There are those days, you know, when strangeness creeps over your bones and shivers into your flesh and tugs at your muscles and you get the distinct impression you forgot to do something, or left something on the stove or scrubbed your teeth with a fistful of ball bearings.

They are the days, usually, when you needn’t have got out of bed just to face all the sameness of the tight rote you walk and you pine for the pillow and the smell of morning drool on the damp side of the feathers. But you get up anyway and get wrapped in the strange and shiver with the close clamminess of it and look into a long dark tunnel of bad luck and irritating people standing around every circumspection awaiting their turn to pounce on you and point out your inadequacies to the daisy chain of bloated brethren in the endless line of critical condescension that becomes your daily lot. Oh, to be somewhere else than in your skin!

And what’s that there on the bathroom floor? It’s not my hair! Mine’s not black! Oh, wait; maybe it’s not hair at all. Maybe it’s lint. It’s a big ball of black lint that’s gathered a miscellany of stray, lonesome hair around it, for company. Yes that’s it; it’s a hair ball of lint. Wait, that’s silly—lint doesn’t want company— it has to be something else. Let me step back a foot or two in case it’s something entirely dangerous. Now where are those glasses…ah, here they are. OH MY GOD. It’s a SPIDER!

No it’s not you git. But it does look like one. I’m glad my toes didn’t touch it. What is that thing? If I bend over the toilet tank I can get a better look. Yep, I knew it. It’s one of those, all right; a Lint Spider. …Let me see, now if I can reach down…this belly is getting to be a real nuisance; nearly got it…whew, wuh-whuh, wahhhh…ooof!


…The great silhouetted giant cast it’s doomy shadow over the fragile little body as it clung desperately to the white tile grout; grasping with one of its hairy legs to the rough, porous spot where wall meets floor. A monstrous knuckly hand, all covered in meat and stiff follicles reached ever closer to the Lint Spider, for that’s what it considered itself to be once the doomy silhouette had uttered the name and made it real.

The Lint Spider cringed, quivering on the tile awaiting an unknown fate as the meaty appendage inched incrementally nearer. And then a huge wind arose with a groaning gasp, from the hole in the lower half of the doomy face, and the Lint Spider was whisked across the purity of the white tiles and up the cold wall to the open window. And it was caught by a passing breeze and liberated from the grasping paw of the fat, wheezing, doomy silhouette. Out into the wild windy world it went, wafted on the warmth of nature’s breath.

Bugger it! Boomed the fat man, struggling to rise from the slippery bathroom tiles, his wide, puckered white bum bruised and flattened by its unceremonious impact as his toes slipped and his ankles betrayed him in his stretching reach for the intriguing, intricately designed lint spider that could have come from nowhere but his own ample belly button. He’d recognize his belly progeny anywhere; such characteristic arrays of hair and sweat-compacted belly booty could be picked out in a line up from here to Belize. Of course it was his; and now it was gone. Floated out the open window with not so much as a ‘by-your-leave.’

The damned cheek.  He got his tree-trunk legs under him sufficiently to begin to balance, placed one hand on the toilet rim and the other on the bathtub and heaved to a semi-erect stance before his right foot met a wet patch on the slick tile, occasioned by his hand sloshing into the toilet during his initial slip.

He landed quite heavily on his bruised and flabby bottom and let out another gasp of painful surprise. He lay on the cold floor, huffing and groaning and cursing, until his watering eyes were drawn to the open window, with its light chintz curtains stirring in the gentle breeze and the ominous silhouette man blew a kiss to his wayward puff of belly begotten offspring. A sad smile touched his cakehole as he rested the back of his bleeding head on the soothing chill of the bathroom floor…

…It was bright at first, and awash in sound, this vast space that met and engulfed the Lint Spider. Dazzlingly, painfully bright and the crashing din strummed on its hair legs and caused a sympathetic vibratory response, so that it would have been difficult to walk, had he (she?) actually been ground-bound. Yet here, up in the air channels, buffeted by the lanes of moving atmosphere, jerked and jostled like that kite over there in the park, he (she?) was not thinking of walking, his spider eyes were filled with graphic amazement and his ears were bursting with an influx of magical sounds. And aromas mingled with fragrances as the currents took him above the treed park and toward the glistening sliver of silver river, fast approaching and supplanting the tantalizing fragrances with a throat bloating stench reaching rotting tendrils up into the blue sky to remind the air that elsewhere things are not as peachy.

