By Easton Smith
My grandmother Greta Johnson used to sneak spiders into the house. She lived with her parents in the back quarters of a rust colored Victorian mansion. Renters in the dreggy bits of former luxury. The kind of old home that rose from the roots of its trees, pulled itself together in a knot of tension fixed between its decay and its sturdiness, wrestling with its own being. Like it was breathing. And against this breathe her father stacked heavy, modern furniture and her mother scrubbed with chemical solvents. The spiders never lasted long. But Greta would snatch new spiders from the garden or the alleyways, and hold them however she could. Crawling up the arm, in a jar, in a closed fist. Greta would bring them inside quickly, because after all she didn’t like the thought of so many delicate legs tapping at her skin like piano keys, crawling up the moist crevice of her her lips, ears, or armpit. She would run to her room and then shake wildly like a conjuring, flicking the tiny beast to some corner or another.
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