Arriving home today after a week away, I was struck by the only other living thing in the house – a spider.

This spider moved in a few months ago and has decided to set up its residence here. It first settled in my bedroom and chose a spot on the wall right above my head. I used to fear that one day it would lose its grip and just fall on me while I slept. Thankfully, that did not happen.

When it arrived, the natural instinct was to swat it because I really do have a phobia for creepy crawlies. However, the flat had been recently repainted and I really didn’t want any brown marks on it. I also thought the spider might serve a purpose by eating all the flies and mosquitoes that wonder into the house – call that paying its rent. Also, I didn’t have too much confidence in my ability to hit the target and somehow had this fear that if I missed, the spider would crawl into my bed while I slept and effect some revenge for the attempted murder. This is probably a result of too many horror movies, cartoons and children’s books. Anyway, the spider survived for all these reasons.

After a few weeks in my bedroom, this uninvited guest moved to the dining room where it settled near the window for an undefined period. I would notice it whenever I was shutting the windows in the evening. I would occasionally hit the wall or do something silly, just to make it move. I guess the spider and I learnt to share the house without getting in each other’s way and I stopped noticing it.

I went to Nairobi for a week and perhaps the spider decided it was time to shift spots, after all, there is plenty of wall space here. So, today when I switched on the passage lights, there he was, right on the wall, the only other living thing in the house apart from me.

Now that we have established a comfortable living arrangement, perhaps I should give this guest a name. The only dilemma is I cannot tell whether its male or female, but I imagine a unisex name would be quite suitable. I don’t know how long this spider intends to inhabit this house or under what circumstances it will move. Perhaps a suitable mate will emerge in spiderland and the two will start a family somewhere else and not in this house. One spider is more than enough here! I imagine one day, a knight in shining armour – or whatever it is they have these days - will sweep me off my feet and we’ll move to a family home and live happily ever after. Until then, I’ll leave home for work every morning, knowing that I’ll come back to see a spider, sometimes in the same spot and other times on a different one. All the while, I’ll be wondering if coming home to a spider is a sign of extreme loneliness or an appreciation of nature. While figuring that out and waiting for change, I guess we’ll just share the space as the most unlikely housemates.

Comment on this Post


Dear Matilde,

Thank you for this fun story. It reminded me so much of a little story I wrote about my plant (and new roommate at the time), Cynthia. (Yes, I named her!) I personified her just as you have your spider and still consider her a special companion. Since I have lived for years in small apartment spaces with no access to land for gardening, Cynthia serves both as my link to nature and a symbol of my appreciation of nature. I'm glad you let the spider survive and become your unlikely friend. :)

Best wishes to you during this time of reflection and change, and may you always have companionship in all sorts of forms in your life!



Emily Garcia World Pulse Online Community Lead