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I have spiders in my room. It's my fault for moving into the basement. And I wish our language had more specific words than "spider" to describe what lives with me. Spider could be anything. It could be the tiny, stocky fellows that you sometimes see clinging to your windshield, and who you pity a little while you accelerate until you've stopped looking at them and they've blown away. It could be daddy longlegs, which barely even count they're so fragile and lace-y, most of them a few gentle accidents short of the full eight-leg complement.

I have wolf spiders in my room.

That's probably not what they are. They could be any one of a hundred Pacific Northwest spider breeds, house spiders to hobo spiders. But wolf spider is what my parents called them when we were little and had just moved into the house (before we tamed it and banished the monsters to the basement), and they are large and dark and move very muscularly.

How large? Always the important question with spiders. The ones I've seen easily measure in diameter the length of the middle phalange of my thumb. I have long fingers. An inch, an inch and a half? Bigger? As big as an eye socket? An open mouth?

I woke up one morning and went into the bathroom and took off my clothes and stood on the cold ceramic while the shower flushed all the cold water out of the pipes. There was a rustling noise in the bathroom, stopping and starting. The window was shut, the air wasn't moving, and no one else was awake. I was so sure I was alone, except I wasn't making a sound.

The spider was in the wastebasket, trying at intervals to heave itself up the slick sides of the plastic grocery bag we use for liners, and failing. They are always startling, just to see how big they are, and to make me wonder, "How have I not seen you before? How many more of you haven't I seen?"

And for a minute I felt like it had trapped me, the way you might if you were standing naked in front of someone with a gun. And then it was a silly thing to feel, because it was trying so hard to climb out of the basket, and failing so sadly. Then I found a shoe, killed the spider, and showered, feeling like it was in the shower with me.

While I was reading tonight on my bed, I saw movement in my periphery, and it was a wolf spider on the floor next to me, crawling out from under my dresser. It stopped, and turned around to return to its den, easily, as though it hadn't meant to venture into the light in the first place. I'm sure it's still there. It's okay.

Although every morning, I check the insides of my slippers before slipping them on.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-17 10:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] integralanna.livejournal.com
I had one of those giant wolf spiders attack me while I was getting out of the shower. I feel your pain. Basement life is hard!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-17 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jookitcz.livejournal.com
These guys have been pretty passive so far. They're just so big!

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