A harsh metallic sting reached the Lint Spider’s little nostrils, caking onto the recent river stench and drawing his attention to a rail yard below. But the bouncy air still held sway and the Lint Spider enjoyed his ride, drinking in the scenery and inhaling even the foul reek of diesel once removed. Quite a beginning for a stranger in a brave new world, he found himself (itself?) thinking during a downdraft.

Abruptly, suddenly, all at once and wheeee, the downdraft became a suicide spiral down into a stream of violent traffic. Horns toot-honk-blaring as cars and trucks and taxis and busses threatened one another with immediate metal fatigue if they didn’t smarten up and get the hell outta my way, ya stoopid sonofabitch! The Lint Spider was agog with wonder and surprise at the passion displayed by these strange creatures and tried to fight the course of the breezes which held him in their arbitrary grasp. It seemed no use to bother; he was prisoner to their whims of direction and shrugged.

And that’s when it was that the Lint Spider learned to wind surf.

By shrugging his bunched follicular shoulders, he found himself changing direction in spite of the possessive breezes and going where his little body pointed. Such a clever Lint Spider, indeed, he swooped to follow a big yellow taxi carrying someone’s old man and clung to the suction of the wash near the back window. If Lint Spiders can smile, he surely was doing just that as he sped along in the drag of that yellow cab, taking in the whizzing scenery as it whooshed by at a giddy velocity.

Soon, though, he grew tired—Lint Spiders, like Mayflies, have tiny hearts that beat inordinately fast, so their lives may not cross more than a day, ergo their attention spans are as short as a wet cat’s temper. Casting his glance up over the roof of the taxi, the Lint Spider noticed a crowd of creatures, similar in shape to the doomy silhouette from its bathroom genesis, clustered in front of a blinky Marquee. Thinking it would be interesting, he shifted his shoulders and whipped a trailing tail hair and redirected himself toward the hubbub.

The old man in the yellow taxi didn’t notice him leaving, just kept sobbing and pointing his gun at the back of the driver’s head while the driver laughingly swore at him in Urdu from behind the bullet-proof glass.

…Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton were the cause of the blinky Marquee hubbub. They, along with two of their friends, Lindsay Lohan and a soon to be toe-tagged, overdosed minor, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, had just alit from a pink Hummer and flashing a total lack of underpants at the waiting photographers, were now huddled over, arm-in-arm,  in a ring of bare bums. The hubbub apparently was occasioned by those same photographers getting right in there with their macro lenses and recording the topography of the assembled cracks of dawn for the posterity of generations of soon to be toe-tagged overdosed minors to come. And of course, for the various prurient interests who benefit from such displays of smooth, pink Hummers.

With close observation being the apparent order of day for the accumulating mob, a certain curious, yet anonymous, fluff ball navigated unnoticed in and among the crowding gawkers to cop a boo of its own. Immediately the Lint Spider noticed a decided lack of anything remotely interesting in the slick, brash expanse exposed by the garish girls, and he took advantage of a gasp of shock to rise back up into the swiftly coursing currents of city air. Snorting a squeak of disdain as it rode higher on a bubble of warm disgust to further its journey. The blinky Marquee shrank swiftly into the past, along with the agonized squall of a little boy whose mother unplugged his shoulder socket yanking him away from the fleshy white mounds.

The Lint Spider soared, slicing the wind as it gazed across new vistas and new adventures loomed.

Spiraling through contrails in the wake of swiftly sluicing birds, the Lint Spider rode the sky in search of life and its many faces. Over gabled rooftops and under magnificent suspension bridges it coursed the causeways of city skies touching the edges of bliss and caressing the closed eyes of enlightenment, coaxing out and soaking up all it could. After all, what's a Meta for?

