Spiders

This house has too many of them, I said one night, after I’d gone on a spider genocide.

You reminded me again, that we had chosen the basement bedroom, and this was the consequence.

Why do you do that? I asked, as I climbed onto the stool and up to the platform of our bed. Why do you always point out things I’m very well aware of.

You looked at me, as you removed your worn slippers and tossed them to the side of the bed.

Because you say it like it’s my fault, you said.

That’s not true. I say it because I don’t want that Daddy Long Legs crawling into my mouth and laying eggs down my throat.

Your reaction was minimal, which reminded me of the egg-shell dance we’d done for days. Or was it months now?

I’m not climbing up there to get it, you said, firmly. And you tore back the comforter to prove it so.

Will you get it tomorrow, if it’s still there?

I’ll move it outside.

Fine.

For 15 minutes, we read next to each other.

I enjoyed the book I was reading, and you made abrupt noises that seemed to indicate you enjoyed yours, too.

When you went to turn off the lamp light above your side, I sighed.

I wasn’t ready, I said.

It’s time for bed, you said. It’s late. And we’re both up early.

And what annoyed me in that moment, was not that you made the decision without asking, but the way you said it – as though I was a child, who’s sleep needed monitoring.

In the dark, you fought the sheets to find my right thigh with your hand, and in an act of retaliation, I left my own hands rested up and under my pillow. 

Later, after you turned, I laid awake, the lights on the backporch reflecting into our room.

I watched the same spider crawl timidly across the ceiling.

And it was in those quiet moments, when the branch of the tree swept the window –

And the cream comforter engulfed me, soundlessly.  

I didn’t want to leave the house.

I wanted to leave you.

And the two were hard to separate.

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