Saturday, February 9, 2013

Good-Night Moon, Good Morning Spider

The summer before last, I became very good at sleeping for twelve hours. When I woke up, I would lay there and look at the Lady of Shed-lots. She has always been my bossy, little guardian. When I went to bed each night, and the blankets settled on my legs, triggering thoughts of spiders crawling around on me, she would be there next to me, giving me a look that clearly said I was imagining it. She gave me a sense of safety.

One morning I woke up as I always did, but a few moments after I opened my eyes, I felt something. It was most definitely not the settling of blankets. I could feel the fall of several individual little legs on my left thigh. I froze, except for my heart, which inevitably quickened its pace. My arms were outside the covers, and I cupped one hand over the spider, keeping the blanket between it and my hand. It couldn't run away now. Arachnid and human stayed still, so that, for a moment, I wondered if it was really there, but no. The feeling it's legs coming down on my skin had been far too real. Beside me on the bed, was the Lady of Shed-lots. I felt a pang of betrayal as she gave me the same look as always. She was supposed to protect me! Although, in truth, a cat outside the blankets could be of little effect against a spider under the blankets.

Without much reason, I somehow made a quick movement and ended up out of the bed, whilst leaving the spider behind. I grabbed something, threw back the covers, and smashed the little abomination. Within my memory, those last two sentences are a swift blur, but the moments leading up to it, an eternity. I picked up the remains in a tissue and dropped it in the trash. I went to my mother and told her what had happened. I'm not sure if she really believed me at first, especially since when she asked what kind it was, I was unable to tell her. I left and returned a few minutes later, with the dead spider bits in tissue. She identified it as a brown recluse, and it had been a rather big one, before it was rendered in the two dimensional.

By all reason that spider should have bitten me. It should have bitten me when I trapped it on top of my vulnerable skin. It should have bitten me when I was asleep. That night I had gone to bed in a night gown. What if it had been on my leg, and I was in full pants? What is the probability that I would go to bed in the only sleepwear that this could have happened with? The only reason I have ever been able to come up with is the only reason I will ever need. It wasn't in God's plan for a brow recluse to bite me on the thigh that morning. As the lions did not harm Daniel, the spider did not harm me. For some reason, He wanted to scare me, and putting a spider in the bed with me was a pretty good way to do that. He kept that spider from biting me, just as He put it there. Things have changed a little because of that too. I tuck in one side of my covers under the mattress so that the blankets don't touch the floor to provide easy access for spiders, and I don't trust the Lady of Shed-lots to keep me safe anymore. His plan is a mystery to me, but I'll continue to trust in him.

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