The other night, I was feeling fairly anxious, so I stepped out to have a cigarette. I rarely smoke at home, which means that sometimes I will go for two or three days without one, but on this particular night, I was losing my mind in an endless thought loop, aka "an ear worm". Sometimes my brain will try to deflect anxiety and the accompanying negative thought patterns by throwing in anything else with a catchy pattern, such as Beyoncé's "Single Ladies":
I could not get any proper writing or thinking done with Beyoncé hip-thrusting through my brain, so I excused myself from the apartment to go out onto the balcony to smoke. While I was out there, Lula noticed me through the living room window and came to the windowsill to check me out. I leaned in to tap on the glass, and I suddenly heard a snap by my right ear. In sub-zero temperatures, an old spider's web will actually make a small snapping sound when broken, so when I jumped back, I felt the distinct sensation of a spider web clinging to my hair and face.
I did the requisite jumping around and arm waving and clawing at my head with visions of spiders and their desicated leavings littering my vulnerable scalp. Luckily, in my area of town, no one notices this kind of behaviour. We are less than a block away from an oft refreshed supply of psychiatric patients with day passes, and I suspect that our friendly neighbourhood meth house across the street is getting itself back into working order.
After I had managed to singe my hair with the end of my cigarette while I peeled the webbing off my head - shudder - I looked around to see where the hell that spider was, because I would never be satisfied that he wasn't crawling down my collar or nesting under one of my boobs if I didn't locate him someplace off my person. I cast my eyes about and spotted him next to the door with a trail of dead insects in the remains of his deathtrap. It would have been impossible not to spot him. He was HUGE. He could easily have carried one of our oversized dollar coins on his back.
Did I recoil at this? No. Did I crush him with my shoe? No. Did I curse his hideous form? No. Well, yes, but only a little bit.
You see, if someone bumps into a Canadian on the street, we apologize to the bumper for our being in the way. If someone steps on our foot, we apologize for putting it there in the first place. Somehow we have had it ingrained in us to be ridiculously, unreasonably polite, especially if we are the offended party. When I was in San Francisco this last summer, I gave away Canadian one-dollar coins to homeless people and apologized to them for the exchange rate.
So, of course, my Canadianness overtook me in the face of this recently displaced spider and any possible doubts with regard to my nationality were forever removed. I leaned down and said, "Mr. Spider, I'm sorry about your home. Be well."
Apparently, not only am I a dyed-in-the-wool Canadian, but with that "Mr. Spider" and that "be well", I might also have had a past life as a 19th century three-year-old. I mean, I do try not to get too near the knuckle, because I wouldn't want to knock the gilt off your gingerbread.
If that ain't proof, I don't know what is.
I am a participant in NaBloPoMo 2008, a challenge to write 30 posts in 30 days during the month of November. "National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging!"