Spiders and I get along very well.
As long as there is space between us.
Lots and lots of space.
When I can see them ‘over there’. And I’m quite sure when they can see me ‘equally over there’.
Perhaps we could call it a mutual respect? Reverence? Esteem?
Nope, I think ‘aversion’ fits in here quite well . . .
When I was in grade seven, my seat was the last in the row next to the windows.
As far from the teacher as I could be and still be considered ‘in’ the class.
On this sunny day, a large spider had been happily parked in his web high up in the window closest to my desk. For a reason known only to his tiny little spider brain, he decided it was time to leave said window, travel down the wall and begin a journey across the floor.
Now, up to this point, my eyes had been glued to the little eight-legged cretin. That whole ‘over there’ scenario (see above).
But just as he reached the floor and started to cross between me and the student in front of me, the teacher asked me a question.
Requiring my attention.
You’ve been ignoring me this whole morning and you ask a question now?!
It was a dilemma. Fear of the teacher vs fear of the spider.
Hmmm . . . that’s a toughie.
I decided on the half-way approach. One eye on each.
Yeah. It didn’t work.
I gave a bit too much attention to the teacher and lost sight of my busy little friend.
Partway through my answer, something touched my leg.
I am not making this up.
My brain equated said touch as ATTACK OF THE DEADLY SPIDER!!! EVERY MAN (or woman) FOR THEMSELVES!!!
I leaped up out of my chair and did a week’s worth of cardio in only four seconds, to the amusement of my fellow students and astonishment of the teacher. Finally, seeing no spider, I returned to my senses.
And my seat.
The spider never appeared.
I figure that means one of the following scenarios:
1. My impromptu tarantella flung the little monster to the far side of the sun.
2. He was never on my leg. Which also raises the question: What—or who—touched me?
3. Spiders don’t exist and are merely little brain aberrations. (Preferred.)
Which do you choose? And what scares you?
P.S. I also have a little ceremony in which I shake out my shoes before putting them on. You never know where those sneaky little beggers will be hiding.