Encounter with a dead spider (31)

1 Name: Anonymage : 2018-02-23 23:13 [Del]

This morning I received a disturbing message. It was my younger sister who about six months ago moved to another State. She asked me how I was doing and got a conversation going, mostly of things or little or no consequence. I’m glad to say it, she is doing fine. In fact she feels great and despite the initial hardships expected from any major change in one’s life, she succeeded and, more than that, feels very close to be a complete adult, a functioning individual with its right place in society. Of course, at such short term, she’s not exactly where she wants to be nor it's reasonable to expect such a thing but now it seems to her that it is only a matter of time. Knowing my sister I think so too.
Then she asked how I feel about moving in with her and start a new life. Rather, a life, any life. A chance to stand on my own two legs, away from the old house and our protective parents. You see, I’m in this weird standing with my family members. They happen to believe it’s only a matter of one small push to get me straight into a successful and healthy existence. I am, they believe, a sort of incredibly unlucky genius, saint, or both, who never had the chance to meet the right people or be at the right place at the right time.
I believe that’s the case because they go by my room and see the huge stacks of books everywhere, many in foreign and weird languages to them and they can only assume I am enveloped in a cocoon state and whatever I am, judging by the doctoral appearance of my immediate surrounds, can only be positive, even amazing. For a good while I also believed that to be the case. When I was in fourth grade I won a school literary competition. That, added to my self-effacing and soft and polite demeanor was enough to have my parents and brothers to believe I was destined to be a man of importance.
Even now, at the age of 31, this person they imagine to be me, lingers thick over the reality of what I really am. I tell you what I am because it's simple enough. A man with no courage, hidden behind walls of paper and a dilettantish knowledge about many things and most of those many are of no concern to anyone. I’m not a genius or a saint. I’m less than regular and not the brilliant type of Dazai’s underman either. I’m less on both sides. I never said it out loud, not even to myself, but I’ve written plenty before; I’m a useless creature and a weight to those around me. Of no fault of anyone involved, they believe in a lie. We built together this person who doesn’t exist over their real son and brother. Covering the gaps left by my silence, they had to assume a lot about me. I’m terribly sorry this is the situation we stand right now.
I’m going on a tangent here, I’m sorry. Anyway, that’s what my younger sister asked me. She believes to offer me an opportunity to leave my parents house, breath new air, meet new people and perhaps make a real life for myself. If only she knew the thought alone of such things made me vomit. How shocked she would be, My God, to see her brother vomiting over a thought. The reality accompanied by the stench of my stomach. I cowered and bent and had to lay my head on the floor. After a while I crawled under my sink and stared at the drain pipe for a couple of hours. A drain is such a convenient invention, I kept thinking. It’s so useful that it got invented by several different cultures at different time periods all over the world. They all came about with the same idea. Drains, I should think more about drains (I’m not even kidding, that was my train of thought).
I had no glasses on so I couldn’t see very well but as I stood up the tip of my left eyebrow got in contact with something sticky. I turned to look and it was a very small cobweb. It was strange. There was nothing else on the web. No remains of insects whatsoever. In fact it stood in that perfect construction spiders do when they build their webs for the first time. Nothing else, this spider never caught anything other than the dust under my sink. What a tragedy. To gamble everything and to lose like that. This creature had put its entire life into one huge gamble and it lost. Right there, in the middle of this tiny cobweb I could see her. Dead. Completely dried, minuscule. Very gently I touched her and confirmed the spider was in fact dead. Just like Tolstoy wrote about the Russian soldiers who got trampled over by Napoleon in the Battle of Austerlitz and now stood dead or dying over hills. “It just wasn’t their day.” Christ! What a short and dry justification for everything. I suppose he’s right, unfortunately. For this spider too, it just wasn’t her day. How could she predict that nothing alive would ever pass through that space. It seemed proper but it wasn’t.
I thought that maybe, if I thought the right thoughts on the right order, this could be the spider’s own fault. Like in a fable, where a coward spider build her web in a spot too safe for herself where no predators could reach her but also no preys could reach her either. Her death is then justified as a cautionary tale. Fortune favors the brave, like the Romans wrote on the bows of their ships. But then that is brutally dishonest. For starters, I am the coward here and just thinking about using this spider’s bad luck as a way to excuse myself and warn myself against such behavior. That is brutal and horrible. I tell you this out of shame.
The simple truth is nothing ever came through and she stood there famished, trying to keep the webs clean from dust. But nothing ever came through and she died. The end. It just wasn’t her day. I touched her again very gently just to make sure she was truly dead. I was overwhelmed with pity. She tried and failed, that’s it. She couldn’t know that the only creature who would ever pass by her confines was me and even then just long after she died of starvation. There was nothing I could do for her at this point. I was late. The only thing I can do is to attest to her and tell you, reader, there was once a spider who thought it could exist under a coward’s sink. It built diligently and stood patiently but nothing ever came from her efforts, and nobody would ever know. At least now you know. And I know it too. For such a man as myself and given the spider is now dead, that’s the best we can do at this point. I appreciate you took the time to have the spider on your thoughts. I appreciate it deeply. Thank you.
If there's anything amusing I could find in this afternoon is the fact my sister wants me to find new life. Isn't curious that her message made me find old life in an unexpected place instead? I don't know what I'll do with the spider's husk but perhaps I'll fetch it and place inside a tiny glass or plastic and keep it in my wallet. Like an amulet with no real powers, just a reminder of thoughts I'll likely forget too soon. I kid you not, to look that cobweb under my sink was one of the most profound images I ever had.

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