There’s a spider who lives behind the driver’s side mirror of my car. For over a year she’s relentlessly rebuilt hundreds of blown down, torn down, and wiped off webs. I’ve tried to (lovingly!) evict her, but she’s crafty. She likes the dark space behind the glass, tucked deep in the casing of the mirror. She must creep out at night, weaving, spinning, re-creating the house I’ll accidentally or intentionally destroy the next day.

It seems clear to me that I know best. How she could live, trauma-free, if only liberated from her groundhog day prison. But she refuses to accept my help.

Once I spotted her, poised at the lip of the mirror and I leapt to catch her, intent on giving her my idea of her freedom. No luck. My wife suggested I might not know what’s best for her. That I just leave her be. Meaning I just keep wrecking her home. Or maybe I take off my side view mirror?

We leave the state, the country, for a week, for a month, and I return to a side view mirror cocooned in silky thread. Back from the Pacific Northwest my poor, abused pet had been busy at work. Are there no trauma memory banks in a spider’s brain? Has she mated for life with my mirror?

I wonder what I should name her?

by _Annie_Crawford


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