quite grab it so it lingers and eventually dissolves.
During the day I find webs everywhere: between two leaves of a plant, the bookshelf and the wall, the two kitchen chairs that no one ever sits in. Over a few weeks I’ve taken several spiders outside. I use the classic cup and paper method. Once freed in the garden they run as fast as they can away from the light.
I find so many spiders that soon I stop bothering to catch them. Most are small and scared anyway. I don’t mind their company. One night in the shower a long-legged spider tries to fight his way out of a stream of water. I adjust the spout, hoping to make it easier for him. But still he struggles and I can see it in his little body: the urgency, the terror, the scramble to hold on to life.
The spider does not ask itself: why hold on for dear life? Why is the drain my demise? What do I have to gain from a long and comfortable life in this dimly lit bathroom?
No it doesn’t ask any of those questions (I mean, I don’t think it does…). It just struggles. I can hardly bear to watch it anymore. I turn off the water. I help it out of the basin and watch it find peace in the cavernous space behind the toilet. Then I continue my shower.