Bittersweet cakes and fat black spiders

This is the birthday cake that, with the help of Bumblebee, I made for my friend Angie yesterday.  I put two dorky little bluebirds on top because Angie is a sweet and beautiful soul who deserves all the happiness in the world.  The cake was a vanilla butter cake, filled with Meyer lemon curd and topped with a ton of cream cheese frosting.  It was supposed to be my wedding cake.

Today, instead of saying “I do” on the banks of the Rogue River, I was helping Mark load our cars with his sparse belongings and taking them to his own little apartment.

Tonight, instead of sitting in a Japanese soaking tub and drinking champagne with my new husband, I will be watching Molly Ringwald movies and eating pizza with my dear old friend.  It’s not a bad alternative, really.

To talk about what happened would be disrespectful to Mark and to our relationship, and so I won’t.  I am clinging to the cliche’,  “It will all be okay in the end.  If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”  No matter the outcome.

For right now,  I’m not thinking about there being no one to make coffee for in the morning anymore.  I’m not thinking about the lack of warm feet to rub my very cold ones against.  And I’m not thinking about the fact that there will be no one here to make me the most fantastic eggs, which seemed to cure all ailments, at any time of the day or night.  I’ll think about all of those things, plus a million or so more, later.

Right now I’m thinking about spiders.  My bedroom is a loft that’s really more like a treehouse.  It’s surrounded by branches, it’s made from raw wood, and there are little holes to the outside all over.  It’s easy for unwanted creatures to find their way in and burrow themselves in a deep crack.   Perfect for those little bastards, the fat black spiders.

I was raised by organic gardeners.  I realize that spiders help kill the bad bugs and are beneficial in many ways.  Outside.  When they’ve found their way into other homes in the past, I’ve always carefully grabbed them with a rag or a jar and placed them outside.  The fat black spiders are different.  They are not spinning webs and killing bugs like normal, healthy spiders.  No.  They lie in wait in their warm little cracks until I’m deep in sleep.  Then those depraved beings come out.  Crawl over my bed.  Feast on my flesh.  This is why they’re fat.  They’re filled with my blood.

I wake up with patterns of bumps on my legs that itch for days.  I hate the fat black spiders, and I really truly believe that they deserve to die.  And yet, I have a hard time doing the deed.  So this has been Mark’s job, and now he won’t be around to do it.

The wicked fat black spiders will go wild.  They’ll invite all their friends and families in.  They’ll dance and feast and sing their satanic fat black spider songs all night long.

I have to stop them before it’s too late, and I have to go to sleep tonight in their evil lair, so I must sign off now.

Until next time,

Kristabel, lonely heart and novice spider killing ninja

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26 responses to “Bittersweet cakes and fat black spiders

  1. I won’t be the first to “like” this post but maybe one of the first to offer a hug….and “amen” to your tag – growing pains don’t stop when you become an adult. So sorry.

  2. There ought to be some words that would let you know I’m sorry you are hurting, I wish things were different and that I know you will come out (one way or another) alright. I can’t think of how to say this but I’m feeling it.

  3. It’s a rough time now, but you never know what bright surprises are around the corner. There will be no shortage of champions who will take on your spiders.

  4. So sorry… big hugs & tissue… I am usually a spider saver too, but I know which ones you’re talking about and good hunting!

  5. The cake is beautiful, Kristabel; and I’m sure Angie loved it. Good choice to share it with a lovely person. YOU are beautiful, Kristabel! Nothing can or will change that. Chin up. Smile (if you can … but you don’t have to all the time). Be thankful for all those who love you and for disasters averted. Hurt happens. Just wish it didn’t happen to you.

  6. Fat Black Spiders urgh! They deserve neither respect nor kindness.
    On my unexpected trip through Singletown I was determined that I would take charge of my life, I needed no help, I was strong… I was Woman!
    Sensing my underlying weakness, like sharks to bloodied waters, They came. From crevices and dark corners, beneath furniture, and in the deep dark of closets – they moved. Emboldened & with a look of superiority in their tiny crunchy faces they crept, crawled, scuttled, and I dare say sauntered, into my home.
    I am ashamed to say I retreated. Unwilling to poison them, unable to bring myself close enough for a proper squishing, I gave them the edges and corners. In my mind (and perhaps even aloud) I declared that I would leave them alone if they would do the same. The truce seemed a success.
    Hah! I was a fool.
    It was, of course, the shower. Warm water streaming, morning sun bathing the room in golden light, the scent of sinfully expensive jasmine body wash, I think I may even have been singing about cowboys.
    My hair is long. It spends most days tied in a knot, keeping it’s self out of trouble, but in the shower it runs free with the water, over my face, arms, and back. Which is why I ignored the tickling sliding sensation.
    He made it to the curve of my left shoulder. The first glimpse caught in the periphery of my waterlogged vision, his shiny exoskeleton & legs bent like a crones knuckles – did it.
    Dancing like I was on fire, I screamed and swatted, flailed and slid, falling in a heap at the bottom of my tub. I flung my soaking sudsy body over them rim and to the bathroom floor my heart pounding in irrational panic.
    “That’s it! It’s over Buddy!”
    I strode bruised and dripping to the office & retrieved the vacuum. I have tools! I will handle this now!
    The vacuum & I stormed the beaches. Determined & unrelenting we reigned terror down on all. Corners, cupboards, drawers, crevices… I believe thousands perished. (okay maybe hundreds, definitely scores.) Without pause every room was cleared, & I stood triumphant.
    Then (damn my ever moving mind) another thought occurred. I was now standing next to a machine who’s bag contained hoards of undoubtedly angry, vengeful spiders! Change the bag? Ummm nope. Put the vacuum cleaner outside in the shed and pretend nothing at all had happened? Yup.
    I got dressed.
    I cried.
    I bought a new vacuum.
    I cried.
    I discovered that spiders die if I spray them with Lime Mate Mist air freshener. Death and a clean fresh scent, who can ask for more?
    My life is not the life I planned, but it, and I, are so much more. For what I have – and what I don’t – I am grateful.
    I want to tell you something that would make you feel warm & happy, but I find I’m suddenly a very poor writer.
    Wishing you joy,
    SHB

