Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Spider For Your Thoughts

Almost every morning this summer I have been the witness and happenstance accomplice to the death of a spider.  I always promise myself that I will find some meaning in the daily event but before I reach my first stop, I have, without fail completely forgotten to give a damn about the spider.

In my time on earth I have killed untold numbers of spiders. To ease my own fears as well acting as an executioner for the request of others. If a respectful distance can be kept I do not go out of my way to slay the much maligned but very necessary arachnid but I would still make a very bad Hindu.

This summer of spider miseries is not my fault.  I just have a front row seat to two minutes of terror and then the eventual death but  I feel like I should at least learn something from it.

It happens like this. Every morning, I get into my car with workout bag and computer satchel slung over each shoulder, a cup of coffee gripped in one hand and the keys in the other. By the time all this stuff has been hurled into the vehicle, the coffee secured, and the Iphone synched, I have no brain capacity left to do anything but crank the damn thing and back out of the driveway.

It is not until I reach the first stop sign two hundred yards up the road that I notice a spider has made a web in-between my rear view mirror and the door.

My car coming to a stop and the silver spider web jiggling always draws my peripheral vision and I am again reminded of what is about to unfold.

The spider is usually smallish but sometimes bigger, either way it can find no refuge from the wind as I pull from the stop sign and start picking up speed.

They always make it to the stoplight before the main road. Visibly shaken, they have a chance to regain their wind scrambled wits if they are lucky and the light is red, if it is green. Their ride is almost at an end.

As I turn out onto the main road and the speedometer clips over 35 all they have built starts coming unraveled. There is the briefest second where the spider is blown right beside my window and as the car hits 40 they cling no more and are gone.

I assume they die,  but the little bastards probably just shake it off and go on being efficient bug catchers while also acting as the ultimate squatters.  Even if they don't die, it looks like a horrible way to start a morning.

I always spare a moments thought to ponder the recurring tragedy, but a moment is usually all I can manage. I also refuse to feel any level of guilt for just driving my car without malice or spider killing intent, but I also feel a bit bitter at the spiders for putting such power in my right foot.

The fact that this keeps happening over and over is what I should be learning from this.  Apparently, my driver side rear view mirror is prime spider real estate, and they must line up, draw numbers or battle each for the right to weave their delicate trap every balmy night in between my metal door and plastic mirror.

I know they are just spiders and probably never consider that the guy that was there the night before is never there for a second night but I would think us humans would be able to make such a connection. Somehow I get the feeling we can be just as shortsighted.

Like the spider, all we want is fertile soil to sow our ambitions. We are all looking for the prime spot to set up our wares or weave a web of interest that might ensnare someones attention long enough to glean some sustenance from them. How many of us are getting taken for rides we never saw coming and how many of us should have known better?

The thing that made this morning different was not once seeing the spider nestled in the rear view mirror because trust me, like clock work, a spider was there.

This morning was different because the sun caught the dew of a great web that stretched out in a tree above my car. The webs brilliance and beauty was only noticeable for a fading moment before the morning sun moved a breath and the silver strings vanished. In that moment I saw a master applying his trade as he sat in black and yellow majesty among the center of his shimmering kingdom.  The nights profits snugged away safe in woven silk and from the sheer size of this spider king it was easy to tell that he ate this well every night (HE might be a SHE I don't know).

The thought occurred to me that this spider had this web stretched out over the  tree for a long time. If spiders can laugh I am sure this fat bastard laughs every night as one of his brethren weaves their own coffin and he says not a word.

Overcome with the need to start this day off with something significant I walked into the garage. Picking up a broom with satisfaction on my face I strode out to the web and wrecked that fat son of a bitch's empire and brought him low. I mean literally low, like right in front of my face and then I was not smiling anymore.

Being the nimble man I am I skidded back into attack position with this monster dangling two feet in front of my face. I was prepared to end him but the fact that he just hung there without trying to shimmy up into the tree or jump onto my face soothed my righteous anger. That and the fact that I was not sure how long it would take kill this beast and I did not have all morning.

I decided verbal abuse would at least make me feel better so I called him an asshole and swatted him with the broom. He went gently hurtling into the trees where a sparrow caught him in mid flight without so much as a thank you. So much for nature and mercy.

Hopefully some other guy will get a shot to weave his web across the tree. Maybe that guy won't be so smug and might even be willing to help out the spider who fancies my alluring window of death this evening.

Its a nice thought, but my coffee is empty and I feel certain I will witness more ambitious spiders having bad mornings.  Perhaps there are some other lessons to glean from this observation, but perhaps spiders are just stupid and I should pay more attention to the road.

1 comment:

  1. Novel fodder:

    A CEO has built a powerful technological empire, and through corruption it's destined to fall.

    The recurring incident with the spider is a symbol of the fact that no matter how much he tries to make it stay afloat, the empire is destined to be wrecked by the winds of change...