Shelob's Return

If you were reading this blog six years ago (first of all, if you were, you need to take a bow) you may remember when I was bitten by a Brown Recluse, or Fiddleback spider. Yeah, it was right on my ass because, not knowing about these hell beasties, I innocently left my sweats lying on the bathroom floor. Doesn't everyone once in a while?

That bite made me pretty sick, but the doctor determined that it had probably been a baby spider, so the worst I got from it was some nausea, a pretty sore welt, and an occasional flare-up twice a year or so. It was livable because I've seen what can happen from a Brown Recluse bite. Trust me... do NOT Google it. Fortunately, my bite looks NOTHING like those nightmares. When it flares, it looks more like a large mosquito bite...

When I was younger, especially in my late twenties and thirties, I was pretty hot. I'm not being vain or conceited. I'd spent my entire life up to about 1979 feeling like a dog-faced burrito, but something magical happened and I suddenly just blossomed. Okay, so all good things come to an end and around 1994 I started slipping back into dog-faced burritoness. I lost most of what looks I enjoyed for a while, but the one thing I kept was my great ass. I mean it! If you saw me from the back, even today, you'd think I was only about 30 and in good shape. It's when I turn around that things get disappointing; I'm beginning to look every bit of my 59 years. So when Baby Shelob bit me, I was humiliated, but not too broken up, because it left no scar and half of my ass didn't fall off in a festering heap.


Last Thursday I decided to start cleaning the garage. We'd had a spider infestation earlier in the summer, so we bug bombed it twice, killing a multitude of spider varieties and their eggs. I've been out there a bit and there was no sign of a living spider anywhere, except for that one big mama for whom I left the garage doors open so she could leave in peace. Wasn't going to mess with her.

Anyway, after I cleaned up about half the garage, Joel, Micah and I sat out there, the doors wide open, enjoying a beer together. Our garage is cool. Because it's finished and built-in with recessed lighting and heat and air vents, it's really more like a big room, and we have plans to make a bar/lounge out of it as soon as it's cleaned out. There was a grey desk chair out there that I'd put in the Goodwill pile, so I pulled it out and sat down to enjoy my beer while laughing with my boys.

Not soon after I'd shut the doors and switched off the lights to call it a day, I started feeling unwell. I took a shower and that's when I noticed (or, felt) the spider bite on my ass, just three inches from the old one. For a couple of days I just figured it was another flare-up, but yesterday I was so ill I couldn't even get out of bed. I slept all day, and when I was awake I was pretty nearly delirious. But you know, I used to spend good money to feel like that, so I went with it and didn't complain. I sure did write a lot, and some pretty vivid stuff, too! Finally, Nettl demanded she look at it and sure enough, it's a brand new Brown Recluse bite. Enter Shelob II.

Great. Not only do I have yet another six-plus years to go through painful flare-ups, now I have to worry if this bite is going to be like the ones I've seen in Google.

My ass is all I have left of my youth, friends, and I don't much fancy the idea that it could fall off. Well, it won't do that literally, but judging from some of those pictures, it could definitely turn into something much uglier than a dog-faced burrito. I don't like thinking about my butt becoming disfigured, so I'm trying to be philosophical about this whole thing.

In some Native American traditions, Spider Grandmother is the earth mother, spinning her web of fate. In dream dictionaries the spider often denotes high creativity and inspiration. Right now, however, I'm just hoping it was another baby that bit me and not an ancient granny. I've always heard that killing a spider was bad karma, so I've always set them free when I've found them in the house. But a garage full? Sorry, ladies. Yeah, and sorry about my luck! I killed hundreds of spiders and thousands of eggs... I just know my ass is going to fall off in karmic payback.