There are, as I've learned, several terrible times to find a spider in your car. One of those times would be blowing down the rain-slick freeway in the pre-dawn hours of the American workday.
It was in trying to focus on the taillights down the road that I instead found my eyes snapping to something much closer; spider zip line.
A spider had installed itself, overnight apparently, on a single silken thread that stretched from rear-view mirror to the driver's side A-pillar.
I don't believe I have an irrational fear of spiders so even though there was a chance that the spider and single strand of silk had appeared from nothing in the split second that I had blinked my eyes just, I would characterize my level of anxiety as "low".
I then spent the next few minutes figuring out if it would be slamming on the gas or slamming on the brakes that would send this swinging, swaying spider directly into my face. I think I figured out that the answer was "gunning it" and so I determined not to participate in any street racing to avoid such a situation.
I also wondered if I would go to work with a spider bite and a grotesquely swollen ear (or wherever the spider would chance to land) or if at that point I would just turn around and go home. I had finally relaxed enough to start hearing what had been on the radio the whole time.
Rock You Like A Hurricane
Good ole' Scorpions. This song will never get any more overplayed than it is right now.
What if it was a message from the spider? The spider was telling me I was about to get rocked, like a hurricane. Or perhaps a spidercane. Maybe the spider was sending me coded messages about a swirling vortex of tiny spiders being driven across the land. Would this be fatal? To be caught in a spidercane? Could the media cover it at all? I imagine it would be very difficult to acknowledge the existence of such a thing and to subsequently report on it. I also thought that if the storm was violent enough then you'd have a mix of live spiders and dead spider bits. That doesn't seem important but it's these details that can really make or break the plausibility of a spider storm.
I didn't like where this was headed.
My anxiety level moved upwards from "low" and I had starting marking notches on a device I've invented to measure dread.
Give it Away
At this point I knew the spider, still dangling precipitously in front of my face as we traveled at 70 mph, was taunting me. Or maybe not a taunt, maybe just a description of what was to come and what will be. Anthony Kiedis could have never meant for a spider to beam the sentiments in this song directly into a human mind.
"What I got you gotta get it put it in you."
That's no good. The spider's confidence was soaring at this point, especially if it was planning on such an intimate invasion. I figured the worst case scenario would be a brain full of spiders, right? 'Cause then you'd be sitting there and you'd have a splitting headache and then spiders would be pouring forth from your eye sockets and bleeding ears. You'd die. The part where you die is why it's a worst case scenario 'cause spiders from the mouth or whatever would be physically and mentally scarring but you'd still, possibly, survive.
But I realized that there are worse things than dying. Nightmare flashes of spiders erupting from my urethra flitted about and landed on my brain like the foulest of butterflies.
Although the sun was peeking over the horizon, this commute had grown darker than ever.
Anxiety and dread now "middling", along with new intense desire to be anywhere but in a car with a spider bent on sci-fi body horror male pregnancy.
Standing in the Sun
Wait a minute this song sucks. I'm not a big fan of Slash's newer efforts and this song is no exception.
Slash's optimism spoke to me via so many guitar licks. Maybe things would be okay. Maybe I'd make it to work after all and there would be no arachnid impregnation and no swirling masses of spiders sweeping across the land and devouring everything forever.
And the sun, indeed, did rise. The spider had withdrawn to the safety of the oh-shit handle and I pulled into a parking spot, unscathed.
Resolved: To Kill a Spider
The spider released his deathgrip on the radio and on my brain. I imagine I'll see him again, in about nine hours or so.
But if he gets in my face while I'm driving again I'm going to kill him.
Shortly after writing this the spider and its web were gone. I assume it's taken up residence in the climate control ducts, waiting to be blasted out with its spider progeny en masse.