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New Friends

I had a busy day, yesterday.

A lot to do, and the weather was dreary, heavy rain, blowing sideways, as I left the house.

I had some big jobs, a dishwasher overhaul, a glass cooktop, that had to be pulled out, and taken all apart, to replace some switches. A double wall oven, that had to come out of the wall, for new hinges. Both oven doors had handles broken off, new ones aren't available, I would have to MacGyver the broken ones back on, somehow. An old Maytag dryer, that needs a new motor.

All with time constraints, I was laying out my plan, in my head, as I drove.

I regretted not having Wheaties for breakfast, it was going to be that kind of day.

I was wishing that my little boys were bigger. I don't want to wish time away, but it will sure be nice, to have some helping hands, down the line.

Pulling a double wall oven is not a one-man job, especially for an older guy, like me. It's a good way to get a bad back. Lost in deep thought, I didn't even have my music on. I always have my music on.

At some point, I noticed that I wasn't alone. A tiny spider 🕷️ appeared, at eye level, walking across the inside of my windshield.

Primal instinct kicked in. Smush it.

Squash it, with a Kleenex, there's some right there, on the passenger seat.

No. Maybe age has softened me. I could hear my Dad's voice, pleading for the innocent creature, as he always did,

"Let him be, he's just trying to make a living."

It didn't take much to convince me, I've always been fascinated by Nature.

A lot of really wild stuff goes on, every day, that we just take for granted.

I let him live. He walked on, headed straight for my inspection sticker, treading gingerly, in no hurry.

Stove handles had left my thoughts, and I found myself very interested in my new little visitor. I started rattling off questions, to myself, or to the spider, maybe. How can he stick to the foggy, damp windshield, upside down, while I speed down these nasty, bumpy, roads?

How long has he lived in my pillar post trim piece? All Winter? I park outside, he must be a hardy little fella. What does he eat, if he lives in my car? My lunch crumbs? I probably don't want to know.

He must like my music. He has to, if he's been here long. It makes sense now, he lives way up here, as far away from the speakers as he can get. That puts him in the front row for my amazing karaoke performances. Maybe he's deaf, like me.

This is how my brain works. It probably counts as distracted driving, at this point. I'm into it. My mind spins.

Suddenly, he falls. AHH. I jump, and suck in a big breath of air. That's what you do, when a spider is falling on you, no matter how small, or friendly. You jump.

He's OK. He fell exactly 3/4 of an inch, and his magic silk string of a safety harness saved him.

On the wet windshield.

Here goes my brain again. OK, Brain, I saw him fall. He lost his grip. He was as surprised as we were, I bet.

He was hooked up, he had attached his web, to the wet glass, before he fell.

Logically, that means he's planting that sticky lifeline, on the foggy glass, every single step.

Amazing. Brain can't believe it, either.

Spider fell, again. SSSK. I only jumped a little, this time, but still sucked in some air, watching, closely.

Exactly 3/4 inch. Excellent recovery.

Right back to the slow march. Now, he's just showing off.

He stops, above the wiper swath, where there's a big water drop, on the outside of the glass. He does a little dance, wiggles a couple legs. On to another big drop, where he stops, and does his dance again.

Brain produced an image, of my kids, splashing in rain puddles.

He's thirsty!! And he's mad, trapped in a crazy fun house, where water isn't real.

I zapped my window down, stuck a hand out, in the rain, and smudged a drop, on the inside of the glass, ahead of him, just enough to make a mark. How much can a tiny spider possibly drink? How long, since he's had a drink? That Brain, again.

Spider walked right to the smudge, and stood on it, for a few minutes.

I imagined him making tiny slurping sounds, and eenie weenie happy noises.

After a bit, he continued onward, and climbed onto my trans-pass, up in the far corner. We were pals, now. Homies.

I cranked up the tunes, and we just chilled, for the rest of the ride.

I named him Skeet, and he can ride shotgun, anytime.

I thrashed, and got everything done, but it made for a really long day, and plum wore me out. I'm still feeling beat, a day later.

I lost track of old Skeet, after that first service call, but he was definitely the highlight of my day. Be kind.

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