So I walk in the room and I see Harry is thinking about something. He’s thinking hard. I can always tell when Harry is thinking hard. He chews his lip and frowns. Sort of a dead give away. I know I’m gonna regret it, but I ask anyway.
“So Harry, what is it?” He doesn’t answer at first. Then he gives me this real serious look.
“I don’t trust spiders.”
Great. “Okay, Harry, why don’t you trust spiders?”
“You can never tell what they’re thinking.”
This can only get worse. “Why is that Harry?”
“Because they have tiny faces, that’s why.”
Here’s the thing about Harry, you don’t have to spend more than a few minutes talking to him to know he isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Anyway, he has some redeeming qualities, and I sort of promised his mother I’d look out for him, so we’ve been roomies for a couple of years now.
Being as how I’m bored I do the masochistic thing and pursue the matter at hand. “So what’s the story with spiders, Harry? What does it matter that you can’t trust them?” I leave out the idea that spiders aren’t something you trust or don’t trust; it doesn’t pay to get too metaphysical with Harry.
“They’re sneaky, Carl. Sometimes they move in weird ways, and then they run at you. You can’t trust them, that’s all. Tiny faces, Carl. It’s not good.” He gives me an exasperated look that says he shouldn’t have to explain this.
I’m tempted to point out the size difference and that they can’t really do much harm, but that would be futile. I try a different tack.
“I haven’t seen any spiders, Harry. But when I do I just catch them and put them outside. It’s never been a problem.”
He looks at me as if I were something he’d discovered on the bottom of his shoe. “You know something Carl, I don’t think you understand.”
I decide to drop it since it can’t possibly get any better. I shrug and put on some music, hoping to lighten the mood. My hopes are soon dashed.
“Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t here, Carl. You need to know that.” Harry doesn’t look at me while he’s making this pronouncement.
I mull this over for a moment and consider my next move. It’s like that a lot of the time. I decide to just let it go by in the hopes he’ll get distracted, he usually has the attention span of a six year old, but today is different.
“For all you know, there’s a spider crawling up your back right now. And you have no idea why he’d be doing that, Carl. Yep. A big, poisonous spider. But you know what? He’s got a tiny face, so you wouldn’t know what he was thinking even if you could see him. That’s a fact, Carl.”
I can see there’s no way out of this short of leaving, so I decide to go for a walk. “I’m going out for awhile, Harry. You watch out for spiders now, you hear?”
His eyes are like saucers. “That’s not funny, Carl!”
“See you in awhile, Harry.”
Part 2 tomorrow…