Aug. 5th, 2004

jakebe: (raven)
You know, I do think that I might be one of the only people I know of who don't have a very big problem with spiders. Most people can't get past their little mandibles or all the legs, or the flesh-destroying venom they tend to have, but I've always felt a certain kind of benevolence for them. They eat other, more unwanted bugs in your room (like mosquitoes and little bitey pillbugs), they spin pretty cool webs in neglected corners of the room, and for the most part they just like to be left alone. They live their own lives, I live mine, though there are a few around here you'd want to give a respectful distance. I think of them as roommates, opposed to unwanted pests or uber-scary demons that are just waiting to take a chunk out of you.

One such boarder spun a web in the corner of my room nearest the closet, right on the lower rungs of my CD rack. It was kind of a bachelor, and I could tell this by the sheer amount of mess that was under it; little bits of pillbug, insect limbs and other things that messy spiders without wives to nag after them leave behind. It was cool, though; I vacuumed without disturbing too much of the web, and every time I cleaned or had a bit to be bored I checked in on him to see how he was living.

This past weekend, our internet was down for various reasons and I couldn't meet...certain people I had been planning to. I was a little frustrated, needless to say, and what do gay people do when they're in such a state? That's right, masturbate shop clean. I stole the vacuum from the upstairs neighbor and thought I'd look in on my spidery pal.

It turned out 'he' was a 'she', and she was doing so well that she decided she was going to raise a family. There was a small community of eggs chilling under my CD rack. They were really pretty, actually; they looked to be made of stronger stuff than the webbing surrounding them, but obviously...derived from the same things. In the middle of each one was a small brown-beige dot.

I was pretty stoked about my roommate being a parent and all, but I also didn't really relish the idea of having dozens of those really little ones scurrying all over my floor. I totally dig spiders and what they represent, but...she crossed a line, and something had to be done. Reluctantly, I started to think about ways of...transporting the spider and her eggs outside.

Now, I know that spider's eggs have to be delicate things. The main issue at hand was trying to get them unstuck from their perch while still leaving them intact. Incidentally, if some genius were to invent like, a spray for this kind of thing he could probably make a fortune. But as such a miracle solution wasn't available, I was forced to try more mundane measures.

I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I could wedge something in to pry them off it'd work. So I got a little knife, a screwdriver, and a glass. The knife didn't work, the screwdriver didn't work, and the glass surely didn't work; I ended up crushing half the eggs while the spider looked on reproachfully.

At this point, I was at a crossroads. I have this unspoken taboo about me and spiderwebs, ever since I read Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn. You just don't mess with a spider's web unless there's a good reason. Was there reason? Looking at the half-crushed eggs and the sheer bulk of the spider's web that stretched beyond my CD rack to my antique schooldesk, to the side of my other computer desk, I thought that maybe this had gotten out of hand, and some judicious pruning was in order.

The next 40 minutes were the end of the world for my roommate, as she had to watch me vacuum up her 12-room condo of a web. Scouring corners, getting in all the cracks and places, lifting up little flaps to see silver webbing in every dark spot imaginable, it was easy to see that this little bug had plans. And I was ruining them utterly.

I got the webs, except for the original bit right next to the rack and under the flap of the desk. I cleaned up the egg mess and wiped down the rack they were on. I vacuumed up the pillbug remains and insect limbs, the little bits of dirt and grime that tend to develop with single-mom spiders who're hard-pressed by the demands of family. After most the hour had passed, her dreams had been pared back to modesty.

So, my room's clean now, and everything is as I tend to like it. The bed's made, and my CDs are arranged neatly by genre and alphabetical order on my rack. My computers are protected by carefully straightened gargoyles and Warriors of Virtue, and my books are lined on the shelves or in stacks in front of them. My tea and chess set have been dusted and neatened, side-by-side, on top of the red foot locker that serves as my table. Still, when everything's quiet and I'm in my room typing, I can hear the dry, brittle sound of a spider weeping between the keystrokes...

Well, maybe not, but the tragedy is still there.

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