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Glimpses of Inspiration

North Lake Tahoe

 "Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!"      Lewis Carroll


"Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet."   Eudora Welty

Published

"Chicken In Turkey"

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"Tiny Tattoos"

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"Haunted By Glue Guns"

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"Smokey in the boys' room"

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(contributor, page 27)"I Salute You, Mother"

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Thursday
Oct012015

Touched By A Spider

I saw the spider before I stepped into the shower. It wasn’t huge, maybe nickel size. I could have removed it, but didn’t need to. The water current would soon send it down the drain, which had happened the day before, I think with another spider, but you never know. Maybe this was the same spider back for revenge. You know how they do that.

Yesterday, I’d marveled at how the current covered the entire tile floor, pulling in the spider at the edge of the stream, sweeping it along in a graceful swirl pattern—all the while its eight legs wildly strumming—then suddenly disappearing. Thus, when I stepped in today, I figured the same drain sequence would unfold.

It didn’t. The spider had found the no-stream zone, a refuge near the wall with the shower head. No matter how I angled the stream, it would not reach the spider. Obviously, this was a gifted and talented spider. I pushed the shower head more and even kicked water in the spider’s direction, hoping to bump it into the current washing by. It drew in its legs and became a dark blob, an unmoving dark blob. I kept my eye on it as I washed my face, best I could. Its legs popped out. To my surprise, I felt relief. It was still alive. I wanted it to live. It deserved to live. Its struggle for life had been so compelling.

It wasn’t a wash hair day so my shower would soon end. With a quick glance at my shower pal I realized the spider looked different from moments ago. Only six legs were now visible and they were all to one side, making it look like a tiny squid. I wondered if the spider would again pop to life, springing up with all legs out in the right places. It didn’t. I turned off the water and studied it. It still looked wet and heavy. I dried off and grabbed a cotton swab. Perhaps if I gently poked it—the equivalent of arachnid CPR—it would start moving.

The moment the swab touched the spider, I knew it was dead. The drenched blob moved only where I pushed it. My heart sank. I rolled it onto the swab and gave it a proper burial in the nearby porcelain urn. I flushed, sending the spider round and round in its final swirling pattern. I stared after it once it was gone. What had just happened to me, to have been so moved by a spider?

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