Tuesday, August 01, 2006

From where I am sitting...

...without moving my head, I can see a dozen spiders.

They are clustered mostly around the edges of the window, waiting patiently for small flying things to tweak the webstrings. If I watch for long enough, one of them will scurry out along a line, sink its fangs into a poor unsuspecting moth, wrap it up in a few rounds of silk, then scurry back to the edge again.

In the evening, as the daylight outside begins to fade to dusk and then dark, they become more active. One particularly adventurous spider clambered over my hand as it poised over the keyboard the other night, and I've lost track of the times the one that lives in the anglepoise lamp has dropped down from above, dangling in the light of the lcd screen for a moment before hauling herself back up again.

I have three broken mugs on my windowsill, each filled with biros that don't work anymore; felt tips worn blunt and dried out; highlighter pens that ignore my editorial leanings; and assorted bits and pieces I can pick up, fiddle with, and put down again when I am in need of distraction. Except that they are stuck together like burglars in a Spiderman comic. Picking anything off the windowsill is to risk being covered in sticky string, trailing a line of desiccated insects, daddy-long-legs wings and all the other bits which aren't good to eat, like some bizarre wedding decoration. The husks of dried midges stir in the breeze whenever I open the window, flying through the air one last time before ending up in my rooibos tea.

When I came into the study this morning, not that many hours since leaving it last night, and bent down to switch on the power at the single socket that serves this room, I could feel the invisible strands pulling at my arms and face where the industrious little arachnids had tried to weave a web from wall to wall. I wonder what they were hoping to catch? A dachshund perhaps? Or is their ambition for even greater things? Perhaps I'll wake up one morning swaddled in silk, unable to move as the tiny creatures inject me with enzymes that digest me from the inside out.

this picture is upside down.

Maybe it's time to get the vacuum cleaner out again. But then again, they eat the bugs I really dislike, the midges and mosquitoes, the tiny moths that think your sleeping ear is a good place for a party. So maybe I'll let them stay.

Oh, look. There's another.


Blogger Trace said...

Oh my GAWD, James. I hate spiders!! You just gave me the willies for the rest of the day!!

August 01, 2006 1:15 pm  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Right with you Trace. YUCK!

August 01, 2006 1:25 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Sorry, Trace.

I've kind of got used to the small ones now, but every so often a great big hairy beasty will scuttle across the floor, or drop onto my head whilst I'm getting dressed, or...

This isn't helping, is it?

August 01, 2006 1:25 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Sandra, your comment popped up just as I was typing my reply to Trace. I don't know why you're so worried about spiders, what with your house being full of cats already.

Mind you, I suppose they might just bring them to you as trophies...

August 01, 2006 1:30 pm  
Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

broken coffee cups filled with non-working pens...

Did you get them from my garage, by chance?

Spiders are useful creatures, but I prefer them outside.

August 01, 2006 8:09 pm  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

James, it's bad enough when the cats lick each other's backsides and then come try to lick your face.

I don't need to wipe off a spider's leg at the same time!

August 02, 2006 6:52 pm  
Blogger John R. said...

Spiders are man's greatest enemy. By letting them into your home you're only encouraging them to believe that humans are foolish and ripe for conquering. You fool! YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL!!!!!

August 03, 2006 12:59 pm  
Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Thanks, I'll so sleep better this night knowing they're out there to wrap me in silk.

August 03, 2006 10:06 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

I didn't let them in, John. They were here already, like the aliens in The War of the Worlds (or at least Tom Cruise's rather pedestrian version). Only they don't seem to be succumbing to all the nasty infectious diseases we have around here.

August 04, 2006 6:30 pm  

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