Friday, March 4, 2016

A Certain Kind of Movement

I used to be terrified of spiders. One time, on the way to go sailing with a boy, I even crashed my car into the back of a semi truck at a stop light because there was a spider rappelling off the visor into my lap. Now, though I'm the only woman in the house, I'm the one who's called when there's a spider on the wall. Most of the time, I use a glass and a piece of paper to get them safely moved outside, even the big ones. I don't mind the big ones. Usually, I wish them good luck when I put the glass down outside where they will start their new lives. I don't like all of them though.

Yesterday, there was a spider in my car again. Funny how a certain kind of movement will put a creature into a totally different frame. This one died. I just knocked that sucker to the floor and ground him into the carpet with my heel. It was the way he had moved, completely still at first then quick and aggressive when I brought my hand holding a piece of paper near him. He leaped toward my hand instead of running away. So, I smashed him, turned him into a streak across the bottom of my boot.

Like a water snake.

I don't mind most snakes too much, but I don't like water snakes. One time, I had slipped into the water from my grandpa's boat and a couple of water snakes swam toward me instead of away. Freaked me out completely. I practically leaped back into that boat.

So there you have it. Most animals I would likely respect in the wild by walking a wide berth around them. But certain ones will put me right into flight or fight mode. Either I am out of there or it is going to die.

Certain people freak me out too. To be honest, I'm more afraid of a particular type of human than any other creature on Earth. I was walking Teddy in the woods with a friend the other day when we came upon a guy who seemed to want to talk. My friend's dog growled low so the conversation was short. I love her dog. He brooks no idle chatter with certain strangers. He has RADAR.

So when my friend and I got back to our cars, she and her radar dog zipped off down the road and I sat for a few minutes in my car looking at the rocks I'd picked up by the river. Then silently, the same guy came back up the trail. Hair stirred at the back of my neck. Oh, he didn't try to get into my car exactly, just got a conversation going. I started my car just in case, but that man wanted something that wasn't only talk. He used talk to try to get it. Usually, I like a sort of chatty person.

Not this one. The whole time he talked, the hair on the back of my neck stood at attention. He was gifted at holding a person in place using her sense of courtesy. You know the kind of person I mean. Think salesmen or someone looking for a handout. You know how they try to keep you talking, keep the eye contact going? Only we were at a nearly vacant trailhead. And it was worse because at least with a homeless person, you know what they want. On about the third try, I got my 'I gotta go' to stick. I put my car into gear, and pulled out before he wandered off to his truck. I watched my rearview as I drove down the road.

I'm not sure what would have happened if I'd lingered, but I'm telling you that if that guy had been a spider, I would have ground him into the dirt with my boot. Kind of gives me the willies just thinking about it.

Thank you for listening, jules

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