And so for most of its little life, the Lint Spider used her freedom to cross the paths of street vendors cheating tourists, grease-painted buskers being ignored, big Irish beat cops thumping confessions out of miscreants, Rap Gangstas bustin rhymes in dingy allies and real gangstas bustin caps in variety store clerks and each other, school children rolling dice and disputing playground dominance while awaiting parent pickups, passing Nuns dispensing sex toy hints to one another in soft tones, busy bankers stealing fortunes on cell phones as they limo-hopped from meeting to meeting, brushing aside the twinges of conscience that attempted to breach their Armani armor.

And as the sun signaled its intention to set, The Lint Spider decided to follow a group into a deep underground chamber in order to learn more about this strange compulsion to submerse into the seeming depths. Ah, nothing could have prepared her for the horror and frustration of underground existence. The initial crush of hot bodies, the mingled smells, the competing voices, the monstrous volleys of pressurized wind as long, loud, gritty tunnel snakes shrieked into the subterranean chamber to swallow entire populations and scream away leaving only a lonely few aimlessly standing in dotted groups or alone.

And each time the hideous contrails of gassy air, whipped the Lint Spider up into the roof overhead and then crushed her down to the silver lines running the length of the pit. How long this nightmare repeated itself, the Lint Spider had no faculty to determine, but it seemed a lifetime.

At some point, the Lint Spider found himself sucked into the belly of a tunnel snake and clung desperately to an ad for morning after contraceptives or sex for life stimulants or both, while the two doomy silhouettes inside with it acted out a ritual unfamiliar to the Lint Spider in spite of its vast store of knowledge concerning these creatures.

One doomy creature, the one with the burning eyes and the stern look above its cakehole, held a sharp, pointy metal thing in one of its grasping paws while the other creature brayed and blubbered like the little boy who was yanked away from the bare bums. The knife creature looked scary even to the Lint Spider and he didn’t want to be there to witness what was bound to happen, so he took advantage of a juddering jolt by the tunnel snake and dislodged itself from the ad to fly away.

But the snake jigged and then quickly jagged, knocking the Lint Spider off course so that she smacked into the staring eye of the knife creature, causing it to react suddenly and violently, snapping its head back from the contact, rubbing and blinking rapidly to dislodge the Lint Spider. In that instant the blubbering creature said something about being the police and drew a dull metal thing from inside its ribs, which made a high, pop-pop-thwack noise that knocked the knife creature back on its bum.

With that the Lint Spider was released from the sticky eye and tumbled, damply to the floor of the tunnel snake. Then the snake’s doors opened and more police rushed in causing a tremendous draft which whisked the Lint Spider up from the floor and out into the unfamiliar underground chamber.

Riding its good luck and the warm updraft from the chamber to the moonlit exit, the Lint Spider followed the currents up and out into the night air and exulted in its release from the terrors of the underground world. Of the two, it far preferred the freedom of the big sky world.

Drying itself on the breezes as it traversed the night, the Lint Spider felt a strange weight growing on its follicular shoulders and what passed for a sigh left its face and wafted up to the moon, who of course ignored it as she always does the myriad exhalations breathed in her presence. The Lint Spider sensed an emptiness, too, and the nibble of nostalgia as it weakened and tired. Like the Mayfly, a Lint Spider’s life is not long and perhaps sensing this, she thought to find a place to rest.

Spinning and spiraling up for a clear view, the Lint Spider was astonished to find itself looking down on the same building which held the bathroom window through which it had begun its life so very long ago. The tunnel snake must have been wise indeed to navigate its way back here.

Angling its shoulders and whipping its hair tail in a slicking trail, it aimed for the open window and the familiarity of the doomy silhouette that had given her birth. It was still there, lying quietly on the pure white expanse of cool tile as though all the while awaiting the return of the wayward wanderer. Gently, the Lint Spider brought its flight to a hover and then to a waft and finally it settled as soft as a breath onto the great, grey-haired, mound of the supine doomy silhouette’s belly, and silently closed its Lint Spider eyes.


“…Knew you couldn’t make it on yer own,” whispered the doomy silhouette.

It patted its belly, fingering the Lint Spider snugly into its belly button and contentedly died from a massive concussion.

And it was worth the wait.