A web of lies
It happened on Sunday. Gideon was working in his classroom so I cleaned the kitchen and swept the floors. Sweeping near the sliding glass doors, I saw a small black dot on the run. It was smaller than my smallest fingerprint, but that didn’t matter. It was a spider.
I threw the broom toward the ceiling and ran in the other direction, content to finish drying the dishes. Just as I had calmed down a little — emphasis on “little” — I spotted an even smaller brown dot on the handle of a knife. I violently slammed the knife back into the drying rack. I ran to hide under a bunch of blankets, but there was no escape. The spiders had arrived, and I had to live with it.
Like a lot of people, I’ve been afraid of spiders for a long time. They run so fast and climb everything. Some spiders can even jump, as if they weren’t equipped with enough terrifying qualities already. When we lived in our apartment, we didn’t see spiders all that often. I chalked it up to living on the second floor, but who knows why those little creeps didn’t come visit? Maybe they were getting me nice and comfortable to lure me into a false sense of security.
In the late summer of 2019, an orb-weaving spider built an intricate web between the sliding glass door and the screen door that led to the balcony. You can bet your little patootie we didn’t disturb her. Gideon read that she wouldn’t live that long anyway, so we decided to live together — separately, of course. Wouldn’t you know that she outlived her life expectancy by two months? For four months, I didn’t step foot on our balcony. She picked the right apartment, that’s for darn sure!
We bought our house last August — prime time for spiders to thrive. And we saw three or four orb weavers on our very first visit, all located outside the house. Besides that, the house was pretty much perfect. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a screened-in porch, a nice big back yard and tons of storage space. Yet on the way to the realtor’s office, all I could think about was those spiders. We signed the papers and moved in, dodging spider webs left and right.
Now, Gideon is the kind of person who believes all living creatures deserve to live. We agreed a long time ago that he could catch and release all the spiders he pleased so long as I wasn’t involved in that process. It has worked for us, but we were forced to amend our policy when we moved into our house. Gideon was doing some yard work and mentioned to me that he spotted a tarantula in the yard.
“OK,” I said. “New rule. You will never tell me when you see a spider around the house in any capacity.”
“Even the back yard?”
“Especially the back yard.”
That’s how we’ve operated ever since and it has worked out fantastically. In fact, I have seen only one large spider in the house. I like to believe that is the only large spider that ever found its way inside in the history of the house. Yes, in more than 40 years, only one large spider has invaded the house. I will not be convinced otherwise.
So you can understand why my discoveries on Sunday were so jarring. I’m not supposed to be the one to see the spiders! They are supposed to show themselves only to Gideon, like the ghosts in American Horror Story. I thought we had an agreement, but I guess the spiders chose to break our truce.
This means war.