MY SPIDER and I get along pretty well. I can’t remember precisely when he came into my life. I think probably two or three years ago. When I first noticed him I meant to catch him and put him outside, but I never got round to it. Then I got used to him and he got used to me.
Spiders used to freak me out, especially Australian spiders. I grew up with daddy long leg spiders and they didn’t worry me. They’re spindly and insubstantial. My spider’s not like that. He’s about the size of a 20 cent piece, chunky, broad shouldered, a bruiser. And he’s black. Hard to miss.
My spider lives in the corner of the window above my desk. His web has expanded over the years until it now covers an area about 60 x 50 cms. It’s not a beautiful web. It’s higgledy-piggedly and full of stuff: fly carcases, blowfly wings, gnats, sandflies, dust. There’s a kind of funnel right in the corner that he goes in and out of. And he’s messy: the windowsill below is littered with wing bits and spider shit.