When Life Gets You Down

Yesterday I was coming home from work when I found a spider on my door handle. I almost didn’t see it.

But when I did it was when my hand was close, like almost touching it and the door handle. So I threw my keys at the spider in surprise, and they clattered against the handle and then the door and then the ground. The spider fell next to the keys, its legs brown and twitching in the air.

And so as I was reaching to get the keys, I saw that the spider’s abdomen was crushed, and it was still alive. It was pretty gruesome actually. I gagged as I swept it off my doorstep with a leaf.

But when I went inside to kiss my husband hello and make myself chamomile tea, I got to thinking, ‘God, how many people would look at this spider and not give a shit?’

I wondered if there were more spiders or people in the world, and what it all really meant, our pain. How could I value the pain of one species over another?

Later that night, I went out to my doorstep and retrieved the crushed spider. I put it in a stray cardboard jewelry box and buried it next to my dog Lars and my unborn child from two years ago. I knelt in the dirt and told God that I understood why he would not acknowledge my pain. But then I prayed twice as hard for him to listen to me anyway.

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