I was sitting on my bed reading a book – The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, which isn’t as good as Snow Crash, but it’s still an example of excellent modern fiction – when I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye.
My feline was curled up next to me, sleeping, as he normally does. Somehow, in an average day, he spends roughly 32 hours sleeping. I’m not quite sure how he does it, but since I’m unemployed, I have plenty of time to study him. I think he somehow manages to steal the time that I should be sleeping and add it to his own tally. I think my cat’s uncanny sleep-stealing ability is somehow related to my own insomnia, so I poke him every time I chance to see him sleeping too soundly out of sheer spite.
Anyway, to return to the story – pillows propped up behind me, cat sleeping at my side, book on my lap – I spied movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked directly to where the movement was and saw an enormous, brown spider, about the size of a quarter, or maybe just a nickel, making it’s way down the wall onto my bed. I proceeded to freak the fuck out like the sissy girl that I am, throwing books and pillows everywhere, but somehow, not managing to wake the cat.
I live in southern California. In southern California, we have two breeds of deadly spiders, the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow. I’ve seen the Black Widow all over my property. They are quite distinctive and hard to miss since they are all black with a bright red hourglass on their abdomen. Fortunately, they’re as scared of me as I am of them, so their first instinct is to run away, which is fine as long as they’re not in my house. Since they could actually kill me, if they’re in my house, they get squished… by my roommate, of course. I’m not a fan of squishing things.
In all the years I’ve lived in California, I haven’t actually seen a verified Brown Recluse. It could be because they’re reclusive; it is in their name after all, so it must be a primary trait. The only facts I know about them is that they are poisonous, brown and reclusive – my research is not very thorough or scientific, I know. Given my extremely cursory knowledge of Loxosceles reclusa, whenever I see any brown spider, I automatically assume that it might be a Brown Recluse and act accordingly.
So, when I was sitting on my bed reading The Diamond Age and spied the great, brown, possibly reclusive spider, my first instinct, after freaking the fuck out like a big sissy girl while shrieking and throwing pillows, was to find a receptacle to remove said spider out of doors. Keeping one eye on the spider, and using the other to look about my room for a proper spider-removal receptacle and coming up empty, I ran out to the living room.
On the coffee table was a newly purchased stack of burnable CD’s. Perfect. I grabbed the lid off of the spindle and returned to my room where the cat was still soundly sleeping his stolen sleep, completely oblivious to the fact that there was a massive, brown, reclusive spider now on my bed. I put the spindle cover over the spider. He was trapped. The crisis was half-averted. Now, I needed something flat to cover the spindle lid while transporting the brown, reclusive spider out of doors, lest he should somehow sprout wings and attach himself to my face.
I grabbed a large, flat book containing the paintings of Salvador Dalí and carefully slid it under the CD spindle cover until the spider was crawling around atop Dalí’s collected works. I carefully carried Dalí’s spider outside where spiders belong. I walked to the far corner of my garden and released him back into the wild on top of a cluster of chives without installing a tracking device. Hopefully, spiders like chives. Salvador Dalí was aptly named since he did turn out to be a posthumous savior making it so that giant, brown spiders didn’t eat my face.
Here ends the tale of the giant, brown, somewhat reclusive spider found in my room. We all lived happily ever after, except maybe the spider. I’m not sure whether he lived happily or not, since upon releasing him into the wild, I ran promptly in the general direction of away and didn’t stop to verify his mood, but at least he didn’t die by my hand. The end.