"Oh what a tangled web we weave,
when first we practice to deceive.
Sir Walter Scott
It’s a rainy Tuesday morning and I once again wake up in a place that is not my own. The weather folks say that it’s the remnants of Hurricane Katrina as she makes her way north and spends whatever energy she has left on us in the form of soaking rains and gusty winds. Most likely, today will be spent indoors.
As I sit glancing out the window, I’ve taken notice of this huge spider web. It’s circular and some raindrops glisten and shine on the tiny little strands. In its center, is its host. Huge and a sort of grayish brown, it looks intent on something to have for breakfast. I mention it to the woman of the house and she says he builds in the same place almost every night, over the koi pond where the hunting must be good. She says the pond itself attracts insects and that the spider is doing them a favor by helping to keep the peskier one’s from turning into a real nuisance. She says that most of the time, everybody wins in that trade off except for the few times she’d forgotten about the web and blew right threw it on the way to the car. It doesn’t seem to faze the spider, he rebuilds as he must.
I think that the easiest lies to get away with are the ones you start telling yourself. I should know, I’ve been doing it for too many years. Smoking like a chimney when announcing your intentions to quit, eating like a pig when trying to shed a few pounds and drinking like a fish when you’re supposed to be out getting some exercise aren’t exactly the steps one would follow if they were serious about their intentions.
It’s so easy to do it to yourself though. A little soothing voice in your head says that you can always start tomorrow. After all, life is here for the living and you might as well make the most of it. The other upside of that is that you only have yourself to answer for or to. Your friends might ask occasionally how the “new plan” is going and all you have to do is respond “Fine” and deflect the conversation towards easier, less touchier subjects.
My lies have caught up with me. I know it, my body knows it, my friends and family know it and now you know it. It doesn’t feel too good and I’m not very proud of myself.
When I was in the hospital, they asked me who would be caring for me once I was discharged. Since I live by myself, I told them that I could handle it on my own. They weren’t too keen on that and offered up assistance in the form of a social worker to drop by every now and then to make sure I was getting along okay. Some friends stepped to the plate and now I sit and look out from their lovely kitchen window and am surrounded by gardens and koi ponds and hummingbirds and spider webs.
I think to myself that that spider and me might have more in common than you would think. We’ve both been allowed to build our web for a portion of time until it’s time to go find another place to go and build. In my case, it might be a week or two. The spider is probably driven by the change of seasons.
The generosity and caring nature of my friends is a constant source of wonder and amazement for me.
They couldn’t hurt a bug even if they tried.