A thought on Reality: 11.19.16. Excerpt from a larger piece

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11/19/16

past midnight

As she was sitting on the toilet, she saw the spider descend before her. Right in front of her.  About six inches from her nose. She stiffened on the seat; unable to move until she finished urinating. Gabby watched the spider fixedly, hoping to God it wouldn’t swing closer to her face or perhaps worse (perhaps not), descend lower towards her exposed crotch. 

*

It’s yellow-white body curled and flexed as its legs worked with the strand of web it was hanging from, moving gracefully up and down. Gabby thought of the episode of Twisted Sisters she had watched a few nights ago in which Jeannine and Jeannette attempted to kill a spider by spraying it with hairspray. The girls had screamed and giggled, holding the can of hairspray out as if it were mace and they were defending themselves against a potentially violent attack. She eased off the toilet, never taking her eyes off the intruder, retrieved her own hairspray from the cabinet, aimed carefully at the busy spider, and sprayed.

*

The spider swung abruptly on its web from the blast of chemicals and then began to twitch and curl. It attempted to retract back up the web but its legs were sticking to themselves and its body. Gabby shrieked in horror! She watched it, childlike, terrified by the unnatural and hectic movement of the bug, like watching a person in the midst of a grand mal seizure; twitching, curling, getting stuck to itself, the web quivering in the panic. The spider soon stilled, hanging on the strand, curled and dying. 

*

“This is real,” Gabby thought.  “This is real and I’ve just killed, no… tortured a living thing.”

*

She watched it hang, probably still alive, and unable to move under the dried, hardened hairspray. After a moment, she ran from the bathroom and into her bedroom, only a few steps away, and sat on the bed. She stared into the blank television screen at her own reflection. She stared at it for some time confused by her reaction to what had just happened. After perhaps five minutes or so, Gabby returned to the bathroom and found that the spider had fallen in the toilet bowl. It was sunk to the bottom. And Gabby began to cry.

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