It wasn’t a drive-by or a gruesome stabbing in a fit of passion, it wasn’t even a crime by most standards. Nevertheless, it was cold-blooded and merciless. Quite instructive and grounding I suppose you could say, in particular to those of us who adhere to a vegetarian lifestyle.
I was doing something not terribly important when I heard the buzz of an insect, navigating the airspace around my head rather erratically. I thought absentmindedly of drunken airline pilots and whether flies could be retrofitted with proper ailerons when the buzzing hit the window in front of me and stopped, abruptly. Perhaps retrofit them with radar as well?
After a moment of silence, the buzzing started up again, but with a very different quality to it. It sounded nothing so much as urgent and panicky, enough so that I looked up from my reveries and sought out the source of the sound. It was coming from the bottom corner of the window.
The tiny fly, at least I suppose it was a fly—I failed to introduce myself and interrogate it on this point in its sudden predicament—was caught in a spiderweb I had long assumed to be abandoned. I’d never seen a spider anywhere near it, and it had a certain disused and disheveled quality to it, much like a neglected house in a run-down neighborhood. Now, though, it soon became abundantly clear that it was very much in use.
I don’t really mind spiders much, I think they are fascinating creatures. I will tolerate them as long as they adhere to my one absolute rule: No biting of me. That said, I do enjoy my private space and will evict them on short notice if they invade it. Such as my bed or my bathtub. After all, there are certain unspoken rules about a man’s bed and tub; ignore them at your peril, is all I say. Oh, and don’t mess with my car, ever. You guys out there know what I mean.
This spider was surprisingly large, in fact worryingly so, and compared to the doomed fly it was huge. For a moment there I considered attempting to rescue the fly, but before I could react the spider had already moved in and the poor fly was toast, or at least lunch. Fascinated, I watched the spider envelop it in silk thread with a skill that can only be described as chillingly effective. I see now where the inspiration for countless science fiction movies has come from.
Minutes later there were no traces of the fly or the spider, and the web was repaired and returned to its state of fashionable disorder. I suppose perhaps it is with spiderwebs as it is with human hairdos: the more expensive they are, the more haphazard they look. It was almost as if the whole thing had never happened, but I knew different, so I offered a few thoughts and a moment of silence over the unfortunate pilot.
You were seen, you were heard, you were contemplated upon, so you existed and you mattered, despite your lack of navigational skills. So here’s to you, may you rest in peace.
(Image credit: Oliver Wolters / Wikimedia Commons)