Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On September 3, 2012, I passed through spider threads hanging across the night time bicycle path. On the day of the spider, begin weaving the 16 days of summer into a tapestry of memory.


I love and fear the spider. I have survived a spider bite only because
its venom wasn't deadly. I was sitting in an older office building,
and I saw a big spider cross the floor of my office. I didn't smash it
because it had found a hiding place in a crack between the carpet and
the wall. About a half hour later, I felt a pinch on my left calf. I
felt a bit feverish in an hour and by the time I arrived home for the
day, I felt woozy. I felt woozy, and I laid down to take a nap. I
still felt woozy when I, luckily, awoke from that nap and I walked to
the Seven Eleven for a Big Gulp. The next day, I woke up feeling okay.
I am rather glad Michigan has many spiders, but only the brown recluse
and the black widow can rot flesh or kill a human. I didn't report the
spider bite to the company, and in a few day, the company hired me
directly as a salaried employee. Reporting the spider bite, I believe,
might have screwed that timing up.

Late summer and early autumn, the spiders around my home have built
webs aggressively. Up to two years ago, the steps up the my second
floor flat had spiders setting up enormous webs between the railings.
I am guessing the new management has applied more pesticide. I never
touched the railing, so in a way, I rather miss them. I believe the
railings spiders belonged to the wolf and garden spider varieties. A
few spiders made their home in my side mirror casings, and most had
the common sense to retract into the casing before my car got rolling.
I didn't feel rushed to apply a pesticide. When the frost came in late
October, the spiders stopped spinning webs to replace the webs that
blew away at high speed. A few spiders blew out of the web when I hit
high speed, caught out on the web at a traffic stop.

Spiders in small towns and villages and remote spots on islands get
out of control. I remember one night I was walking through downtown
Sebewaing, just a town of two thousand souls on the tip of Michigan's
thumb. Every tree raised in sidewalk planters had a town of spiders
infesting the leafy boughs. I made the mistake of walking under the
limbs of one, and I had to swat and brush off a squad of spiders
rappelling down on their silk threads. Just to watch the spectacle
repeated, I walked close to a few of those ornamental trees, and
watched another squadron deploy. I started to walk in the street, away
from the planters.

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