Eric The Spider Might Have Left The Building
December 9, 2008 in Freaken Cute!
There’s been a wee spider in my bathroom for the past week now. I’d honestly thought they’d all died off during the sub-zero cold-snaps we’ve been having in Scotland, but no – Eric appeared out of nowhere last week to say “Hello, I’m still alive and it’s not Christmas yet you two-legged freak.“
Okay – he didn’t actually talk. If I thought he did, that would be a genuine case of having to re-adjust my meds – stat (up or down, Doc – just whatever it takes to stop the chatty arachnids I hear in my bathroom). No. See – he was too small to probably have vocal chords, and therefore unsuitable to work in any call-centre (the headset would have keep slipping off his spider-head). He was tiny, too. Just a barely visible chubby body, eight short legs. My normal rule would be to catch him with the Amazing Plastic Device I bought years ago in a fit of compassion, and take him to the hedge outside and let him run about in the fresh air while the soundtrack to “Born Free” echoes around my mind. But – as I mentioned before – it’s sub-zero here recently, and I had images of him freezing to death on a leaf or something, legs shrunken and pulled into his body, dusted in ice. I couldn’t do it. So – he had the run of the bathroom.
Run he did. Over the past few days, he’s ventured onto the ceiling, all four walls, into the bath for a skate (which I had to extricate him from using a copy of Private Eye) – he’s hung out at the bulb, over the mirror, in all four corners, and one time, while obviously feeling adventurous (or during a bout of vertigo) on the floor. He’s made the place his own. Whatever I’ve recently been doing in the bathroom, I’ve always made an effort to find out what new location he’d found interesting. My bathroom is all white, and Eric is a slightly furry brown colour, which I think is pretty hip at the moment when it comes to home furnishings – so he wasn’t easy to miss if you were looking for him. He was my little bathroom companion – just hanging out (sometimes literally) in the warmth and seclusion of the smallest room in the house.
But now I think he’s gone. I can’t find him. And I’m slightly worried.
I’ve checked everywhere. All his favourite spots. Corners he found fascinating. I’ve shaken the shower curtain (delicately), lifted towels, cleaning products, the non-slip thing in the bath, behind the radiator, the dusty space on top of the mirror, that vase thing in the corner with the nice straw-twigs sticking out of it. Nothing. No sign of him. Okay – there’s plenty of nooks and crannies he could’ve crawled into, but he never struck me as that kind of spider. He seemed to revel in his daily, marathon journeys of discovery, covering distances that to us would be miles, chilling out in corners, keeping me company while I peed or showered or whatever. Nothing. He might have tired of the unending white of the bathroom, and decided to try out the pale blue of the hall, or indeed, the sunshine yellow of the kitchen. Wherever he is now, I miss him.
Alright. You can accuse me of having no life whatsoever, or being so manic-depressive that I find the company of a little spider in my bathroom so emotionally elevating I decide to write a long-winded article on a blog boring shit-knows-who with it – I’ll agree. I’m anthropomorphising his existence to a level that would make Disney blush. But when you’re down and kinda lonely, and there’s a wee non-threatening spider hanging out and escaping the frosty nights, you kinda relish the pseudo-companionship that provides. It’s something to care about. And he was pretty cool with it, and cute. I’ll admit – if he’d leapt off the wall and landed on my face like a low-budget version of <em>Alien </em>and made me scream like a girl – this story would’ve been a lot different, and probably not a story at all. I’d have kept quiet about that, trust me. But no. It looks like he’s gone now, and I miss him. So there. Poke fun at me all you want. I’ll do it myself. And I’ve beaten you to it by posting this.
It’s just this – attachments. We make them with the strangest things, people, animals – anything really. Animate or inanimate, we don’t seem to care. I’ll never laugh at someone crying over the loss of a pet, or any animal large or small – the same way I’d never laugh at anyone over the loss of a child, friend, family member, lover. It emboldens my heart that we can feel what we feel, and the crazy lengths we go to when we imprint our almost insatiable need to love onto another sentient being.
Anyway. I hope Eric the Spider is well, and just off exploring new lands. My life is somehow better for sharing my bathroom with him for a short while. I’m no expert, I can’t really explain it, and I don’t really want to. I just let a little creature come in from the cold, run about a bit, and go. And I feel better for it.
ps – All this humaneness aside – if Eric had been one of those huge, thick-legged fuckers that sometimes come in during the Summer and run in front of me in the hall at break-neck speed making me jump in terror, I’d have flattened him with a fucking shoe with extreme prejudice. But Eric was the best kind of spider – small enough to be non-threatening, and slow enough to become likeable, or indeed, loveable.