Button Spider (Fiction)
"my imagination is being killed by like philosophies."
That's all i have to say and after it I'm fine with walking in silence but we've only gone a few more steps when she yells:
"Your imagination is being killed by philosophy and...!!"
I start to laugh. "That was it."
"what do you mean?!"
"just that. I don't know." we turn onto our street. "if i say more i'll stop meaning what Im saying."
we walk up the porch steps and she sort of stomps her feet as she says "I don't get it!"
We both reach into out bags at the same time and fall into that silent race of: who will get their keys out their bag and open the door first.
she wins this one- her bag is smaller, less pockets.
She's turning the key and then she screams, and runs off the porch.
"the spiders back."
i see it now, pressed flat on the white wood like a button. i have a weird urge to press on its body like a doorbell. Including its legs its about the size of a quarter.
She's stepping in small circles on the path, flapping her hands and saying "ugh ugh ugh ehhhhhh heeeee..."
I reach bravely towards the dangling keys, the spider twitches but stays put. I open the door and the spider suddenly comes to life and with eight legs but in one movement, slips around the door. Its inside.
I pull the door closed again, i might have crushed the thing but i cant be sure if its dead between the frame and the door or skitting around the dark kitchen. So we leave the house and head back to the bar where we stay until one o'clock.
On our way home we pee between the parked cars.
On the porch she makes me open the door. Inside we turn on all the lights. In bed with the lights on we shiver because we're lying on top of the blankets to keep our feet visible so we know there are no spiders on our ankles.
I stare at the corners that the ceiling makes with the walls, afraid to blink and when a piece of her hair brushes my shoulder, I jump out of bed.
When we wake up all the lights are still on and i remember my dream-
"we were afraid to unlock the door," i tell her, "we knew there were baby spiders inside the lock and if we turned it we would crush them."
"So crush them." She opens the cabinet and looks apprehensively inside before taking down two tea cups.
"It was a dream." i take the tea that she hands me, "it was like, we didn't want to have spider guts on our keys. It wasn't that we didn't want to crush them, just that we thought it would be gross."
Three days later, when she's at work, i see the button spider playing dead on the floor. I stamp on it and then step out of my boot leaving it standing like a grave stone in the center of the kitchen.
We walk carefully around the boot for days. I wear flats to work. Finally we get her brother to come over and we lock ourselves in the bedroom while he cleans up the crime scene. When he's done both my boots are by the door and there isn't even a stain on the tile.