      • I love you too K. If you ever feel the need, I would gladly drop the mask for a while & come out to play with you.
        SHB

        • Sohumborn- that was such a fine comment, I didn’t even want to say anything to spoil the post comment “glow”.
          I am hoping to meet you on a dance floor sometime and compare moves as I have done the blackwidow flailin’ boogie as well.
          In the gap between the previous dweller and my moving into my current home, the longer term tenants reclaimed their space….
          One dusk I brought a load of my things into the house.
          In the dim light I walked right into that tell-tale strong single fiber and felt a lump on my bearded cheek. My first flail knocked my glasses across the floor, I think I did a short armed manic version of the swimmers crawl trying to dislodge the beastie. Then I paused, motionless…………. and felt It crawling in my long locks. Another round of flailing for life. I never heard the arachnid hit the floor, but I retrieved my glasses and made a note to move possessions in during the daylight hours and ran to my car’s side mirror. Safe!

          Maybe we will dance the widowdance someday on a dance floor… you will probably be the only one to recognize my groove…. I will be the one the other dancers move away from.

          • Second. Best. Comment. Ever.

            Perfect reason to take off the mask and come out and play, shb. And I’m gonna do my own spinning widowdance around you two. We’ll clear the floor in no time.

            I gotta change the settings. These squished comments look funny.

  7. My sweet friend,
    First, f*ck those spiders. There must be something they hate to stuff in the holes. I will get back to you about that.
    Second, my heart is heavy knowing you are sad. There is always beauty in the new day. There is always a new day, a new start.

    Love
    JJ

  8. Awww… add another cyberhug for you kristabel.

    Last time I had a heartbreak, a friend drew a little picture of my heart with a crack down the middle, then in the next panel it rained a little into the crack, then in the next picture the heart had some coiling green tendrils reaching for the sun.
    She ran out of paper, but I think the next panel would have been the dorky bluebirds nesting there, singing some happiness.

    Healing wishes!

      • You are so welcome!

        My conscience has been, um, bugging me about my spider story because it was part two to a part one that may have karmically predetermined the encounter…
        Two days previous to the aforementioned encounter, again at dusk, I moved a chair into my new rental. I had just ensconced to enjoy the amazing view when, just like in the nursery rhyme, a big fat black widow came down her thread beside me. There at arms distance and head level was the mother of many generations of black widows. What to do. My philosophy about black widows is to give them the outdoors, the basement, under the deck and the little holes at the eaves corners but inside the house, it is pure survival. No namby pamby St Francissying for indoor black widows.
        Not having moved in yet, my shoes were my only weapon in the house. I thought if I batted the bugger, she would fall on the floor for a messy but speedy death. Hah! The first swing was too soft and she only swung directly away from me about four feet and then baaaack at me, but I deftly matadored to the side. I just couldn’t muster a baseball swing. So then I attempted to hit her thread to break it…. except it was too strong and now she is hightailing up the filament towards the shoe that the thread is stuck to and my hand is holding.
        I quickly dropped the shoe! Now she is at face level as I stand nearby, neckhair on alert. Ok, now I think I need to explain to the spider my rationale for killing her, something like “it is time… you have had many children…” you know… conscious killing or something. I am sure that my saying that made a big difference to how she felt when my next shoe swing straight down pummeled her to the ground where a quick stomp turned her into a small puddle of ichor.

        And that is probably why I had to dance the widowdance a few days later… unless some butterfly halfway across the world made it all happen in that way that things are conncected mysteriously.

        I just wanted the whole story to be revealed.

  9. That was fantastic, olmanriver. I love that you revealed the whole story and in such a delightful way. But now I’m a little worried about my fat black spider karma. I better watch my back. More stories, please! xo

  10. Sorry to hear about your recent break-up. I hate the cliche “Everything happens for a reason” when people don’t know what else to say. I have learned the hard way that the most important thing is to never settle for less than you deserve! I have done so after losing the love of my life in a car accident when I was 22 and believe me it is not the way to live your life.
    Sometimes the hardest thing to accept is that not everything is gonna be okay in the morning. That the sun won’t come out like it promised. Sometimes its waking up and starting over that’s suppose to happen. Sometimes its waking up and saying goodbye that’s suppose to happen.

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