Open letter to the creepy spider in my bathroom

Where are you tonight? Seriously. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing you in your normal spot in the corner of the bathroom ceiling. I was fine with that, even though I’ve seen other spiders weave their webs and lay eggs in that spot. There are some who’d accuse you of illegal immigration, especially if you were planning on having kids here.

But you’ve gone missing, which is so much more disconcerting.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy I didn’t find you dangling over my head like that one time I woke up in bed. I scooped you up in my drinking glass and gingerly dropped you outside the bedroom window. This was merely the first in a series of commuted death sentences in which I saved you, yet you continue to put yourself in harm’s way. I can only guess you found your way back in through the air conditioner because I forgot to put that little insulator thingy in the window. I plugged that tiny opening, but I couldn’t bear to put you back out in the elements when you showed up the next morning in the bathtub. You scrambled up to the shampoo shelf and we made a silent pact: If you could make it through that shower without washing down the drain, we’d find a way to co-exist.

Not to pat myself on the back, but there aren’t many folks who’d have made that deal. You’re slightly larger than the universally accepted limit for the “catch and release” program we use to determine whether we snatch you with a ball of toilet paper and flush you down the john. Anything larger than a quarter usually has me worrying you’ll kill my wife and me in our sleep. Also, and I’m not trying to be rude here, but you’re unusually plump and red. I can’t help but wonder why, especially when I noticed that red mark on my butt. It might be stereotyping, but have you been snacking when my backside is turned?

Your boldness is disconcerting. Why are you so fearless, so secure in the knowledge that your discovery will not lead to an all-out search-and-destroy mission? I wonder if you’ve been talking to Manny the Mouse, last year’s temporary tenant and frequent beneficiary of our “have a heart” mousetraps. While it’s true that every time we set him free in the back yard he found his way back in, you might notice he hasn’t returned. That’s because we took him to Norwalk and left him by the river.

That’s not a threat. I just thought you should know. Anyway, you startled me when I flipped on the bathroom light. I jumped and you dropped into the magazine bin, never to be seen again. It’s been a week, and I can’t bear to open that new issue of National Geographic for fear that you’ve set up camp inside. I’m going to put the newspaper in which this letter is published in that bin and hope you’ll get a chance to read it in between the other spiderly things you’re doing in there. You need to get back to your usual spot and let me use the bathroom in peace. Otherwise, we’ll be putting the bin in the car and Manny is going to have company.

Best wishes and hope your bug-eating is going well,


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