Moving to Freedom, .Org(on)

Itsy Bitsy Fritsy 12: Interlude

by Fritzi Webber
(go to the beginning)

Oh my goddess! The man brought his date back here last night!

They watched movies. They writhed around on the couch, which the cat observed with obvious distaste. (Especially when the woman sneezed a couple of times, mentioning cat allergies. Oh, the cat did not like that.) Then they went up to the man’s bedroom.

She’s still here this morning. The entire community is atwitter about it. He never has guests. What did this mean, we wondered. Would the woman come to live here? Would she be prejudiced against the arachnid community like him?

Boris said female humans are much worse when it comes to speciesist attitudes. Especially against us. What if the man told her about the incidents of the past few days? She might want to deploy pesticides against us, Boris said. He made a point of looking my way, as the source of the incidents and the danger to the community.

I felt some urgency in seeing my latest plan succeed, knowing that no one else would act, and realizing that Boris would forevermore keep connecting every bad thing to me.

Then there was the breakfast conversation this morning. It was awkward and uncomfortable. The man only had cold cereal to offer her. That’s all he ever has for breakfast. (I was hoping she might eat him for breakfast.) They both seemed strangers to this kind of thing, and fumbled around with their conversation as clumsily as they had in bed last night. It was innocuous and bland until:

I was really worried about having you over last night,” the man said.

I was worried too, remember?” she said, and then giggled while he blushed.

Oh, no, not that—” he said. “I mean—” He suddenly got all agitated, and the woman looked stricken, afraid of what might come next. “I shouldn’t tell you this—”

No, come on. You can tell me, Nolan,” she said.

Okay, it’s just that—” He looked down at his cereal. “I don’t want to gross you out or anything.” Her eyes grew wide before squinting, as if to brace against whatever he was leading up to.

I was afraid I knew where he was going.

Maybe I shouldn’t say,” he said.

Oh, come on! Now you have to tell me.”

Don’t let him tell her, I prayed to The Goddess.

Well, maybe it’s not all that bad to say. And first let me say I’m going to do something about it,” he said, before realizing how that sounded.

Would you just say it already?”

No! No! Don’t tell her, I screamed inside.

Okay. Don’t be grossed out. I seem to have a spider problem lately.”

Oh, goddess. He was going to tell her. I could picture the board’s reaction. They’d come up with some trumped up emergency declaration to get me thrown out of here. And maybe that wouldn’t be the worst thing, depending on how this went.

Spiders?”

Yes. Is that really gross to talk about? Especially over breakfast, after last night— It’s just— It doesn’t seem that romantic, you know?”

Nolan.” She was smiling. “It’s fine. You had me all worried there for a minute, but—”

He interrupted her, and began talking faster, as if he had nerved himself up for this big confession and he had to get it out. “I try to keep this place really clean, you know? But the other day there was this huge web in the stairway. It freaked me out when I ran into it in the dark. I nearly fell down the stairs and broke my neck. Then, the next day, my cat tripped me up going for a spider. I fell and almost cracked my head open again. I think I caught a glimpse of the thing, and it was big.” He made a face and laughed nervously, too loudly, and kept going before she could get a word in. “I was so worried you might come in and there’d be another giant web, or spiders crawling around, or who knows, and you’d think I kept this place like a barn. You’d think it was all dirty and disgusting and you’d want to leave.”

Nolan! Really, it’s okay. You know what?”

What?”

I like spiders.”

You should have seen the look on the cat’s face.

And the man’s. But especially the cat’s.

Suck it, Kitty!

(There’s more. I’ll try to get another entry posted this afternoon…)