trick or treat

I've never been afraid of spiders much, though there is a funny part of me that will dodge their territory much the same as I would a stray dog. I have an underlying respect for them somehow, while at the same time it bothers me to have one lingering in my home. And rather than dash one out of my sight when I do find one, as anyone would do with the mechanism of eyes shut and vigorous squishing with a tissue, my intentions lie in getting it outside safely. Like an unwelcome guest who is in need of direction. It's a strange relationship for sure, but I can't lie that I have a rather soft side for them deep down inside.

My fascination with spiders came when I was very little, when my Uncle Jeff came up to me one day whispering suspiciously "Keni, come with me." Often this wasn't a moment to be trusted, as my Uncle was the same sort who would purposely mess my bed after I had made it, wiggle the table while I was coloring and eat dessert slowly and longingly while I had to finish my last few bites of roast beef at dinner. He was a wonderful friend to have growing up, despite my frequent desire to kick him firmly in the shins for being the older brother I never wanted.

On this day he had brought me down to his bedroom window, in the dark little corner of my grandma's basement. A strange privilege within itself, as my cousins and I were never welcome to touch his belongings without a tedious debate or letter of consent on his behalf. But rather than waste my opportunity by asking too many questions, I waited for the silence to be broken. As he smiled the way most 9 year old boys would do, he reached from his sweater and pulled out a small jar, he twisted the lid and lay it down on the sill. In a great hush he told me to watch as a little black bug crept up to a spider's web. "Here she comes," he said, and his eyes grew wide.

He'd named her Charlotte, a name I instantly could relate to, having been in love with the book since before I could read. She was apparently his new pet, a secretive friend of sorts that only he was permitted to tend to. In his world he opened up a new perspective, one that had me instantly caught in the weavings of his thoughts, both curious and slightly disgusting.

In his eyes Charlotte was a master of craft, a delicate 8-fingered hand with a backpack of thread, carried along where ever she went. As we watched the fingers weave its thread and silently slink back into the corner to wait for some privacy, I couldn't help but tilt my head at the new vision that was provided. My fascination has since then remained, while in the same breath "EW!" is much easier to retreat to with flailing hands and hopping on chairs. The imagination, I've discovered, is really what you make of it.

In the spirit of the creepy crawlies, Happy Halloween!

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