Karen Rivers

Some days have spider legs.

Karen Rivers

She won't eat her cereal because last Thursday her brother said, "There's a spider in your cereal!"  and now there are not only SPIDERS in all her food but also their LEGS, free-floating and terrifying, sprinkling their way into everything.


There are no spiders in ice cream, candy, or Cheezies.  There ARE spiders (or just legs) in cereal, fruit, vegetables, and chicken.  

 

There are no spiders in chocolate milk.  

 

And everyone knows spiders swim in yogurt.  

 

Here's the thing:  Some days are all about the spiders, or at least riddled with their legs, dropped carelessly and everywhere, waiting to fool the unsuspecting.  

 

Word suddenly turns on you, consuming your document and you lose valuable hours to software tricks that don't work and just like that your day is ruined.  You can feel a scream bubbling up inside and you remember how she threw her cheerios, bowl and all, across the table at her brother.   She had someone to blame.  You don't.   But you feel the same way.  

 

You feel the same way, exactly.  

 

You feel the same way, exactly, but you can't tell her that some days leave spider legs in everything, like black wiggling lines through your carefully crafted words.  Oh, the destruction.  And that even when you're 44 and a proper grown up, old enough to look at ads for neck wrinkle solutions and think, "Well, that looks like a good idea", even THEN you want to lift the bowl, chuck it across the room, make someone else at fault.  

 

You don't have a brother.  Probably lucky for him. 

 

And, come to think of it, you hate spiders, too:  The scuttling of their legs on the wall while you chase them with a glass.  The way they cling there, fleetingly thinking of revenge, before dropping out of the glass into the garden, which is full of even more spiders, waiting to come inside.  

 

Last time you mowed the lawn, spiders stampeded from the rock wall, running in terror from the mower, like an army of 8-legged aliens, rushing the exits, swarming over the tips of your runners, eyeing your feet for purchase.

 

The spiders are everywhere!

 

She's right, you know.  There's a reason to be afraid. 

 

You should probably eat ice cream for dinner.  Everyone knows that spiders hate ice cream.  It's just a fact.   

 

Sorry about the spiders, darling girl, you'll say, kissing her on the nose.   Sorry about all that.  

 

You'll raise your cones together in a mock-cheers.  Here's to tomorrow, you'll say.  Here's to a spider-free tomorrow.  Let's eat to that.