So I killed a spider this morning. It was in the bathtub and I didn’t notice it until after I’d turned on the shower and stepped in. There it was. Big, black and hairy with freakishly long spidery legs. It was probably more horrifying than that but I didn’t have my glasses on so fortunately I didn’t get the full, terrifying effect.
Now I’ve dispatched plenty of spiders and other various and sundry bugs over the years. If possible though, I try to use the catch and release method―put a glass over said critter, slide a piece of paper under it so they can’t escape and set them free (i.e. throw them outside and spend the next few hours shivering with revulsion). Mostly I do this because I don’t want to feel, hear, or be aware of in any way the squishy, crunchy, splattery upshot of bugacide and not because of any Zen-like affinity for these creepy-crawlies.
That being said, I experienced a disturbing sense of guilt while trying to wash that spider down the drain. I kept shooting water at the darn thing but it kept circling around the drain in its desperate attempt to save itself. I think its unnaturally long legs gave it somewhat of an advantage and while the hours (okay, seconds) ticked by I got more and more uncomfortable with my attempt to murder it in what is a pretty gruesome fashion.
By now, I’d passed the point of no return but had no idea how to finish him off. I began to wonder if I was not, in fact, committing a grievous sin against one of God’s creations. I wondered if I stopped, could I still rescue him and, more to the point, did I really want to. That would entail me slogging out of the shower in my wet birthday suit to assemble the equipment necessary to execute said rescue. But then, how would I get him outside as I was sans clothing and I would have to perform a complex contortionistic act even to just wrap a towel around myself while keeping a vise-like hold on the spider-filled container. (I just realized I could have wrapped the towel around myself first but A. I didn’t think of it at the time and B. I just ruined the flow of my monologue.)
Why this sudden prick of conscience? I’ll tell you why. I’ve been reading this book about near-death experiences and one woman came back with the absolute knowledge that every single living being on the planet has a soul. Since returning from the other side, she refuses to even swat a mosquito. So this is what was swirling though my head as I attempted to slaughter that spider. Now all I can think is that I’ve earned myself some really bad karma points and am I going to have to face all the insects I’ve killed once I pass over. I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it. My more immediate concern is: Did that spider have relatives and will they be seeking vengeance? (Mmm… Do I read too many books?)
I fear this time my dilemma will not be solved by brownies.
But I’ll give it my best shot. . .