The Spider by Pasha du Valentine

A series of life factors have culminated in me becoming one of England’s much maligned, and simultaneously revered, catwomen.

The menopause hit hard; my children hate me, my husband divorced me and I started an erotic feminist film channel so no one knows if I am to be trusted.

Don’t get me wrong; I sit on a plinth of my own vanity staring at the little people with great pride. I have made my bed and I am rolling around in its silky sheets, no stains here, just the luxury of haughty misconceptions, theirs and mine.

Living alone means I have a lot of time for self-reflection, and mark my words, it is not always pleasant.

But analysing the past is how we grow, in theory at least.

And sometimes we sift through the hideous memories, forgetting the good stuff, and wonder where it all went wrong. Why did that happen, who was responsible, why was life so unfair?

The fifties is a tough old decade for us all as we let go of one project, making house, home and family, and attempt to find purpose in the next one. But the next project is less clear, less socially defined..We are only dying really. What do they do with us with our redundant vaginas and harder to get going penises?

It has struck me recently that we are all products of our time. I see this especially in my parents and most particularly in my father who never once questioned his patriarchal obligations. He was not anywhere as free as he assumed.

None of us are truly free in these societies we live in. Culture is the pulse that drives our blood. We fall under the influence of expectations and social norms. Very few of us think or live outside or boxes and we are all slaves to someone or something with more power; a better operating system, a bigger fist.

Recently I had a mug beside my bed that I had left for a day. I am slovenly and it was Cleaners day off.

Eventually, work permitting, I took it into the kitchen and it was placed in line for the washing up. Sometime later, as one is never in much of a hurry to wash up, I noticed a skinny, rickety looking, pale brown spider who had moved into the mug. He (he will always be a he to me) had built a rather untidy web over the, now dry, red berry tea bag.

Several things came into play that led me to question my own existence.

Do I wash him out and would I feel guilty?

Would I be judged as a mad slovenly catwoman if I just left him?

Does he know that there is something, someone, much more powerful than himself beyond the confines of his mug?

Is his existence so flimsy that if I had not been wearing my spectacles, he would have been washed away and I would bear no guilt for his demise?

What if the cat gets him?

Currently I am waiting for him to move out of his own accord. This way I avoid the guilt so endemic of my past life and attempt to leave it to fate. I like fate.

Fate is more trustworthy. Fate is not selfish or domineering.

But the palace is overcrowded with that cat and I and I am finding the responsibility of caring for him all too much. Besides, he isn’t helping me decipher the meaning of life one little bit.

© 2019 Pasha du Valentine/Goddamn Media

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