Posted on February 15, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair2.15.2015 Journal Prompt Photo by Georg Oddner February 15, 2015: Holding on. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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I heard like spiders have seven or eight or maybe a hundred eyes and I don’t know as why it would need so many and I wonder how the world must look when it’s seen like that. It makes you think of spiders different, I reckon. Just like when you see a spun web up close and it’s a thing of wonder and of embroidery in fine thread, and it is a thing of such delicate beauty. It’s like art is how I think of it.
There’s this guy in our street and he’s all fucked up, you know. He drinks too much and he smokes too many cigarettes and he don’t wash himself every day. His name’s Colt and his mouth is full of swearing and he keeps a bottle of corn whiskey under a floorboard by his bed. How I know this is cos he fucks around, too, and he fucked me once. And he’s an artist. That’s his defence against all the rest that he is. And his paintings are so filled up with light and so beautiful, and that’s my defence for letting him do what he did.
And mama called me into her house after, and she said that no good would come of it and she didn’t have to say exactly what she meant. She said I should go back to my husband. And I thought then how it’s like mama is the same as a spider and she has a hundred eyes just the same and she sees all the sins that we do and we are all the web that she spins.
Colt don’t never let on what we did. Not even though it was a few months back now. He looks the other way if he sees me in the street and mama says I should count that a blessing, but it sorta hurts, too. Inside it hurts, sharp as spider bites and itchy. Mama shakes her head and she says I shouldn’t oughta be thinking that way. Scratching only makes the itch worse, she says and she says I’m just muddled in my head. Spider bites can do that to you.
I been drinking too much these days, trying to get inside Colt’s way of seeing the world. I been drinking corn whiskey same as Colt, the exact same brand, and smoking rolled up cigarettes, and not washing. Mama says I got to pull myself together and she lays a poultice over my heart, the same as you would if a person was sick.
Everybody thinks it’s just the heat driving me crazy or the flies or something in the water. But mama knows. She sees what everyone else don’t see. Just as I said, she’s like a spider with its seven or eight or a hundred eyes. And mama knows everything. She knows that Colt is fucking someone different today and she knows it’ll be someone new tomorrow; and she knows my husband is looking at the whore, Maria, and mama knows he’s weighing the money in his pocket and considering, and it’s my fault that he is. And mama knows, too, that there’s a change in me, a spider change, and my nipples hurt and my breasts grow heavy and my belly has a new roundness that she knows is Colt’s.
A thing of beauty it will be, mama says, her voice soft as breath. And I think of spiders again and I think of Colt, and I think of nuisance flies caught in the web, tearing the beautiful threaded cloth, and mama says, ‘There, there, now,’ and she says it will be alright.