I was standing in front of the fax machine waiting to find out if my attempt to send the page had been successful. Behind the fax machine is the wall of my workstation and we pin postcards to it. When one of us go on holiday, that person is obligated to send a postcard to the others back at the office. That was the wall I was looking at while waiting to see if my fax attempt had been successful. There are postcards from The Gold Coast, Melbourne, Christchurch, El Nido, and from The Big Banana. Looking at those postcards is something I do while waiting for the stupid fax machine.
Today there was something different there. A tiny grey spider. I moved my head closer to see it better. It was very small. When I softly breathed on it, it only moved a step or two. Then I noticed that its abdomen was flat, like it had been squashed, or attacked by something. But maybe that was what the abdomen of that particular race of spiders looks like naturally. I thought it, but did not believe it for a second. As I wondered about it, my COLLEAGUE came in the door behind me and noticed that my head was unusually close to the wall.
'What are you doing?'
'There's a little spider here.'
'Well, get rid of it.'
'Or what? Or you will kill it?'
'Yes. I don't like spiders. They give me the creeps.'
'But this one is tiny! Look at it!'
'I don't care.'
Of course she didn't care. A spider was a spider, even if it was so tiny you could barely even see the damn thing.
'Goddam it,' I muttered, and found a piece of paper to relocate the spider with. It hopped onto the paper and I opened the door. The smell of forklift exhaust came up from the loading dock. I squatted down near the railing, selected a steel pole to move the spider onto and gave the paper a tap, but instead somehow the spider went zooming down the inside of an adjacent steel pole I hadn't even seen. The pole went right down to the ground, a long way for a very small spider with a flat abdomen to get back up from, it seemed.
I walked slowly back into the office with the feeling I had sent it to its doom.