Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, filthy blue jeans, and brown boots.
There’s a spider in my apartment.
It’s one of those fast ones too. It’s small, but speedy, and has the kind of totally black body with short weird legs that just screams, “Try to catch me, and I will drop into your hair.”
For the last day, it’s been hanging out on the line where the wall meets the ceiling in various rooms. Yesterday, it was in the kitchen. Today it was over by the dining room table.
When I was in high school, while becoming the vegetarian-maybe-vegan that I would one day grow into, I stopped squishing spiders and started taking them outside using the classic cup-and-a-sheet-of-paper method. In recent years, though, out of apathy, I usually let spiders that are inconveniently located just hang out.
If you’re on the floor of my shower, you’re getting removed. If you’re on the line where the wall meets the ceiling, and where I’d have to get on a chair to get to you, it’s your lucky day. We are now roommates.
To be honest, it is such a relief to be back in my house after not being here for 9 days that I basically can’t be bothered about anything. Spiders can stay if they don’t make a mess (or fall into my hair).
My trip to Seattle was great, but long, and then I stopped off at Gabe’s parents’ house on my way back into town and so am only just now getting my first night’s sleep back in my own room and bed tonight. And it will be glorious.
While in Seattle, I had a slightly less terrifying public speaking experience and today I realized it was the deadline for another conference I wanted to pitch, so I had to spend all afternoon getting my ideas together and writing up a proposal. It is a big one, too. I mean, I probably won’t get it because it’s so big (even though I think my idea is really good!) but it is kind of crazy that I keep doing this to myself and hoping I get the opportunity to do something that basically terrifies me.
It is a good thing to do; this I know. But it is also so scary, and while I know I will keep getting incrementally better at it, the increments are still really small at this stage.
But maybe this is all a lesson — spiders used to be a source of extreme fear. I used to see one in my bedroom and get flooded with terror; I’d back out of the room, eye always on the spider, until I could bring in my dad to eliminate it. And look at me now! Growing some kind of spider factory on the seam where my ceiling meets my wall. What growth!
As a child, my parents hammered into my head the phrase, “Spiders are our friends!” and at some point, it stuck. I can’t see a spider without that thought running through my mind, which is ultimately why I couldn’t squish them anymore. It seems so wrong to squish a friend in a paper towel.
Maybe I need some kind of public speaking mantra, which, after repeating it to myself for — oh, let’s say 15 years? that’s about how long the spider thing took — I will be a completely casual, couldn’t-be-bothered public speaker.
Let’s see, so where to begin:
“You won’t forget everything you memorized.”
“Your mouth isn’t bone dry; that’s just fear.”
“No one else can tell how much you’re sweating.”
“You absolutely will not be exposed as a fraud.”
Hm, this will take some workshopping. This incremental growth is exhausting! I’m going to go check on that spider instead.