“Fern, you’ve excreted some formic acid over here.”
There was a pause while Fern walked over and took a look, “Oh man, sorry Gary, I feel so ashamed. Eat me now. Seriously eat me now.”
I looked at Fern, an ant who had hopped off a bus and into my life. Hi, I’m Gary, I’m a spider. Normally we eat ants, but Fern was funny.
He piped up again, “Seriously Gary, for a second, I know you had a big lunch, two wasps wasn’t it?”
“Well, after a big lunch like that, I thought you might have a little indigestion. You might want some ant acid. No? C’mon?”
Or at least I thought Fern was funny. For an ant.
Some music struck up in the apartment next to where we were standing.
“Fern, do you like rappers?”
“What chocolate wrappers or gangster rappers?”
“Ganger rappers I guess, I mean rap music more than any particular gangster connotation.”
“I don’t know. I mean, yeah it’s okay I guess.”
“Okay, so I’m going to ask you this question. Do you trust me Fern?”
“Yeah sure Gary. I mean, of course.”
“Would you be willing to step onto my web?”
Fern knew that if he stepped onto the web his only chance of escape was for him to be given the chance to eat away at the silk which would attach itself to his legs. He could do it. We both knew of ants who had escaped, but he’d have to trust that I’d give him the time to do it. I would of course. I didn’t need to eat him.
“Why Gary? Why would you want me to step onto your web?”
“Just because Fern, until you’ve listened to rap music while standing on a spider’s web you’ve never experienced rap music. What I’m talking about is the vibrations, even rap artists have never experienced rap music properly.”
“So you’re not just talking about rap music are you Gary. You’re talking about anything with a thumping baseline.”
“Yeah, in theory,” I said, “but this is 2008 in South London it’s not like we’re going to hear any drum and bass.”
“You really haven’t been off this window sill in a while have you Gary?”
“You’re right,” I said, “ I’m not one of life’s travelers. I was one of life’s waiters.”
“All right, in that case I’ll have the nettle soup.”
“What? Oh. Waiter. Right.”
A few seconds passed, more music was playing and vibrating the web very hard.
“Alright Gary. I’ll come and listen.”
“Thanks Fern, it means a lot to me.”
“You not eating me means a lot to me, remember that.”
Fern walked away and climbed up the wall. He then walked upside down onto the ledge of the next floor up, twisted his body and dropped off the bottom of the windowsill. He wouldn’t have been able to get to the middle of the web any other way. One step in from the side and he’d be stuck. As he dropped I wondered how he’d ever get off the web, I was sure we’d work it out together.
He landed a strand over from me. After the initial rocking the strong vibrations of the bass line started to vibrate us up and down.
“This is a very moving experience.”