Marie’s House

She couldn’t recall a point in her life when she didn’t fear spiders, even though Mother always said, “Don’t worry, they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.”

Doubtful. She studied them, trying to ascertain whether that could possibly be true. Her intensity to verify or disprove her mother’s claim carried her into college. But it was while she was at home, on the toilet, that the incident took place.

Thoughts were busying her head that day. October always meant birthdays and celebrations, until now. Mother’s death changed that. She’d always known Mother would die. Had to be done as matter of senescence and statistics. She understood both well. But Mother was struck by a stranger with an umbrella, propelling her back down the steps she’d been climbing, and into the storm surge where hungry waves gobbled her up and passed her wave by wave deeper into the ocean. Her body wasn’t recovered for three months. She wasn’t Mother by then. More time was needed for her to transform in Marie’s head from presence to memory.

Which had nothing to do with the spider incident, except that she was distracted by grief’s weight. Mother’s house had become her house. Whether she wanted to remain in that house was the question. Something never considered before seemed almost certain. That surprised her. She’d always believed that she would leave Mother’s house. She had begun to think that it would be with a man, when she married. Then, perhaps with a woman, when she married. Or maybe, when she traveled the world, because she didn’t think she was going to ever marry.

But along came an American house spider. Comb-footed, yellowish brown with a dirty white abdomen. About a quarter inch in size. Large for the species and lighter in color so it was probably female. Common and nothing to be feared, on an intellectual level. It could have a painful bite. But, Marie still sometimes reacted to spiders on other levels when they surprised her. As this one did, landing on the back of her hand as she sat on her bum on the commode, crying about Mother and October.

Feeling it, she flinched. Seeing it, she screamed. Tried flicking the spider away. It rushed up her pale, almost hairless arm. By that point, four seconds had passed and calm was beginning to restore order to Marie’s intellect. But then the spider stopped. She bent to look at it more closely. It raised two legs at her. Like it was waving hello. Later, she wondered, was it actually casting a spell? Because it then disappeared into her skin.

That seemed wholly impossible and improbable, so Marie took forty-seven seconds looking for it, horrified that maybe it had fallen off her arm and into her crotch. She stood to finish her business, wipe her bottom, and flush the toilet, but she swayed. Light blue towels were on a rack to the toilet’s right. She lunged for that general area, missed and fell forward. When next she woke, she knew she was a spider. Not spider-girl, a human with spider-like capabilities. No, she was a human intelligence in a spider body in the corner of the bathroom that used to be Mother’s house, which was now hers.

Monday’s Theme Music

Welcome to Mocha Monday Madness! How I used to refer to Mondays. Back when I used to regularly visited coffee shops. We’re still under masks limitations in our county, which makes it all a little wearying. But we’re trending toward lower positivity. Fewer COVID-19 cases. Of course, if people had vaccinated, the story might be a little shinier. Even so, I think masks and limitations are here for a while. How long the while lasts depends on too many factors for serious guessing. With my track record, though, these thoughts will push Oregon to life mask restrictions for our county immediately. Just how life sometimes seems: contrarian.

Today is Monday, October 25, 2021. Sunrise came in with grey slug speed at 7:35 AM. Sunshine will spin out of our valley at 6:14 PM. Wind and rain will dominate topics and weather appearances. We’ll top out in the low sixties, which is higher than the current 46 degrees F.

Exasperations and frustrations inform today’s morning mental music stream occupant. Laura Branigan passed away back in 2004. Fifty-two years old. Her greatest commercial success came in the 1980s. That’s when this song was released. “Self Control” was a hit for her in 1984. Her song is basically about partying at night and losing control. Which was the quasi area I was shooting at in my thoughts. As modern frustrations arose, I reminded myself to maintain self-control. To not wallow in a negative energy pool. But that inspired my mental Alexa to pick up on self-control and deliver the Branigan song to my conscious awareness. Love how that works. Stream of consciousness music shuffle.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vax and boosters when you can, and use self-control when called for. Here’s the music. I’m gonna go indulge in a that dark brew that I so enjoy. The one that gets my heart going. Yes, coffee. Cheers

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