Driving down the highway, I notice that a spiderweb has formed on the right side-view mirror of my car. I wonder about the spider: When I return to park in front of my house, will it be able to find the web it has begun? The web that has survived the rain, the blowing wind on the highway, the rounds of birds on the power lines unconcerned about the world below them. Has the spider itself survived all these things? What a tragedy it would be, for the spider’s home to outlive it.
Turns out, the spider’s probability of reconnecting with its web doesn’t matter. On my way through a residential neighborhood, a car backs out too quickly and knocks the side-view mirror clean off of my car, taking the web with it, crashing and shattering to the ground. I consider calling the police, but I’m not entirely sure what I would say to them. Instead, I call my mom.
You call me, while I’m in the middle of talking with my mom. The phone beeps, and I take it from my ear. The screen lights up and accosts me with your name in block letters. I mumble something about needing to take the call, place my mom on hold.
“I heard you were crying in the middle of the bar the other day, is everything okay?” I don’t have time to breathe. I try anyway. Your silence is quiet, your line of questioning direct, sincere. You’re not sitting in front of me, but all of a sudden it feels that way. I think that I can hear your breath — I know that I can hear my own. You interrupt my racing mind for a moment. “Do you not want to talk about it?” For a second I think that I hear hope in your voice, that I might cut the conversation here, hang up the phone, allow you to get away, unscathed.
Instead, I stutter, falter, try to find words that will make you both stay and leave at the same time. I don’t know what to say because I have spent the entire day excavating pieces of our relationship. I’ve been trying to piece together the ones that were placed incorrectly in the hopes of righting them and blowing off the dust. It’s worked in the way that taking things apart and putting them together always works when those things are half-broken.
I would prefer to suffer…