insider


Sometimes lil spyders are cute, the way they’ll dangle daringly down from the ceiling and then, having
found no end to their decent will climb back up their thread... aaah, the splendor of spiders... spin... ara-
ignée, part of the thread (or threat) of a skein...
It was some months ago I first noticed the spyder spinning its website under the fire escape. It was large
enough to merit regard–the size, roughly, of a juicy, pulsating blueberry, furry, and with a sprawl of curl-
ing, spiny legs. Its choice location was well out of harm’s way: beneath the stair where I stand barefoot at
lengths to enjoy a gaping moonscape. I don’t mind spyders at all. At least not the smaller, more manage-
able ones. In fact I see them around the apt occasionally, dangling about, meditating, scuttling, crouch-
ing or leaping here and there. I admire them, for many reasons, and for the most part they are left well
alone (I have no desire to amass any bad spidre kharma). The larger, softer, fleshier creepers of course
will be patiently evicted with the logic that they will find better fare out of doors. These are usually rather
conspicuous interlopers, too, found pacing with treacherous mal-intent across a stretch of floor toward
the shadowy folds of the bed-sheets or someplace else they are equally unwanted. Their appearance of a
sudden often coincides with some descending abstraction of thought; a curious cleft in the midst of my
solipsism, which I consciously cultivate. They are not trouble for any reason excepting that they tickle
with their cool, delicate crawl and are too easily and tragically smeared by a stray brushing of the hand.
As the summer lazed by I grew less and less observant of the tiny lurking menace underfoot... until the
day of its peremptory relocation, when it took up residence alongside the fire escape, at level with my
face, its fine intricate ply spanning the whole reach from the rail to the eaves of the third floor roof, just
beneath my kitchen window. Now I had to pass it by each day, observing its breathing, bulging, bobbing
abdomen ripen like a sluggish grape drunk on the nectar of its prey. Fortunately the spider’s kill is clean.
The withered wisps of exoskeletons flutter grey and ghostlike on the spindly silken vine....
Some days earlier, just before the weekend, I espied yet another spider out there, a silvery, elegant, long
legged creature of roughly the same breadth but of a smaller, tapered stature, and considered the pos-
sibility of it as being the male of the species. This boding the imminent nascency of nigh on hundreds of
little spiderlings, each a facsimile; a dead ringer; the spitting image of its gibbous, succulent mother who,
as she has as of this afternoon gone absent from her roost, is in all likelihood searching for some warm
nook to nestle in and spill her brood... I have gone all ticklish. I sense her faltering step, laden with young,
and in the darkness as I write this, familiar objects morph into shadowy arachnid forms. “Along came the
spydre and sat down beside her..” Well, I find I am simply beside myself (an insider spider)!!! ...

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