I have a new friend. We go everywhere together. Some people say he’s predatory, but I answer with the news that he’s quiet and shy, has a degree in design, and he’s really an artist at heart. The only thing that creeps me out about him are his hairy legs.

Because I’m a Who fan I named him Boris, after Boris the Spider on their first album.

To be honest I’m not sure if he’s a boy or girl. He won’t let me get close enough to tell. But I’ve come to an agreement with him.

“You go your way, I’ll go mine, but since you’re living in my Lexus driver’s side rear-view mirror, we’ll go there together.”

At first, I thought his web was an aberration.

“Some spider, garden spider, house spider, whatever, has spun his web on my rear-view mirror.”

I brushed it away, but the next day it was back. This went on for months! After a while I gave up. It was only during Covid when I found out how he was doing it.

The car wasn’t driven for a couple of days. I was attempting to replace a fuse under the dashboard and had to practically stand on my head to do it. When my eyes adjusted to the shadows, I spied a single strand of silk strung between somewhere under the dashboard and the brake petal. It explained how he survived the rain, the cold, the heat, even the carwash. Between the outside rear-view mirror, through the door panel, and the dashboard, ran a secret tunnel to the vast leather-upholstered interior of the Lexus. My car was his casa inside and out. I may pay the bills, but Boris keeps the executive’s total access pass, and is admitted to all its exclusive nooks and crannies.

I’ve come a long way from my childhood days when we’d hold a magnifying glass over a field of innocent ants and play Martian Death Ray games. Somewhere later down the line I read the Buddha said that no animal should ever be sacrificed no matter how small. Somewhere on TV, I saw Jainists in India wearing face masks twenty-four-seven, so they don’t accidently inhale a consciousness, even a gnat.
When I discovered this, I stopped killing spiders, ants, bees, moths, ones that wandered into the house.
A bee futility strikes at the window, confused, and wants out? He crawls on my finger until I get him to the door. Ants? Same thing.

Spiders? Drive them to an open space, toss a clear glass over them, slide a piece of stiff paper underneath, walk to the door, and toss them into the great outdoors. They’re predators so I wish them good hunting. Daddy Longlegs are the easiest to catch, but I consider them house spiders, so I toss them into the garage. Don’t tell my wife this, it will make her uneasy.

About a month ago Boris’s web grew silent and tattered. It looked like the fragile remains of his blackened silver strands were stuck to the mirror for good.

“What if he’s dead? How long do spiders live anyway? What if he’s a lady spider? What if she’s run off somewhere to have her spider babies like a momma cat who hides out in a closet to have her litter?

Day after day, every time I got into the car, I’d check. Nada.

Then, one day last week, the web reappeared, and the designs were more intricate, more clever, more deadly, than ever. A tiny gnat was stuck on one of his silver strands, and the only part left of his juice was an empty hollow shell.

Go Boris!

©StevenHunley2022 Boris the Spider