Monday, April 4, 2016


What kind of mother locks herself in the bathroom with the tub running and the fan on so she can eat the last Klondike bar without her child hearing the wrapper crinkling until it is too late?

Go ahead, heap your contumely upon me. I've done worse.

I used to eat spiders. All the kids on our crescent did it at least some of the time. I think there was some sort of mom cult thing going on where they decided in their pointy-bra'd way that if we were busy catching and eating spiders we wouldn't be pestering them for food or attention, so they whispered to us in our dreams that we should really be spending more time eating spiders and less time begging for story-time. That they would love us more than they did our siblings--and since at least half of us were Catholic, there were a lot of siblings to be competed with--if we came home late in the afternoon full of spiders, tuckered out and ready for bed. That spider protein would make us better looking than the other kids, smarter than the other kids, and stronger than any kids in the history of the neighborhood. Spider silk would make our hair fine but so so strong and it might even help parachute us safely to the ground when we flung ourselves from trees. Spider eyes would help us win Kick the Can, even at night. The hemocyanin in spider blood, with its strange blue tint, might fool a prince into thinking we were in fact blue-blooded in that all-important royal way and we would be swept off to live in a castle forever. This was the part I imagine my mother enjoyed the most: helping me fantasize about going to live somewhere else, to leave my smelly runners in someone else's country, to spit toothpaste inexpertly in someone else's sink, to play my never-fucking-ending arpeggios on someone else's fucking piano.

The little grey spider that lives in the upper northwest corner of our shower waves her elegant little legs at me as I sit here on the bath mat licking mint and chocolate from my horrible stubby fingers. She has seen me do this before. I'm going to eat her next and dream of turrets.