This is some prose I wrote about the battle that we have with the shadow sides of ourselves. Learning to live with the darker parts of myself reminds me of learning to live with our household spiders, which for some of us is often a step too far!
I have always been afraid of spiders. They are long, black spindly-legged specimens of dread. Their mortal threat lies there in their very being: not under the veil of a furry coat or a smooth skin but there, in your face with no punches pulled.
The spider. His crawly legs and sudden movements surprise as he sidles surreptitiously across the surface of the window sill. Silent but deadly. Then he stops: still but with a menacingly potent potential. He take no prisoners (unless you’re a fly). I mean – would you tackle a tarantula?
‘Spiders’, the vegan, animal-loving, lama-saving cohort chant, ‘Spiders are the kings of the household ecosystem, keeping all of those house flies away from defaecating all over your dinner’. I would rather have a fly poo on a pea, imperceptible to my naked eye than a spider in my bath, willing me to turn the tap on but then running out before I can unleash the fatal torrent in its direction: a display of twisted tactical mastery.
I clutch the piece of card and the Tupperware pot, waiting for an opportune moment to launch my attack on the malificent entity. It knows that I am about to mount a kidnap attempt, but unlike a mouse frozen before a pouncing cat, it stalls to outwit. No sooner do I bring the cardboard weapon down upon the wretched eight-legged currant, it runs six centimetres to the right. It stops, standing still. My frustration and anger build but the killer instinct takes hold and with a deft scoop, I catch my prey and open the window. It is humanely deposited on the window ledge. I shut the window and exhale in triumphant bliss. No more spindly-legged battles. No deaths. No tears. A mutually acceptable resolution I trust.
Sweet dreams; fluffy cloud sensations and spectrums of colour. I wake in the morning embodying a rested glow. I run the bath. Frothy bubbles frolic playfully under the gushing water. I lower myself slowly into the warm water. The warmth envelopes my being like an aqueous hug. I close my eyes and breathe. The tap drips hypnotically. Thoughts waft in and out of my mind. I look at the window above the bath. It is starting to steam up now. I start singing, a slow melancholy shanty. The melody rises up with the steam; sweet and angelic, heaven-bound, lulling me into a drifty soporific state. Then silence. The tap stops. The sounds tapers off, hanging in mid air. I spy something small in the corner of the window: small but not unremarkable. A black fleck poised with intent on the wrong side of the closed window (not the outside side). It goads me to investigate it further and I do.
I emerge from the embrace of the water with a Neptune-like glory. Death is in my sights now. Water is my power and I am the fleck’s nemesis. Every ounce of humanity that I ever had has rushed out of my body like a retreating garrison. With timing and aplomb I throw a sodden sponge at the fleck. This is it. Bang. Gone. Triumphant and bold like a Valkyrie princess I snatch the sponge to see my winnings only to be met by a surprising vacuum of fleckiness. NO FLECK? What the heck?
I look down and see it in all of its arachnid smirkiness heading snidily towards the toilet. I leapfrog out of the bath to catch it, taking a fishtank-load of water with me. I trip and bash my head on the toilet seat. I lie on the floor in a naked heap. My pride is damaged and I am vulnerable. I have been defeated by a centimetre-long household insect. The threat is present, real and hiding in plain sight in my own home.
The ever-present resistance I feel is comfortable, patterned, safe: trusted in its familiar unpredictability.
Copyright Fizzy Wisdom 2019