DELVING BETWEEN THE TOES OF LIFE....I AM TOEJAM


2002-05-07 - 7:03 p.m.

While I was lying prone on the chair at the salon where I get facials waiting for the esthetician to come in, I noticed a spider on the wall. Whenever I see a spider it causes me great stress, not because I am scared of spiders but because I know that if anyone else should see him they will smash him into oblivion and leave the taint of guilty spider murder within my heart. Most times I will quickly swoop in and rescue the spider before anyone can get their hands on it. I try to do so without anyone knowing what I am doing and without them ever seeing the spider. Mostly because I donít want to discuss my deeply rooted need to save anything I can. And because I donít want to get into a debate about what things should live and what shouldnít. I donít like people to argue against my belief system and I donít argue against theirs. Itís simple. In my home I ask that no one kill anything but I understand that once I am in someone elseís home they have every right to stomp a spider. I just try to intervene unknowingly before that happens.

Today when I saw the spider I started to get out of the chair to grab him but just as I was climbing from beneath the blanket the esthetician walked in chirping hellos. So I laid back down nervously and tried to focus on something other than the spider. I didnít want her gaze to follow mine and find the spider who was slowly making his way to the ceiling. She applied cleanser to my face while telling me about her recent Lasik surgery while I tried to respond casually to her stories. All the while I am watching the progress of the spider, slowly slowly making his way closer to where we were. As she applied exfoliant he finally reached the ceiling and started his trek towards the middle. She rinsed the exfoliant from my skin and started painting my face with papaya enzymes, the spider made it to the middle of the ceiling. I started twitching. She turned the steamer on my face and for a long moment stood there finishing her story. Finally she left me in silence with the spider, the steamer and papaya goop sliding from my face. I got out from the blanket and stood on the chair trying to reach the spider but he retreated across the ceiling into a space where I couldnít reach him from my perch on the chair. So I moved to the little table in the office they have for clients to keep their clothes and purses on. I pushed my crumpled clothes off it and stood on it trying to knock him to the floor with my shoe so I could grab him. But he moved again. And I pushed the little table to the other side of the room and repeated my efforts. I knew time was drawing closer to when she would come back in to remove the papaya and apply buffer and then a mask because the steamer timer was winding down. I quickly pushed the table back to the corner, replaced my clothes on top of it and climbed back under the blanket just as she pushed the door open. She looked at my face and told me I needed a little more time with the steam because it wasnít softening as it should. While she was resetting the timer the spider moved back in towards the center of the ceiling. As soon as she left I jumped up again and this time I managed to knock him down. I quickly scrambled off the chair and found him scooting along the carpet. I grabbed him. And now what? Where the hell do I put a spider? I went to the window and tried to pry the screen off so I could toss him out but it wouldnít move. And then it occurred to me. Iíll put him in my boot and put my sock over the top of it and secure it with the rubber band from my hair. Iím a freakiní genius. I got him in my boot, zipped it up, placed the sock over it and wrapped the rubber band around it and then covered it with my shirt so she wouldnít wonder about my boot with a sock and a rubber band around the top of it. And then I laid back down and let the steam soften my face for about thirty seconds before she came back in. She did seem a little miffed that the steam hadnít really softened my skin up any but she applied the buffer anyway and I just had to endure it without softened skin. I had after all, saved a spider.

Finally the facial was over and as I was dressing I realized I wouldnít be able to put my left boot on. Ha, some genius I am indeed. So, I just hobbled out there in one boot hoping no one would notice. But they did and I told them I stubbed my toe on the table in the room. Quickly the receptionist started cooing apologies as the esthetician ran into the room to move the table. I just went along with it, hobbled to my car and let the stupid spider out of my boot in the bushes along the way.

On the way home I noticed there was a moth clinging to my windshield wiper for dear life so I stopped on the shoulder to let it off, all the while hoping a big truck wouldnít come careening around the corner and run over my car. Iím realizing that the reason I like winter so much is because I only have to worry about animals, when the insects start coming back around in spring and summer my life becomes incredibly complicated and time consuming.

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