Walking to work this morning, I tried to catch a glimpse of a helicopter thrumming overhead.
I spotted it way up there and followed it for a moment with my eyes.
As I did so, my mouth was open.
I noticed this because at that moment, I walked through a spider web.
Fortunately, I didn’t swallow the spider. All I could feel was sticky silk on my face.
The web must have been large. It spanned the sidewalk. Good job, spider!
I did the batting-at-my-face-and-head thing until I couldn’t feel the web any more.
I continued on in my absent-minded way, both helicopter and spider web forgotten.
After I got to the office, some time before the first client came in, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye.
It was a little orange spider, and it was crawling in my hair.
I did the batting-at-my-face-and-head thing again, until I couldn’t feel the spider anymore.
A subsequent examination in the mirror revealed that I was spider-free.
I thought, ‘Oh, I guess I did catch a hitchhiker in that web on the way to work.’
Then I forgot all about it.
As I was getting ready to leave the office today, I spotted a little orange spider on my filing cabinet.
“You’re not going to be happy there,” I told it. “I might close a drawer and squish you by mistake.”
So I transported the spider over to the giant lily beside my chair, an area known to be visited by bugs from time to time.
Then I remembered bringing a spider to work with me (or should I say on me?) the other day.
Is it the same one?
My mind was only 97% spider-free as I walked home from work today.
This morning before staring work I was dusting the client’s side table in my office when I caught sight of something from the corner of my eye again.
The little orange spider I’d deposited into the lily plant a couple of days ago was descending from the ceiling, right over the client’s chair!
‘Good thing there’s no client in the chair right now,’ I thought.
I went and grabbed the pole that I use to close the skylight shades, and tried to hook the spider by its silk.
It wasn’t as easy as it should have been.
The little spider had spun a very wide, practically invisible web, spanning the distance from the client’s chair to mine and beyond.
Every time I thought I had it, it sailed (like Spider-Man!) to a different part of its web.
Finally I snagged it, and without taking a moment to think through my plan, which had already proven to be flawed, I put it back among the leaves of the giant lily plant beside my chair.
Less than an hour later, in the middle of a session, the client stopped speaking mid-sentence.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I was distracted by a spider in that plant.”
The little spider was on the move again.
After the client left, I searched for the spider, eager to take it outside this time.
It was nowhere to be found.
But now it’s on my radar.
This morning when I arrived at the office, I felt the spider’s web stylings near the client’s chair again … but also way over by the water cooler.
It seemed there were webs everywhere. It was as though the little spider had thrown a fit and run around the office, pooping silk.
Was it trying to snare me and my clients?
I didn’t see the culprit at all that day. Just its handiwork.
I batted at the webs to clear them, and resolved to put that spider OUT at the earliest opportunity.
I’m obsessed with the spider now.
Haven’t seen the spider or any webs in four days. I think it left.
Looking back on my decision to put the spider in the lily plant, I see now that I should have put it outside immediately.
That little spider probably doesn’t appreciate the confines of a potted plant.
Remember, this is the spider that spun a massive web clear across a sidewalk, and then a giant one across an open space in my office.
It’s an outdoor spider. Dropping it onto a plant, even a large one, will never turn it into an indoor one.
We’ve all got to be who we are. I think the spider figured that out before I did.
My office isn’t airtight, which means it shouldn’t be spider-tight either.
I hope it made it safely back to the Great Outdoors.
A few days later, another client spotted the spider in the middle of a session.
It had emerged from the giant lily and was getting busy on the upholstered bench, planning its attempt to conquer that half of the office.
In the 10 minutes I had between that session and the next, I performed an emergency spider removal.
I went downstairs and out the back door with the spider (looking somewhat larger after two weeks — they grow up so fast) safely ensconced in a paper cup.
There’s a place where the back alley dead-ends. It looked pretty perfect for a spider habitat.
With an affectionate-but-not-at-all-regretful goodbye, I flung my arm out, attempting to launch the spider toward a pleasant-looking tree that overhangs the woodpile against a chain link fence.
I didn’t actually see the spider exit the cup. Or fly through the air. Or land anywhere.
It wasn’t in the cup anymore; I checked that before going back inside.
So it must have landed somewhere out there, right?
I forgot to check my hair.
* * *
PS. I’m taking a holiday this week and won’t be available to moderate comments, so they’re not available for this post.
I’ll use my imagination to figure out what you think.
Meanwhile, just stay right here in this nice potted plant till I get back.