Love Nest

08/27/2009 4:00 AM |

He moved into the bare white room and leapt up to the rafters. He crawled backward, rapid, watching me as he crossed and re-crossed, jumped and hung, from floor to walls to rafters, drawing behind him a shining white cord. He spun us a glistening hammock, an iridescent bed suspended mid-air.

I undressed, dropped my clothes on the chair. Those objects — the chair, the teapot, the clothes — seemed so coarse, so primitive. He lifted me into the air with one leg. He bound me with white cords. I felt weightless. He folded himself over me, fastened the little hooks and catches of his arms around me and held me fixed there. His abdomen shifted down, elongated. We started to make love. He still wore his human cock. He did not kiss me, he buried his head into my breastbone. I felt his human mouth peel back. I saw between my breasts the full shape of the furred black fangs, the long wet tube of tongue. The more I moved the tighter the cords became. He fucked me. He bit into my chest between the ribs, beside the heart, and sucked. His eyes swelled. His face became transparent. Eight glittering orbed lenses grew out of his forehead. I saw myself as I thought he must see me: shining, multiplied, a stained glass mirror, a kaleidoscope, light scattered underwater.

When he finished he scurried to the corner of the web and recomposed his human body. Neither of us spoke. I lay bound still, four feet above the floor, dizzy, unseeing. When he came back he slashed loose my cords. He fetched my purse from the pile on the floor, rolled us two cigarettes. We lay side by side in web and smoked.

It wasn’t easy living with a spider. He hated human food and human bathing. We argued constantly about the lights, which I always wanted on and he always wanted off, and about the heat, which he kept cranked as if growing orchids. But most of it was beautiful. We built huge fires all winter from wood palettes he dragged in off the street. Some nights we went to the river. He carried me under the bridges on the Seine and we dangled from the undergirding for hours, talking, listening to the water noises, watching the peniches pass beneath us. He was incredibly agile. Often he would surprise me after he had left for work by crawling up the wall of our building to our window for another kiss.

It was an incandescent time, but also a restless one. He never slept. He moved all night around the room. I had strange dreams. I woke up exhausted. He worked constantly, silently, all night in the dark, sucking the bodies of stray cats, spinning, wrapping. Sometimes I heard their cries. I knew he ate other people. It was his nature. It was wrong of me, perhaps, to accept it, but I felt then that God who had made me and all the world had made him also and that somehow it must be right.

I felt sure he would never harm me, would never poison me, and this seemed to me a miracle of love.

My friends disliked him. They thought him cold and watchful. He had no human friends. Sometimes we went out with other spiders, but I felt that they dismissed me, thought me weak, a pet, or a meal.