Aunt Nancy was perched upon the towel which hung sloppily over the shower curtain rod. I had been standing with him out of my sightline, and then I started pacing back and forth while I was brushing my teeth. That’s when I saw him, long legged and hinged like he was gonna leap. I had seen him a couple of days earlier beneath the wooden storage shelf with the slats and I had issued a silent telepathic warning: don’t you enter my bedroom. I did allow the bathroom, but upon seeing him atop my towel, I unleashed a stream of epithets that reflected the weariness I felt from my long day. Essentially, I argued that he should be out of sight and certainly not sullying my bath towel. He just stood there looking at me, dressed in his brown suit, eyes and legs akimbo.
I slowly pulled down the towel, careful not to harm the dear old thing. Although I was tired and cranky, I still recognized his majesty. The towel fell heavily to the floor, but Aunt Nancy’s plot was secure. I took the towel downstairs as he scrambled to make sense of it all. I felt defiant over the god of stories and knowledge as I watched him scurry beneath the couch, unharmed in the transport. I giggled as I ascended the steep marble staircase that lead back up to the landing with my bathroom and bedroom thinking that he would be hard pressed to ascend after me to give me his take on the matter. As I went to turn off the light that illuminated the stairwell, I called back over my shoulder, “I’d better not find you in my shoe!”
And that, Darling Uncle, is my story. I hope it pleases you.
For those who do not know the story of Aunt Nancy, let me just give you a little insight. Aunt Nancy is a god or a character from folklore. He is the keeper and teller of stories and he takes the form of a spider who weaves beautiful webs that get you all caught up. The name Aunt Nancy is not his real name, but what some communities affectionately call him. His real name is Anansi. Isn’t that a beautiful name for a spider?
Whenever I see a spider… well, actually, this is a new phenomenon for me because I am only recently emancipated from my fear of spiders. It used to be that when I’d see a spider, I’d FREAK, and it would take me an hour to escort it outside safely. Now, I take the presence of the wee ones as a blessing from a great god. When a spider appears, I respectfully call it Auntie and thank him for the blessing of a mind and heart that loves to spin tales of silken words. And then I promptly take it to a safe place that’s away from my bedroom.