I stepped into the shower, closing the sliding glass door, and stepped into the hot steaming water. Closing my eyes, I allowed the hot water pour down my face and onto my back. I turned to feel the warm water fall to my back and saw a spider, with thin long blonde legs, building its web at the window of my bathroom.
I studied it with precision, wondering what its plan was. It moved along the web and to the back of the art frame by the window. I grabbed a handful of hot water from the pouring shower and threw it at the spider’s web. It scuttled off, leaving its thin web behind. I grabbed another handful of water and hurled it at its web. I was determined to destroy his work of art. I hated it. I hated all spiders. But more so, I feared them.
My dread for spiders began that early morning when I woke up from sleep in my school dormitory feeling a pain at my back. I turned to look, stretching my arms behind, but I could only feel hard bumps on my back. The pain etched into my skin, spreading to my chest. I called my roommate to see. She looked at it, and then at me, with a face full of repulsion. She explained that there were black big bumps, like moles but even bigger, on my back. We went together to the nurse at my dormitory and complained. She asked me to remove my sleeping shirt, and then looked at the six black bumps that had appeared overnight. She pressed them carefully and after a few seconds of observation explained that it was a spider-a poisonous spider that had bit me. Had it bitten me much more than just six times, she explained, I’ll probably not be standing here right now. After that, I hated spiders.
Through the corner of my eye, I could see the spider with its tiny legs, crawling along the art glass frame on my bathroom counter. I hurled boiling water against the frame, targeting the spider but I missed it. It just stood there, unaware of my malicious plans. I grabbed more hot water, increasing the steam from the shower, and hurling it at the spider. I got it this time. It scurried with its soggy legs up the top of the art frame, but as though it was blind to the danger spot, it kept coming back down, and each time I kept tossing the steaming water at it until it scurried back up again. I glanced to its long legs crawling meticulously and it seemed like an enemy trying to revenge its attacker. I looked at its minute head and wondered if it could see me. It then moved to his feeble but undestroyed webs and started making new set of stronger spider webs. In an unrelenting search for control, I grabbed another handful of hot water and hurled it at the spider and his web. I moved close enough to get him, but the spider jumped or scurried and found himself on my arm.
I stared at my arm, afraid to touch it, but wanting desperately for it to go. It started crawling, up my arm to my shoulder. I stared down at the spider, now few inches from my face. It just stood there for a moment, then turned around, and scurried down my arm. The hot water fell on it and it dashed off and found its way back onto the window frame. It hadn’t bit me. Even after all I had done, it didn’t hurt me. It was actually harmless.
As I looked at the tiny spider, going back to its business, I realized something about life. Just because I had been bitten by a poisonous spider, I assumed that all spiders were poisonous and mean. It made me remember a lot situations I had treated the same. Just because I had encountered mean guys, who hurt me, doesn’t mean that all guys are the same. Just because I was hurt by those who look like that, does not mean that everyone who looks like that would behave the same.
And with that, I allowed the spider to build his web. I stopped tearing it down.